Balanced Offense Propels Cats to First Victory of the Season

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Balanced Offense Propels Cats to First Victory of the Season

The University of Kentucky women's volleyball team celebrates during the game against College of Charleston on Friday, August 31, 2018 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky defeated College of Charleston 3-1 during the home opener of the 2018 season. Photo by Hunter Mitchell.

After a slow start to the season, the No. 16 Kentucky women’s volleyball team grabbed its first win of the year after a 3-1 victory (25-20, 25-27, 25-21, 25-19) over College of Charleston on Friday in their first match of the Bluegrass Battle.

The Cats were led by junior sensation Leah Edmond, who recorded 25 kills on 48 swings while hitting .354. The outside hitter’s 25 kills were just one shy of her career high of 26. Edmond also contributed 13 digs, good for her first double-double of the season and 19thof her career.

“Give the kudos to my teammates and my setter (Madison Lilley),” Edmond said. “She’s unbelievable. Just being at home – it’s a different atmosphere, especially being from Lexington. Being at home always lifts my spirits up, so I give (credit) to the fans and my teammates.”

Sophomore setter Madison Lilley continued to impress, dishing out 57 assists with four digs, four kills and two aces. Lilley’s 57 assists marks the third time in four games that the sophomore has eclipsed 40 assists in a match. As a team, Kentucky hit .277 with 70 kills.

“It was a good win,” said head coach Craig Skinner. “Offensively we were very good most of the match. Seventy kills in four sets is a lot. We had too many unforced errors early, but we eliminated that and had our best set in terms of that in the fourth. Charleston is a good team and they’re going to win a lot of matches, so we’re happy to come away with the win.”

Skinner was especially impressed with the contributions he got out of the middle today after struggling a bit last weekend.

“Get them comfortable just finding the rhythm,” Skinner said. “That takes time to develop. Brooke had a first solid week of practice. She was able to go so it’s always nice to have that rhythm established. And it showed in the match today.”

Morgan and sophomore Kendyl Paris combined for 24 kills and eight blocks out of the middle. Morgan hammered down 15 terminations, while Paris added nine of her own along with an ace.

Gabby Curry led the Wildcats defensively with 18 digs, with Alli Stumler and McKenzie Watson each added ten as well.

With the win, UK improves to 1-3 on the year while College of Charleston falls to 2-2. The Cats will be back in action tonight against the Dayton Flyers in the second match of the Battle of the Bluegrass at Memorial Coliseum. First serve is set for 8:30 pm.

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