The No. 12 University of Kentucky women’s volleyball team defeated the Kennesaw State Owls in four sets (25-17, 24-26, 25-15, 25-19) Saturday to wrap up nonconference play.
After registering just three kills in the match against Louisville, outside hitter Leah Edmond was back in form once again, as the sophomore notched a match-high 19 kills on a .298 hitting clip. Edmond also had five digs and a pair of aces and attributed her success to her ability to refocus after such an intense rivalry match the night before.
“I like matches like that but sometimes, you know, you get like too pumped up and too like all over the place,” said Edmond. “And so something I tried to do was like focus on what’s going on on the court and still have energy and still have fun but make sure I’m focused on what’s going on.”
Kentucky also found success out of the middle, as both senior middle blockers registered double-digit kills. Kaz Brown led the way with 14 kills while hitting .400 and Emily Franklin had 10 while hitting a blistering .643.
“We are really seeing the blockers in front of us so we’re able to hit around them,” said Franklin.
Head coach Craig Skinner was pleased with his team’s offensive production, but noted that the defensive effort that has been present in previous matches was lacking.
“I thought offensively we did a great job siding out over 70% of the time and hitting .325. Defensively we weren’t as sharp as we needed to be,” said Skinner.
However, Skinner was happy with his bench production, as hitters Darian Mack and Anna Nyberg provided a spark off the bench, and Merideth Jewell’s tough serve kept the Owls on their toes.
“I thought Anna (Nyberg) and Darian (Mack) did a great job coming in. Merideth (Jewell) really made an impact with her serve and presence on the floor,” said Skinner.
With the win, Kentucky moves to 9-2 on the year. The Cats open SEC play on Wednesday when they travel to Colombia Missouri for a matchup with the Tigers. First serve is set for 8:00 pm.