LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Kentucky volleyball team earned an impressive 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-9) sweep of the Louisville Cardinals on Thursday in the KFC Yum! Center behind a dominating effort in all phases of the match. UK grabbed early leads in every set and rolled to a convincing victory – it’s fourth in a row over Louisville.
With the win, Kentucky improves to 6-4 on the young season. Louisville drops to 4-5 on the year. The Wildcats waste little time returning to action. UK will welcome Lipscomb to Memorial Coliseum on Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. first serve to mark the final non-conference matchup of the season.
“I’m very, very pleased with our players and their intensity throughout the entire match,” UK coach Craig Skinner said. “The way they went about their business and their concentration – we’ve been working really hard on being consistent and I thought they did a great job of that offensively and defensively.”
Kentucky received exceptional performances from every player on the court on Thursday. Freshman Leah Edmond led a balanced offensive attack that saw four players register eight or more kills on the night. The freshman posted a team-high 13. It was her ninth match topping double figures and besting the team. Junior Kaz Brown was nearly unstoppable with nine kills on a blazing .533 attacking percentage. She also added four bloc
Sophomore setter Olivia Dailey was the engineer to UK’s crippling attack that boasted 46 total kills on a .358 attacking percentage. Dailey dished out 37 assists and added seven digs and a pair of blocks.
Sophomore Brooke Morgan chipped in on the attack with nine kills, while junior Darian Mack added eight. Junior Emily Franklin led the defensive effort up front with a team-high five blocks while also chipping in with the same number of kills.
Junior libero Ashley Dusek notched a match-high 15 digs, with Louisville native McKenzie Watson added nine digs. Senior Anni Thomasson contributed a pair of kills, four digs and an ace.
After trading kills to begin the match, UK utilized a 5-0 run and benefiting from five-straight kills to claim a 5-1 lead. UK would never look back. The offensive attack was clicking on all cylinders with five players recording a kill in the opening 10 points. Edmond led the way with six kills and UK notched 15 for the set. UK’s defense frustrated the Cards into a .033 hitting clip and just eight kills. Dusek led the way defensively with five digs.
The Wildcats raced out to a 5-0 lead and were never really threatened, although the Cardinals would get within three several times including as late as 20-17. Kills from Franklin and Edmond helped UK score the next three points to pull away to a comfortable 23-17 lead. Edmond’s 10th kill of the night delivered the 25-18 second set win. UK posted 18 kills in the frame on a .342 hitting clip with Brown and Mack leading the way with a team-high four kills apiece in the stanza. Dailey dished out 15 assists and Dusek picked up eight digs. Louisville managed 11 kills on a .146 attacking percentage.
It was all Kentucky in the third set as the Wildcats rolled to a 25-9 win. The Wildcats took a 4-3 lead off of a Morgan kill and never looked back. UK scored the stanza’s final eight points and the set was highlighted by four UK aces. Kentucky scorched the Cardinals for 13 kills on a blistering .524 hitting percentage. Louisville was flustered into a -.040 hitting percentage behind four UK blocks.
BY THE NUMBERS
15 – Ashley Dusek had a match-high 15 digs. She’s hit double digits in all but one contest this season
9 – For the ninth time in 10 matches, Leah Edmond led UK in kills and topped double figures
4 – Kentucky had four players post eight or more kills on the evening and all hit .346 or higher for the match
4 – The win marks the fourth straight in the series for the Wildcats. UK has also won six of the last seven meetings