Oct. 27, 2013
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Alabama volleyball suffered a 3-1 (17-25, 23-25, 25-18, 20-25) Southeastern Conference loss to the No. 15 Kentucky Wildcats from Memorial Coliseum on Sunday afternoon, marking the second time the Crimson Tide fell to the nationally ranked Wildcats in four sets this season.
Alabama (17-6, 5-4 SEC) was out-hit by Kentucky.330 to .195, as the Wildcats (15-5, 7-2 SEC) posted 15 total blocks compared to five by the Tide. Alabama would go on to out-dig Kentucky, 38-37.
Three players recorded double-digits in kills for the Tide, as Krystal Rivers led the way with a match-high 15. Brittany Thomas added 12 kills and Mattie Weldy posted her fourth straight double-digit kills match with 11. Andrea McQuaid added seven kills, with a .353 hitting percentage, and Bria Green hit .500 with a career-high five kills.
Kentucky had four players reach double figures in kills as Alexandra Morgan led the way with 14 and a .619 hitting percentage. Whitney Billings had 12 kills, Lauren O'Conner had 11 and Sara Schwarzwalder had 10 with a .600 percentage. Jackie Napper led all players with 12 digs.
The Wildcats took the opening set 25-17, out-hitting the Tide .520 to .200 along the way. Alabama led early, 7-4, but Kentucky went on a 7-1 run to take an 11-8 lead, before eventually running away with the opening set.
In the second set, the Tide led 5-3 before Kentucky went on a 5-0 run for an 8-5 lead. Kentucky held a 3-point lead in the set four times, only to see Alabama get even three times. Alabama held a 19-18 lead late, but after a Schwarzwalder kill, UK posted three straight blocks to open a 22-19 advantage. Bama closed the gap to one, 22-21, following a kill by Rivers. An error by Weldy gave the Wildcats set point at 24-22, and after a kill by Weldy made the score 24-23, Morgan put the set away with her seventh kill of the match, for a 2-0 Kentucky lead in the match.
The Tide answered by winning the third set 25-18 to force a fourth set. Alabama posted a .381 hitting percentage in the third set, while holding the Wildcats to a .222 efficiency.
In the fourth set, Alabama held a 16-14 advantage before the Wildcats went on a 4-0 run to lead by two. After a kill by Green, Kentucky answered with kills by Billings and Morgan for a 20-17 lead. After a kill by Rivers made the score 22-20, a kill by Schwarzwalder and back-to-back blocks by Kentucky ended the match with a 25-20 UK win and a four-set Wildcats win.
Alabama will continue SEC play next week with a Friday evening match against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. First serve between the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT, from Foster Auditorium.
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