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No. 12 Kentucky volleyball triumphs over Texas A&M 3-1

Sydney Yonker
Kentucky outside hitter Reagan Rutherford and middle blocker Azhani Tealer go up for the block during the Kentucky vs Texas A&M volleyball game on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 3-1. Photo by Sydney Yonker | Staff

No. 12 Kentucky volleyball defeated the unranked Texas A&M Aggies 3-1 in a dominant showing inside Rupp Arena on Nov. 17. 

The Wildcats had four players with double digit kills, most notably Brooklyn DeLeye, with 18. 

Despite the victory, the Cats are potentially without star Reagan Rutherford after she sustained an ankle injury in the second set. 

The first set was tight as nails, with DeLeye getting off to a strong start. 

By the middle of the set, UK led 15-12. The Cats would then increase their lead to six after the media timeout, with kills from Elise Goetzinger and Rutherford capping off the run.

The Aggies would take multiple timeouts after this point but could never fully stop the bleeding, as UK would win the set 25-17 after a kill by Azhani Tealer.

DeLeye shined in the first set with five kills.

The second set started similarly to the first with a kill from DeLeye and a 3-1 UK run to start.

The Aggies fought back, even taking a quick lead at one point, but would once again find themselves trailing after the media timeout, 15-12.

After this point, disaster struck the Cats, with Rutherford leaving the game with an apparent ankle injury. 

She would be listed as questionable to return but ultimately would be out for the rest of the match. 

Even with the injury, Kentucky would hold its lead with help from consecutive kills by Erin Lamb.

The Cats would win the set 25-20 after a service error by A&M, putting them in cruise control going into the third set.

The third set was the closest of them all, with the Aggies finally gaining control at the beginning of the set.

The loss of Rutherford looked to be hurting the Cats like it did earlier in the season when she was out. 

A comedy of net errors ensued from both teams tying the game at 7. Despite these errors, a quick 3-0 run gave the Cats the lead 10-7.

A 4-0 run by A&M later on in the set would help it mount a 15-13 lead and its largest of the match.

It would extend the lead to four, before the Cats would creep their way back, keeping up with the Aggies until they finally tied it at 24.

With the set on the line, the Aggies would be the ones to prevail, in spite of a furious effort from the Cats.

A game the Cats had total control over was now slowly slipping away with the absence of Rutherford.

The fourth set felt like do or die for The Cats. They would start on a 6-2 run, led by Tealer who had two kills and a monster block in this stretch.

UK would keep this energy, going absolutely dominating the Aggies, continuing its dominance on its way to a 15-5 lead.

DeLeye had four kills during this stretch, helping the Cats get their offense back on track.

Lamb would finish the match once and for all with a final kill, burying the Aggies with 25-12 set four win.

“Practice has been better, we’re really improving on things that we’re working on, which is transferring to the court,” Skinner said. “We’re not super high, super low, we’re always about the same and I think you saw that at the end of the third set.”

The Cats improve to 14-1 in SEC play, with 13 wins in a row. They will defend their win streak against the Missouri Tigers on Sunday, Nov. 19, at 1:30 ET, inside Rupp Arena.

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