By CHANDLER WILCOX, Contributing Writer
Kentucky swept Michigan 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-20) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to advance to the Sweet 16.
The Cats ultimately controlled the net against the Wolverines, out-hitting them 40-37 and out-blocking them 11-4. Middle blocker and grad transfer Leah Meyer was a big part of containing the offense of Michigan, as she totaled a team-leading seven blocks for the match to go along with six kills.
Kentucky coach Craig Skinner believes her effort to put the team before herself is crucial to the team’s success.
“She works hard every day,” Skinner said. “When you have somebody like that (Meyer) it’s easy to make her feel welcome.”
Skinner also believes even though Meyer did not make the all-conference team, what she has done for the team puts her at that level.
“She doesn’t care about that…she cares about Kentucky volleyball,” Skinner said. “That’s success in my opinion.”
Meyer gave a lot of credit to her teammates with staying focused, even when they were challenged down the stretch in the third set as Michigan started to make a run.
“Just focusing on getting that next point and just moving on quickly I think really helped us in that third set,” Meyer said.
This time last year, Meyer made the decision to transfer from Duke to Kentucky, and looking back she feels she made the right choice to come play as a member of the Cats.
“I am incredibly happy with my decision,” Meyer said. “It’s such a family atmosphere here, and that’s something that’s always been really important to me.”
Kentucky, behind the leadership of Meyer and great play of her teammates, dominated the match tonight against Michigan and will now advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, where they will play the winner of number 8 seed Washington and SEC foe South Carolina.