The Student News Site of University of Kentucky

Kentucky Kernel

The Student News Site of University of Kentucky

Kentucky Kernel

The Student News Site of University of Kentucky

Kentucky Kernel

Follow us on Instagram

SEC CHAMPIONS: Kentucky volleyball clinches share of seventh consecutive SEC regular-season title with sweep at Arkansas

Travis Fannon
Kentucky setter Emma Grome and Elise Goetzinger embrace each other during the Kentucky vs. Mississippi State volleyball match on Friday, Oct. 20, 2023, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 3-0. Photo by Travis Fannon | Staff

No. 10 Kentucky volleyball (18-7, 16-1 SEC) defeated the No. 9 Arkansas Razorbacks (24-5, 14-3 SEC) 3-0 in straight sets.

With the win, Kentucky extended its winning streak to 15 straight and clinched a share of its seventh straight SEC championship.

Molly Tuozzo, Brooklyn DeLeye, Emma Grome, Eleanor Beavin, Regan Rutherford, Elise Goetzinger and Azhani Tealer started on the floor for Kentucky.

Rutherford returned to the starting lineup after missing Kentucky’s win over Missouri with an ankle injury.

Set one began as a battle for both teams as the Razorbacks jumped out to a 4-1 lead.

The Cats’ offense responded with a three point run to tie the score at 4-4.

The teams would then split the next 10 points before a two point swing gave Kentucky an 11-9 lead.

An error by the Wildcats was quickly erased by another two point run that extended their lead to 13-10.

Despite scoring the next point, two errors by the Razorbacks put them further behind. Arkansas would take two of the next three points in the match, but a Kentucky three point run extended its lead to 19-13.

The Razorbacks tried to respond by taking three of the next four points, but another three point Wildcats run made the score 23-16.

Arkansas would again take three of the next four points but an error sealed the 25-19 set one victory for the Wildcats and gave them a 1-0 match lead.

Set two was pure domination for the Cats as they jumped out to a 5-0 lead and never looked back.

Arkansas was able to go on two three-point runs, but both were quickly erased as Kentucky went on two runs of five, two runs of four and a run of three throughout the set.

A kill by junior Erin Lamb on an assist from Grome sealed the set by a score of 25-14 and gave the Cats a match lead of 2-0.

The third set was a seesaw battle until the final point.

After getting up 2-0, Arkansas quickly surrendered the lead following a three-point run to give Kentucky a 3-2 lead.

The segment would be indicative of how much of the set went as the teams were tied 14 times throughout with the Wildcats overcoming deficits on 11 different occasions.

Despite that, Arkansas still had a chance to close out the set as it led 23-24, but a kill from DeLeye on an assist from Grome evened the score at 24-24.

A kill from Goetzinger on another assist from Grome gave the Cats the opportunity to close out the set and they capitalized when a kill from Lamb secured the 26-24 set and 3-0 match win.

DeLeye led the team with 16 kills and was accompanied by Lamb and Rutherford, who also had double digit kills with 12 and 10 respectively.

Grome was also huge on offense as she secured 36 kills in the match.

The win earned the Wildcats at least a share of the SEC regular season championship and they will compete to be the sole winners of the SEC in their next match when they take on the Florida Gators at Rupp Arena. The match is set to take place on Saturday, Nov. 25, at 1 p.m. ET. The game will air live on the SEC Network+.

— Reporter Jonathon Bruner can be reached on Twitter/X @Jb239965

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Jonathon Bruner, Assistant Sports Editor

Comments (0)

All Kentucky Kernel Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *