Host Kentucky Sweeps Lions
LMU fell in straight sets on Saturday morning to host Kentucky.
Sept. 10, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The LMU volleyball team (5-3) fell in straight sets, 25-14, 25-22, 25-20, to host Kentucky (8-2) on Saturday morning at the 2011 UK Invitational being played in Lexington, Ky. over the weekend. The Lions managed just a .107 hitting percentage, while senior Jasmine Rankins did not reach double-digit kills for the first time this year.
Senior Emily Cheek collected a team-best nine kills on a team-high 29 swings to lead LMU. Kenna Crouse and Litara Keil each contributed seven kills, but no other Lion reached five. Setter Olivia Bailey dished-out 26 assists while Betsi Metter collected a team-high 13 digs in the loss.
Kentucky got a solid showing from its block against the Lions, as the Wildcats teamed for 13 total team blocks, including a solo and eight block assists from Gretchen Giesler. Giesler also led the team on the attack, posting 11 kills en route to 16 total points. Christine Hartmann set the Kentucky offense to a .267 hitting percentage, dishing-out 40 assists to go with seven digs.
Ashley Frazier and the Wildcats came out hot on Saturday morning, as Frazier collected seven of her 10 kills in the opening frame to guide Kentucky to a .438 hitting percentage. While the offense was clearly clicking, Kentucky also received five total team blocks, including three block assists from Giesler, to hold LMU to a .086 hitting percentage in the first. After scoring the first point of the match, LMU did not lead from that point forward in the first set. The Lions kept the set close to 10-9, but Kentucky went on a 6-0 run to distance itself from LMU at 16-9. Another four-point run from 18-11 to 22-11 put the set out of reach as Giesler connected on the final kill at 25-14.
Although LMU was able to cool the Kentucky hitting percentage greatly in the second set, the Lions hit just .077 to Kentucky's .194 en route to dropping the middle set, 25-22. Giesler came alive offensively in the second, collecting six of her 11 kills to go along with two more block assists. The Lions did manage to serve the ball well in the second, posting three of their four aces in the period. In what proved to be the closest set of the match, LMU fell after playing to six tie scores and four lead changes. The two teams played even to 15 before Kentucky scored the next three points to take an 18-15 advantage. The Lions managed to cut the deficit to one at 21-20, forcing a Wildcat timeout, and trailed by just one at 23-22, but Kentucky scored the final two points on kills from Lauren O'Conner and Giesler to escape with the victory.
Kentucky completed the sweep of the Lions in the third set, receiving four kills from Ann Armes, and three apiece from Whitney Billings and Giesler, en route to the 25-20 victory. Cheek did her best to force a fourth set, collecting five kills in the final period, but it was not enough for LMU. The Wildcats raced to an early 5-1 lead in the third set, but it was LMU that led throughout the middle of the set after evening the tally at five as part of a 5-0 run. The Lions led as late as 15-14, but Kentucky went on a four-point swing to take an 18-15 lead. LMU kept it within two points to 22-20, but an O'Conner kill and back-to-back Lion attack errors ensured the sweep for the host team.
LMU will conclude play at the UK Invitational this afternoon when they meet Houston at 2 p.m.