SALT LAKE CITY – The No. 7 Kentucky volleyball team got off to a fast start to the 2019 season on Friday morning with a 3-0 (25-21, 25-9, 25-20) sweep of the No. 23 Cal Poly Mustangs.
Madison Lilley led the charge for the Wildcats, with 33 assists, 16 digs and a .429 hitting percentage. The Wildcats used a balanced attack offensively in the sweep, getting five or more kills from four different players.
“Good start for us,” Craig Skinner said. “We were very efficient on offense and took care of our opportunities when they came our way. We also did a really good job of competing in long rallies.”
Senior Leah Edmond had a match-high 13 kills and hit .407 in the match, joining sophomore Alli Stumler who had 11 kills as the two double-digit kill players in the match. Avery Skinner had seven kills in the match, with most of them coming in the latter two sets and grad transfer Leah Meyer had six.
Kentucky’s defense may have been the biggest determining factor of the match, holding the Mustangs to just .113 attacking in the match and recording nine blocks. At the net, it was Kendyl Paris and Madison Lilley who did a majority of the work, each recording four blocks.
UK will play later tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET against (RV) Utah in the 2019 Utah Classic.
Led by three kills in four points from Leah Edmond, Kentucky took charge early in the first set, racing out to a 6-3 lead and forcing the Mustangs into their first timeout of the set. UK had three separate 5-0 runs in the frame to create separation and went on to win, 25-21.
It was all Kentucky in the second frame from the get-go, as the Wildcats raced out to a 9-1 lead in the start of the set, including an 8-0 run – the longest unanswered scoring run for either team in the match. After the 9-1 lead was gained, Kentucky used a strong hitting percentage but even better defense to hammer home the 25-9 set win.
The third set was the tightest of the three, with the Mustangs and Wildcats exchanging points at 11 all before a 5-0 run for Kentucky made it 16-12 and forced CP into a timeout. Leah Edmond slammed home the match-winning point at 25-20 along the right side to close out the match.