Kentucky volleyball improved to 10-4 on the season and 3-0 in SEC play Friday evening as they swept South Carolina 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-19). The victory extends the Cats’ winning streak to four consecutive matches and 13 in a row against the Gamecocks.
The balance the team has had showed again for the Cats tonight. Kentucky totaled 44 kills and 49 digs, while South Carolina finished with 31 kills and 43 digs. As a team, the Cats are first in the league in opponent hitting percentage, and showed that tonight, holding South Carolina to a .099 hitting percentage, the Gamecocks’ lowest on the year, while the Cats themselves finished with a .303 attack percentage.
“Our team executed,” UK head coach Craig Skinner said.
Skinner also complimented the team’s defense tonight, saying “holding an SEC team under .100 is a really good night defensively.”
UK outside hitter Leah Edmond, who suffered a leg injury in the first set of the Mississippi State game last Friday that kept her out the rest of that match, showed no signs of slowing down against the Gamecocks, as she totaled a team high 14 kills and added 10 digs. Edmond also had a hitting percentage of .429, her best so far in SEC play this season.
“It felt good (out there),” Edmond said. “I definitely felt like myself.”
Edmond was crushing the ball, 28 attacks on the night, and said she immediately put ice on her shoulder after the game.
“I surprised myself with some of those swings”, Edmond said on how hard she was hitting the ball. She also explained how she was saying to herself with confidence, “I guess it’s gonna be one of those nights,” as she got kill after kill in the match.
The balance carried over to outside hitter Alli Stumler, who is coming off an SEC Player of the Week last week after her performance against Mississippi State and Missouri. She added 10 kills on the night against the Gamecoks. Setter Madison Lilley added another double-double on the season, her seventh, with 35 assists and 12 digs.
UK middle Blocker Kendyl Paris, who had six kills and a career high .600 attacking percentage, was also a huge factor in the game.
“Kendyl has some of the best vision as an attacker, and when she’s in rhythm behind the setter, she’s really hard to stop,” Skinner said of Paris’ performance.
Kentucky continued their winning ways against South Carolina, and looks to go even further with that momentum in a tough test against No. 12 ranked SEC rival Florida on Sunday. The game is set for 1 p.m. at Memorial Coliseum and will be televised on SEC Network.