AUBURN, Ala. – The No. 18 Kentucky volleyball team scored the final three points of the match to cap a rally from a 2-0 deficit to take down Auburn in a five-set thriller, 23-25, 22-25, 26-24, 30-28, 15-12.
UK improves to 18-5 overall and 11-1 in the Southeastern Conference. Auburn drops to 13-12 overall and 7-5 in league play. The Wildcats will return home for a match with Missouri at Noon ET in Memorial Coliseum on Sunday.
“This game showed our never-die attitude and I think this team is unfazed by situations,” head coach Craig Skinner said. “We will continue to believe in each other and fight for each other. Tonight was a great match to show that.”
Auburn pushed UK to the limit, taking the first two sets from the Wildcats and forced the third and fourth set past 25 points. The Wildcats were down 27-26 in the fourth set facing elimination, but an incredible dig from junior Ashley Dusek helped UK survive two free balls to earn a point on an attack error.
Dusek tied her season-best with 27 digs during the five-set win, and hit the 1,000 dig mark for her career. Dusek sits fifth in school history during the 25-point rally scoring era with 1,025 digs. Five Wildcats – freshman Leah Edmond, senior Anni Thomasson, sophomore Olivia Dailey, sophomore McKenzie Watson and Dusek – all had double-digit digs during the contest
Edmond hit the double-digit mark for kills for the 19th time this season and led the squad with 20 kills. The Lexington, Kentucky native picked up her seventh double-double of the season, a team-high with 12 digs and the 20 kills.
Dailey earned another double-double as she registered 45 assists and 10 scoops in the win. The double-double is her third of the season.
Junior Kaz Brown was fantastic at the net as she picked up nine block assists and one block solo, which tied her season-best at 10 blocks. The Waterloo, Iowa native also added nine kills and two digs in the contest. Classmate Darian Mack chipped in with nine kills and six blocks. Junior Emily Franklin had seven kills and a trio of blocks, while senior Sharay Barnes contributed five kills and two blocks.
Serving errors played a major role in the contest. The two teams combined for 42 errors during the contest, and Auburn committed 25 of those.