The No. 20 Kentucky women’s volleyball team wrapped up non-conference play Sunday with a sweep (25-14, 25-16, 25-17) of the visiting Chattanooga Mocs thanks to another solid defensive effort.
For the second consecutive match, the Wildcats held their opponents below a hitting clip of .100, in large part due to the continuous improvement of middle blockers Brooke Morgan and Kendyl Paris. Morgan registered six terminations on eight swings with a block and a pair of digs. And while Paris only added one kill of her own, her physicality at the net proved invaluable in assisting the back line.
“Defense is really an area we’ve been putting time and energy into,” head coach Craig Skinner said. “Holding opponents to under .100 – really excited as a coaching staff moving forward.”
Madison Lilley led the Cats with ten digs while sophomore Gabby Curry added six and Alli Stumler added four. Lead Edmond, McKenzie Watson and Lauren Tharp each recorded two scoops as well.
On the offensive side of the court, Edmond led the way with ten kills on a .400 attacking clip. Junior Caitlyn Cooper had another strong game off the bench, hammering down eight terminations on just twelve swings with only one error while simultaneously providing a spark of energy to her team.
“She’s really fiery and that’s the kind of attitude we need on the court,” said Lilley. “Having hitters with that type of energy is just so much fun so it’s a lot of fun having her on the right side.”
Avery Skinner also got in on the action, recording seven kills while Stumler contributed four. As a team, Lilley directed the offense to a .405 hitting percentage while dishing out a match-high 28 assists.
But coach Skinner was most impressed with his team’s ability to terminate the ball consistently by finding smart spots on the floor without making a lot of errors.
“I told the team I was pleased – offensively, they were very efficient – only seven hitting errors today and six on Friday (against Louisville),” Skinner said.
With the win, Kentucky improves to 6-4 on the year heading into SEC play. The Cats will be back in action next Sunday when they travel to Knoxville, Tennessee for a matchup with the Volunteers. First serve is set for 1 pm.