Vengeance. That is what Kentucky needed after a tough loss against Purdue, and that is what they came out with tonight in front of a ruckus crowd against No. 25 ranked Louisville as they strolled to a 3-0 (25-15, 25-14, 25-21) sweep victory over the Cards.
The Cats were everywhere tonight-- the team hitting percentage was .347 (stayed in the .400’s most of the game), with 47 kills to add to that. A lot of Kentucky’s offensive success contributed to the balance they had, something they lacked in previous games this season, as Leah Edmond finished with 15 kills, Leah Meyer finished with 10 kills, and Alli Stumler finished with 9.
“Definitely after Wednesday I knew Louisville was probably gonna come after me, which I like because that leaves everybody else with 1-0-9’s and 1-0-1’s,” Edmond said of the balance her team had tonight.
It wasn’t just the offense that was clicking for Kentucky, the hustle on defense made a huge difference as well. The team held Louisville to a .070 hitting percentage, out-blocked Louisville 9-7, and out-dug the Cards 44-30. At one point in the third set, when the score was 20-19 in favor of Kentucky as Louisville made a final push, the Cats came up with two key diving digs that led to the Cats winning the point and going on to claim the set.
“We needed to play a match where we felt a commitment to victory at each point,” UK head coach Craig Skinner said. “I didn’t feel like our fighting spirit has been there even though we played really well at times, but tonight it came out of us.”
The win was key for momentum for Kentucky as they go into conference play, and the fact that it came against in-state rival Louisville made it even sweeter for the Cats. That was especially true for Lexington native Leah Edmond who is now 4-0 in her career against the Cards-- and has never lost a set to them.
“I get to add my name to all the people who have yet to lose to Louisville and I think it is a big accomplishment, especially being from Lexington,” Edmond said with a big, excited smile on her face.
The win tonight in Memorial Coliseum against Louisville gives Kentucky a taste of victory as they go into conference play, and they look to build on that against Mississippi State next Friday at 7:00 p.m. on SEC Network Plus.