Billings ended the run with a kill down the line and then the UK defense forced the Tide into three-straight hitting errors to knot the score at 11. A block from Billings and Schwarzwalder fueled a 3-0 run by the Cats for an 18-15 lead late in the third set, and Alabama opted to use its final timeout. The Tide fought back and pulled to within two at 20-18 forcing Kentucky to burn a timeout. Out of the break, O’Conner struck for a kill to end the string of Bama points en route to another 25-19 set victory for a 2-1 lead in the match. The Wildcats logged 11 kills on .333 hitting, while Alabama managed 11 on a mere .034 hitting percentage. Kentucky turned back four Tide attacks and forced the home team into six additional erroneous attacks including the set-clinching point. Alabama scored the first two points of the fourth frame on Wildcat hitting errors, before Bergren connected for a kill to keep the defense honest. The Tide stretched its early advantage to a 5-2 margin. A kill and block from Schwarzwalder propelled UK to a tie at six apiece. Billings rifled her 10th kill of the match to give UK an 8-6 lead and Alabama opted to use an early timeout. The Tide would answer the run with one of its own to eventually claw back and tie the score at 11 apiece. Out of the break, O’Conner converted an overpass and the Wildcat defense forced consecutive Alabama miscues for a 14-11 lead. Another kill from Billings lifted the visitors to its largest lead of the fourth set at 17-13 and Alabama burned its final timeout. Following the break, Thomasson teamed up with Schwarzwalder for another Big Blue block.
UK volleyball sweeps through Alabama with pair of conference victories
Photo by Eleanor Hasken l Staff Staff report firstname.lastname@example.org UK volleyball notched road wins against Auburn University (25-19, 25-20, 25-20), and the University of Alabama (15-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-23) over the weekend. UK garnered 60 digs in the three-set sweep of Auburn, the most digs the Cats have amassed in Craig Skinners tenure as head coach for a three-set game. Im really excited about our defensive performance tonight, Skinner said to UK Athletics. Our blockers were more aggressive tonight and followed the game plan and executed it well. Our floor defense was also a difference-maker tonight. The Cats (10-3, 2-0 SEC) continue their winning streak of five games with the two wins, their second five-game win-streak of the season. Senior outside hitter Whitney Billings logged her seventh double-double of the season and her third in the last four games. Freshman outside hitter Anni Thomasson made her first start after missing Mondays game against Morehead State University due to a right arm injury, and registered seven kills. Saturdays game marked the first SEC volleyball contest to take place in the Auburn Arena, which was previously home to Auburn basketball and gymnastics. Auburn (9-4, 0-1 SEC) will welcome Alabama to Auburn Arena on Wednesday. UK dropped the opening set against Alabama (12-3, 0-1 SEC) by 10 points before taking the final three sets of the match to take the victory. Billings led the offensive side of the ball for the Cats on Sunday with 14 kills and a hit percentage of .448 in the match. Junior outside hitter Lauren OConner also reached double-digit kills on the day with 11, including the game-winning kill. UK will look to extend their winning-streak to six games as they take on the University of Ole Miss on Friday at 7 p.m.