LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics) – The No. 15 Kentucky Volleyball team closed out the first night of the Bluegrass Battle with a 3-1 win against the Florida Gulf Coast, using their top-notch offense and defense to pull away, sweeping the Eagles 3-1 (30-28, 25-19, 26-24, 25-17) Friday night.
With the win, Kentucky improves to 6-2 on the season and keeps its perfect home record alive at 2-0.
Offensively for Kentucky, Madison Lilley had her third double-double of the season with 55 assists and 13 digs adding four kills as well as tying her season high assists. Leah Edmond was just shy of her second double-double of the day with 19 kills and nine digs. Her 19 kills led all players in the match.
Gabby Curry’s defensive appearance was made present as she led all players with 20 digs for the second straight game. Lauren Tharp contributed 11 digs.
Saturday, Kentucky concludes the Bluegrass Battle taking on (7-2) Indiana at 4:00 p.m. ET at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington. The match will be shown live on the SEC Network+, ESPN3 and the ESPN app. Admission will be free.
Alli Stumler took control of the opening set leading all players with seven kills as the Wildcats and Florida Gulf Coast traded points back-and-forth all frame. The two teams were tied 24-24 until Leah Edmond put the Cats up a point with a devastating kill to give UK set point. Kentucky finished the set with an Edmond kill and an error by FGCU to win 30-28 after seeing three set points go array. Azhani Tealer and Edmond added six kills apiece to help the Cats fight past the Eagles. This is the longest set Kentucky has played this season.
The Wildcats came out firing on all cylinders, taking an early 8-4 lead on a 3-0 run causing the Eagles to take timeout. UK came out of the timeout keeping their momentum going as they completed a 5-0 run late in the frame. A Madison Lilley kill and a serving error from FGCU assisted in Kentucky taking the second set easily, 25-19. The Cats were able to hold the Eagles to .056 hitting percentage as they did not allow Florida Gulf Coast to take the lead in this set.
Kentucky tried to make a run late in the stanza, but just couldn’t hold off the Eagles. Florida Gulf Coast was able to close out the third set winning 26-24 with a kill after UK fought off three set points before succumbing late.
The Wildcats got off to a strong start going on a 4-0 run to go up 9-7 forcing FGCU to call a timeout. Kentucky did not let up their offensive pressure winning seven of eight points going on another 4-0 run to take 16-10 lead. A Kendyl Paris block and an attack error by FGCU concluded the fourth set with Kentucky taking the win. The Cats were able to hold FGCU to a .144 hitting percentage all match long.