By Jordan Colquitt, UK Communications & Public Relations
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 16 Kentucky Volleyball team’s dominating offense and another strong defense helped them to cruise past the Louisiana State University Tigers with a 3-0 sweep at home in Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday Night. Kentucky is now 7-1 in Southeastern Conference play and 13-5 on the season.
Madison Lilley paced the match well all night for Kentucky, as she tallied 29 assists and led the Wildcats to a .323 hitting percentage. The reigning SEC Player of the Week and Setter of the Week also collected six kills on eight swings and had 10 digs on the night for her 10th double-double of the year.
Leah Edmond led all players in the match with 10 kills, as it was a balanced offensive attack by the Wildcats all night. Sophomore Alli Stumler had eight kills in addition to Edmond’s 10 and grad transfer Leah Meyer threw in nine, as well.
Freshman Azhani Tealer continued to play well for UK, as she sprinkled in an SEC-career high seven kills on 14 swings with two digs and a block assist. The outside hitter has played well in the last three matches for UK, having ended the match with the game-winning kill at Tennessee last Wednesday and back-to-back solid performances vs. Alabama and LSU.
Junior libero Gabby Curry was honored pre-match with a commemorative ball for recording her 1,000th-career dig vs. Georgia and backed it up with a 10-dig night vs. LSU on Wednesday. Curry now has double-figure kills in all but one match this season. Kentucky dug 44 balls as a team and held LSU to a .076 hitting percentage.
Kentucky will travel to Oxford, Mississippi to take on the Ole Miss Rebels at 2:30 p.m. ET this Sunday for their ninth conference game of the season. The game will be televised on the SEC Network+, ESPN3 and the ESPN app.
Kentucky and LSU traded points early on in the set. Kentucky quickly went into a 4-0 scoring run and their commanding offensive presence forced the Tigers to take a timeout with the frame sitting at 12-6. A set of kills from Azhani Tealer and Leah Meyer forced LSU into their second timeout with the score being 21-15 in UK’s favor. Kentucky had four players with two or more kills to end the set and UK held LSU to a .025 attacking percentage in the opening stanza. A block from Leah Meyer and Alli Stumler closed out the set as Kentucky won 25-17.
Much like the first set, UK and LSU exchanged the opening points to begin the set, however heading into the middle of the frame, Kentucky was able to go on a 6-0 run forcing LSU into a timeout. The timeout didn’t slow the Cats down as their attacking offensive lead them to continue the run to 9-0 and causing the Tigers to take their second timeout. The halt in play just could not stop the Cats as they added to their run making it 12-0, their longest run of the season, with the score 17-7. The Wildcats closed the set 25-13 on an attacking error by LSU to gain set point and an ace by Gabby Curry to close out the frame. For set two, Kentucky had a .522 hitting percentage.
Kentucky was not able to go on an early run in the third set like the first two, however the Wildcats either held the lead or was no more than two points down in the entire opening sequence. The Cats took a timeout late in the set after LSU went on a 3-0 run and UK’s lead was trimmed to just two at 21-19. The timeout reset the Wildcats and allowed them to escape with set three 25-21 off an error by LSU and a kill by Leah Edmond. Kentucky held LSU to .076 hitting percentage for the match.