The Kentucky volleyball team fell to Washington 3-0 (21-25, 11-25, 20-25) in the Alaska Airlines Arena on Saturday. The Huskies advance to the Sweet 16, where they will play Arizona in Lincoln, Nebraska.
“Credit Washington for the way they played tonight,” head coach Craig Skinner said. “I thought they played error free and didn’t make a whole lot of mistakes and we needed to create our own opportunities to score points. They won the serving battle tonight and created a lot of opportunities to score points.”
The Wildcats end the season with a 23-8 record, and finished second in the Southeastern Conference at 15-3. For the ninth time in ten seasons, UK reached the 20-win mark.
“It was a tough match, especially for our seniors that put so much into this program,” Skinner said.
Kentucky was paced on offense by Leah Edmond, who registered 11 kills on 31 swings. Junior Kaz Brown followed with 10 terminations on just 17 swings, good for a .588 attacking clip. Brown did not commit an error during the match.
Brown was good at the net is well, and she recorded one block solo and three block assists to lead the way. Edmond recorded two blocks, while junior Brooke Morgan and sophomore Olivia Dailey had one block.
SEC Libero of the Year Ashley Dusek hit double-digit digs once again, recording 12 digs during the match. Dusek had 10 or more digs in 29 matches this season. Sophomore McKenzie Watson followed with six scoops of her own.
Washington earned the first two points of the set. Edmond put UK on the board with a kill and Franklin tied the set with a service ace. After UW jumped out to a 6-3 lead, the set rocked back-and-forth the rest of the way. Kentucky pulled within two at 23-21 with a service error from the Huskies, but Washington would win the set 25-21.
The second set was all Washington. The Huskies recorded the first two points of the frame, starting a series of runs from UW. After a Dailey kill made the set 6-3 in the Huskies’ favor, UW went on a 6-0 run to gain a 12-3 advantage. UK called a timeout and got one point with an Edmond termination, but Washington pulled ahead at 15-4 and 21-5. Kentucky would gain five more points during the set and fall 25-10.
UW started the final set on a 4-0 run. A service error earned UK its first point of the set. Washington would go ahead 11-4, but Kentucky was able to chip away at the lead and pull within three at 17-14 with a Edmond hammer. Kentucky would keep that advantage steady but could come no closer. Washington won the match on a service error from Edmond and the set 25-20.
By the Numbers
.588 – Team-best attacking clip from Kaz Brown
2 – Number of players with double-digit kills (Leah Edmond, Kaz Brown)
29 – Number of matches of double-digit digs this season from Ashley Dusek
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