The No. 15 Kentucky women’s volleyball team took full advantage of their home opener Friday, sweeping Cleveland State (25-17, 25-19, 25-9) thanks to an impressive offensive performance from Leah Edmond and Leah Meyer.
The Cats wasted no time jumping out to an early lead behind a scorching opening frame from senior Leah Edmond. The outside hitter finished the first set with 10 kills on twelve swings, good for a blistering hitting percentage of .833. Edmond finished the match with a match-high 14 terminations and 11 digs, her first double-double of the season and fifth-straight game with double-digit kills.
“It was a conscious effort to spread the ball around more as the match went on. Don’t want her (Edmond) to take fifty swings if we don’t have to,” UK head coach Craig Skinner said. “But when she’s hot, she’s very hard to stop, as you saw.”
Graduate transfer Leah Meyer also put forth a solid afternoon offensively, registering eight kills with just one error while hitting .412. After an inconsistent start to the season, Meyer is beginning to figure out the Kentucky offense, as today marked the fifth-straight match that the middle blocker has terminated at a .400 clip or better.
“Especially this week in practice we worked a lot on rhythm and kind of working with the setters a little bit,” Meyer said. “And that’s something that, when you’re working with a new setter it takes a little bit more time to come along.”
All of that work in practice paid off, as the Wildcats registered their second-best hitting performance of the season, hitting .350 as a team with four Cats recording six or more kills in the match. Freshman Azhani Tealer had six kills in her first career start and sophomore Alli Stumler added nine.
Directing the offense once again was Madison Lilley, who dished out 38 assists to go along with a kill and a solo block.
Defensively, Kentucky was led by Gabby Curry’s 15 digs. The junior logged her seventh-straight game with double-digit digs. Stumler added nine of her own and Lilley pitched in seven.
With the win, Kentucky improves to 5-2 on the year and 1-0 at home. The Cats will be back in action Friday evening as they take on Florida Gulf Coast in their second match of the annual Bluegrass Battle at Memorial Coliseum. First serve is set for 8:30 pm.