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UK falls at No. 6 Texas

AUSTIN, Texas – The No. 16 Kentucky volleyball team suffered another hard-fought loss to a ranked opponent on its home floor as No. 6 Texas earned a 3-1 (25-27, 25-21, 25-18, 25-16) win in the American Campus Classic inside Gregory Gymnasium on Friday night.

Junior outside hitter Leah Edmond led the team with 15 kills and added seven digs – her second-highest total this season – and three blocks. Freshman Alli Stumler posted six kills in the first set and ultimately finished with 13 terminations to go along with her eight digs, two blocks, and an assist.

Senior Brooke Morgan totaled nine kills in the loss. Morgan put together at least four rejections for the third time in the last four matches.

Sophomore setter Madison Lilley accumulated 39 assists, seven digs, a block and an ace, while sophomore libero Gabby Curry led the team in digs with 16.

The Wildcats fall to 3-4 on the season while the Longhorns improve to 5-1. Kentucky will round out the weekend with Texas State in San Marcos, Texas, on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET

SET 1

Texas struck first with a kill down the right line, but Stumler responded quickly with a ball to the middle of the floor. McKenzie Watson went back to serve and provided an ace to give the Wildcats a 2-1 advantage. The teams traded points to 3-3 before the Longhorns took the lead with a block on UK’s left side. Morgan scored off a good set from Lilley and went back to serve, but Texas rattled off two kills to take a two-point lead. UK answered immediately with Edmond and Skinner getting their first kills of the match back-to-back, knotting things up at six. Texas went on a 3-0 run to jump out to a 9-6 lead. Skinner cut the deficit back to two with another kill, but a 3-0 run from the Longhorns forced UK into a huddle down five early in the first at 12-7. Out of the timeout, UK went on a 3-0 run of its own. Edmond placed a hard-hit ball perfectly on the back line between two Longhorns, Curry followed with an ace and a Texas error. The Longhorns went on another 3-0 run to get to 15-11. Stumler added her third kill of the match and kept the next extended rally alive with a crucial dig, which led to an Edmond kill. Texas posted two more points to extend its lead back to five, forcing UK back into the huddle. The Longhorns picked up an ace out of the timeout. Stumler’s fourth kill of the match made the score 18-13 as she went back to serve. Morgan followed a Texas kill with her second, then a block from Kendyl Paris cut the Longhorn lead to four at 19-15. Two service errors followed on the ensuing rallies. Curry picked up a kill off what was meant as a dig that caught the left line. Texas called for time, and Lilley added an ace to bring the Wildcats within one at 20-19. A service error and a setting error from the Longhorns made it 21-20, but Edmond’s fourth kill knotted the set back up at 21. Three-consecutive service errors gave Texas a one-point advantage. Stumler picked up back-to-back kills to give the Wildcats set point. Texas called for timeout, then a Longhorn kill and UK error gave Texas a one-point lead. UK owned the last three points of the set off kills from Morgan and Edmond, claiming it 27-25 – coming back from as many as five points.

 

Set 2

Texas alternated two kills and a service error. Morgan notched her fourth kill of the match and the Longhorns responded with another. The score was tied at three after another service error from UT, while Paris and Edmond teamed up for block. Texas claimed the next two points on kills and gave another back with its third service error of the set. The teams traded points to 7-6. Stumler got to eight kills in the match, scoring UK’s next two points. Texas added a termination to take the lead, but Edmond’s powerful seventh kill tied the set at nine. Morgan added another kill to her credit following a Texas strike. Lilley faked a set for a kill to tie things back at 11. Paris picked up her first kill of the match before Texas claimed the next two points. Another power shot from Edmond to the middle and Skinner’s third kill matched things at 14. Texas added a kill to get to the media timeout and scored out of the huddle on a block. UK gained a point on yet another Longhorn service error. Texas nudged ahead to 18-15 with two kills as UK called a timeout of its own. UT added back-to-back points out of the timeout to get to 20-15, but UK tried to stay close with back-to-back blocks of its own from Edmond, Morgan, and Stumler. A service error gave the Longhorns a four-point lead at 21-17 before the Wildcats cut it back to two after consecutive kills from Lilley and Edmond. A UK service error made it 22-19. Lilley perfectly set Edmond for her 10th kill to get the deficit back to two, but the Longhorns struck with a kill on the next rally and picked up a point on an error to get to 24-20. UK called for time. Texas surrendered a point on the service error but ended the set with a final termination on the ensuing rally, 25-21.

 

Set 3

The Longhorns struck first with a kill but gave it back on an error. UK followed with a service error before another Texas strike and service error, giving the Longhorns a 3-2 lead. Edmond ended a 3-0 UT run with a rocket across the floor to the right side. The teams traded service errors to get to 7-4 in the set. Skinner matched a Texas kill but the Horns picked up another on the next rally. UK scored on a UT error, but back-to-back Longhorn kills forced UK into the huddle at 11-6. Lilley added her third kill out of the timeout before Morgan responded to a UT kill with her sixth. Edmond hit another ball to the middle of the floor for her 12th kill and Morgan and Lilley teamed up for another block to cut the deficit to two. A UK error and swapped service errors got the score to 15-12 while an errant ball to the corner pushed the Longhorn lead to four. Points were traded to 18-13. Another UT power shot to the middle caused UK to ask for time. The Longhorns added another out of the huddle, but Skinner responded with a hammer in the middle on a ball that came back over the net. A kill and a block came to fruition for UT to extend the lead to eight. Stumler’s ninth kill to the opposite side came on the next rally. Morgan and Edmond came up with back-to-back kills on opposite sides of the floor to cut the deficit to six. Texas struck with a hammer to get to set point and Morgan followed with another hard-hit ball, but it wasn’t enough as the Longhorns claimed the set 25-18.

 

Set 4

This time is was UK that got on the board first with a block from Morgan and Stumler. Stumler matched a UT kill on a precise set from Lilley to take a 2-1 lead. UT drew even on a block on the next play, but Stumler’s shot to the back put UK back on top. Edmond bounced a ball off two UT defenders on the left to get to 4-2 in the set and 14 kills for the match. Two UK errors gave the Longhorns a 6-5 lead. Skinner fired a rocket across the floor to draw even. UK called timeout after a 4-0 UT run. Stumler’s 12th kill to the right side welcomed the Cats back to the floor out of the timeout. The Longhorns strung together another 4-0 spurt, which sent UK back to the bench to regroup. UT added a kill out of the timeout and Stumler matched it with her 13th, making the score 15-8. The teams swapped errors before a UT ball to the left that increased its lead to eight. The teams traded points to 19-11. UT added a kill, but UK went on a 3-0 run that saw an ace from Curry. Texas asked for time and capitalized out of the huddle to push the UK deficit to seven. The Longhorns surrendered the next point on a service error before adding a kill on the right side. Morgan’s ninth kill came at 23-16 but UT went on to take the set 25-16.

 

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