No. 16 Kentucky VB Swept in SEC Play for First Time Since 2017


Despite 13 kills from Reagan Rutherford, the No. 12 Kentucky Volleyball team was swept for the first time in Southeastern Conference play since 2017 on Saturday afternoon, suffering a 3-0 loss (25-23, 27-25, 25-20) to Texas A&M inside Reed Arena.

Rutherford led the Wildcats with 13 kill on the afternoon, the only UK player to eclipse the double-digit win plateau on the afternoon. Azhani Tealer had nine kills on 20 swings and UK hit .203 for the match, a new season low for a conference match.

Texas A&M never led by more than five points in a set until the third, but Kentucky only led for a total of 13 points in the entire match as it lost just its second SEC road match since 2017.

The series concludes Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. ET on ESPNU. 

Set One

Set one was close throughout as Kentucky and Texas A&M played the entire frame within a five-point window as no team garnered more than a three-point lead the whole way. The largest lead for Kentucky came at 16-14, but the Aggies used the next stanza of points to take an 18-16 lead and UK called its first timeout. Texas A&M took a 24-22 lead and after UK sided out, a kill by Elena Karakasi ended the set as Texas A&M hit .275 to take a 1-0 lead with five kills from Madison Bowser to lead the way. Kentucky hit .200 in the frame with four kills from Adanna Rollins and 12 assists from Emma Grome. UK never trailed by more than three points the entire set, but never led by more than two.

Set Two

Set two again came down to the wire, as a challenge review that was upheld ended up deciding the final point of the frame with Texas A&M winning, 27-25. It was the sixth time this season in a set that Kentucky has had a set point, and ultimately ended up losing the set. The Wildcats trailed 8-3 but rallied to take the lead at 17-16 and won three-straight points to make it 19-16 and force the Aggies into a timeout. Kentucky allowed Texas A&M to creep back into the set with critical kills from the pins and after UK took a 22-20 lead, TAMU won five of the next eight points to set up its first set point at 25-24. After Kentucky sided out, the Aggies converted on an ace to win the set and took a 2-0 lead in the match on the Wildcats – the first SEC team to do so this season.

Set Three

Kentucky fell behind early in the third set and was unable to make up the deficit all evening. The Aggies arrived at set point with a 24-18 lead and despite two points from the Wildcats, a kill from Texas A&M’s Logan Lednicky ended the match, her ninth of the match.

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Chris Shoals