The No. 8 Kentucky women’s volleyball team steamrolled the Texas A&M Aggies in straight sets Wednesday night (25-7, 25-13, 25-21) thanks to an impressive all-around defensive effort. The Wildcats started the match on a 12-0 run behind the serve of senior libero Ashley Dusek.
“It was awesome, we were just going on a run,” said Dusek. “We had such great blocks and I’ve got to give it to the people defending.”
In the first set alone, the pesky Cats defense limited the Aggies to just three kills on seven errors, good for a hitting percentage of -.200. On the offensive side of the court, UK hit .526 as a team in the first set, with freshman Avery Skinner contributing five kills herself.
“To be able to execute the game plan like that right out of the gates was pretty impressive,” said head coach Craig Skinner. “You’ve got to attribute a lot of that to our leadership and keeping us focused. I thought we did a really good job of keeping focused for those three sets.”
The Aggies kept the match closer following the first, but simply couldn’t put the ball down against Kentucky’s defense. For the match, Texas A&M had 24 kills and hit just .075 as a team. Dusek led the defensive charge for the Cats with 11 digs. Freshman Gabby Curry had eight, and setter Madison Lilley added seven.
“When we get our blockers in the right spots it’s tough to hit around,” said Skinner. “And then when you finally get around that and you have to face up against Ashley and Gabby and McKenzie and Madison and Leah, it’s a heck of a back row too. So we take a lot of pride in our defense.”
For the match, the Wildcats hit .410 as a team behind 33 assists from Lilley. Sophomore Leah Edmond contributed 13 kills, while Avery Skinner added 12. Out of the middle, seniors Kaz Brown and Emily Franklin combined for 11 kills with no errors.
With the win, Kentucky improves to 15-2 on the year and 6-0 in the SEC. The victory sets up a battle between No. 1 Florida and No. 8 Kentucky on Sunday in Gainesville. The Cats and the Gators are the last two remaining undefeated teams in the conference. First serve is set for 1 p.m. at the Stephen O’Connell Center in Gainesville.