As great as the No. 3 Kentucky women’s volleyball team was offensively Friday night, they were equally as great on the defensive side of the net Saturday, smothering the LSU Tigers with 11 team blocks en route to a 3-0 (25-13, 25-19, 25-22) match and series sweep. Saturday’s result marks 33-straight sets the Wildcats have won, dating back to October 29th’s match against Missouri.
In Friday’s match, sophomore Azhani Tealer stole the show offensively, registering 14 kills on just 16 swings. Saturday, the middle blocker made her presence felt most on the defensive side of things, recording a match and career-high nine blocks. In the first set alone, Tealer registered five rejections, a large reason the Tigers hit just -.067 in the first frame.
But Tealer wasn’t the only Wildcat throwing a block party, as five Cats totaled two or more rejections in Saturday night’s match. Madison Lilley had four, Alli Stumler had three and sisters Avery and Madi Skinner each added a pair. As a result, the Tigers hit just .149 on the evening and failed to hit above .300 in a single set. In fact, only LSU’s Taylor Bannister managed to eclipse ten kills, recording 14 terminations with nine attack errors. No other Tiger registered more than five kills.
The defense didn’t carry the entire load, however, as Lilley directed the Kentucky offense to the tune of 46 kills on a .387 clip. The setter dished out 40 assists, surpassing that mark for the second-straight match. In the six sets played this weekend, Lilley averaged a whopping 13.83 assists per set. Lilley also added six digs and a trio of kills in the winning effort.
Avery Skinner and Alli Stumler made most of the noise offensively in Saturday’s match, each contributing 15 kills to the cause while hitting .407 and .433 respectively. Tealer added six terminations and freshman Reagan Rutherford had four off the bench.
Three Wildcats reached double-digit digs on the evening, as Lauren Tharp, Gabby Curry and Stumler each recorded 10. It’s the sixth double-double Stumler has catalogued this season.
Kentucky moves to 14-0 on the season and will have a week off before a series at home against Ole Miss next weekend. First serve Friday is set for 7:00 pm on the SEC Network.