Wildcats improve to 18-1 on the season in win
LEXINGTON, Ky. – March 24, 2021
The No. 3 Kentucky Volleyball team got 15 digs from senior libero Gabby Curry and 13 kills from outside hitter Alli Stumler in a 3-0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-17) sweep of the Alabama Crimson Tide on Wednesday night in Memorial Coliseum.
UK was in control of all three sets from beginning to end, only playing from behind for one point the entire match in the win. Kentucky’s win on Wednesday pushes its record to 18-1 on the season, continuing one of the best seasons in program history.
The Wildcats hit an impressive .419 in the match and also held the Tide to just .144 offensively as Kentucky was in control from start to finish. Curry’s 15 digs led the UK defense, but it was also four blocks from sophomore Azhani Tealer and three blocks from Madison Lilley at the net that contributed to the effort.
Lilley tallied another 35 assists to her name on Wednesday night as her senior season continues to unfold in dramatically impressive fashion, while she combined that number with eight digs and a season-high three service aces.
Kentucky will play its final home match of the 2020-21 season on Thursday night inside Memorial Coliseum against Alabama. The contest will be shown live on the SEC Network+, ESPN3 and the ESPN app with Dick Gabriel and Kathy DeBoer on the call from Lexington. Tickets are still available on UKathletics.com/tickets or by calling the UK Ticket Office.
Three kills each by Alli Stumler, Avery Skinner and Madi Skinner put the Wildcats ahead 15-10 at the media break of the opening set, as UK’s lead was as big as 10-5 at one point. Kentucky extended its lead to 18-11 on a pair of Skinner kills and that prompted Alabama into calling its first timeout of the set. With UK hitting over .400 at that point in the set, Stumler had two more kills and the Wildcats led by eight late at 23-15 as Bama called its second halt to action. An Alabama attack error ended the set and Kentucky closed out the opening frame, 25-18.Kentucky hit .375 in the set with five kills from Avery Skinner and Alli Stumler leading the way offensively. Alabama was held to under .150 on offense as Curry and the UK back row stymied the Tide attack.
The first part of the second set was played within a four-point window as Kentucky raced out to a 4-0 lead before Alabama rattled off five in a row. Azhani Tealer went on a 6-0 service run to catapult the Kentucky offense to a 13-7 lead and create the first bit of separation in the frame. Back-to-back kills by Stumler and Tealer prompted Alabama’s second timeout with UK leading, 21-12, four points from the finish line. Kentucky hit .448 in the set, and Stumler crept into double figures with 10 kills as the set closed and Kentucky took a 2-0 lead with a 10-point edge at 25-15.
A run of serves by Madison Lilley opened the UK lead in the final set, as she ran off six in a row to put Kentucky up double-digits at 13-3 before Alabama called its first timeout of the set. At that point, UK was holding Alabama to -.077 hitting in the frame as Curry was eating up everything on the floor as she had 13 digs. UK’s lead ballooned to 21-11 later in the set as Avery Skinner got herself into double figures with her 10th kill of the match and Kentucky was able to see things out from there to take the final set, 25-17.