NCAA women's volleyball: Kentucky rallies to win five-set battle with LSU
BATON ROUGE, La. – The No. 6 Kentucky volleyball team completed a comeback from down 2-0 to beat LSU, 3-2, inside the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on Friday night. With the win, Kentucky improves to 18-2 and 9-0 in the Southeastern Conference, while LSU falls to 16-5 and 6-3 in the league.
"We need to be in situations like that and must know what that feels like," head coach Craig Skinner said. "Each time you're able to come back when you're not playing well and pull out a win on the road adds another layer of confidence. None of us want to play like we did the first set but it happens. It happens to the best teams in the country and anybody who plays volleyball."
It was an intense one at LSU tonight. pic.twitter.com/7GojunUc6e— Kentucky Volleyball (@KentuckyVB) October 28, 2017
The Wildcats were led on offense by five players with double-digit kills. Sophomore Leah Edmond led the way with 14, while seniors Kaz Brown, Emily Franklin and Darian Mack and freshman Avery Skinner each posted 10. Kentucky hit .199 as a team.
"I think we all had to wipe out those first two sets," Edmond said. "We had to focus on our side –not the errors – and keep going and making adjustments, like keeping balls in."
Kentucky recorded 14 blocks in the match. Franklin paced the Cats with eight stuffs, tying her season high. Mack had six blocks, including one solo stuff, which tied her career high. Edmond tied her season high as well with five, while Brown produced four. Skinner had one solo block and one block assist, while freshman Madison Lilley also had one.
"In our talks in the huddle, we just had to embrace the challenge," Mack said. "We've been put in situations like this in practice. We just had to remind ourselves that we've been here before and we can pull it out, we just have to take it one point at a time."
Lilley had 47 assists in the match and helped the Cats produce 58 kills as a team. She now has 12 matches in her career with 40 or more assists, and was one dig short of a double-double with nine.
Serving played a major role in the comeback. Lilley and Edmond each had two aces, while Franklin, freshman Gabby Curry, senior Ashley Dusek junior McKenzie Watson and senior Harper Hempel all had one. Hempel's won the match in the fifth set.
Curry led the way in digs at 14, while Dusek had 12.