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Grome’s 44 Assists Guide No. 16 Kentucky to Four-Set Win

photo by UK Athletics - Eddie Justice

Wildcats win 3-1 behind Grome and Goetzinger

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – October 23, 2022

The No. 16 Kentucky Volleyball team was down two starters Sunday afternoon, but battled to knock off Texas A&M in College Station 3-1 (19-25, 25-16, 25-22, 26-24) as Emma Grome dished out 44 assists and Elise Goetzinger had 11 kills and two blocks in the match.

Adanna Rollins led the Kentucky offense with 15 kills on 46 swings and two blocks that were critical to Kentucky’s 11 blocks in the match as a team. Rollins also had a new career-high 17 digs in the match.

Elise Goetzinger had 11 kills in the match, which was second-most for Kentucky as she also had two blocks and three digs. Goetzinger also was credited with an assists, but more importantly, served out an ace on match point at 25-24 of the fourth set as UK booked its seventh Southeastern Conference win of the season.

Emma Grome continued to dish out tremendous matches as she logged 44 assists with three kills and two blocks, including a solo stuff at the net. The Loveland, Ohio native had 15 digs as she recorded her seventh double-double of the year.

Kentucky with Sunday’s result improves to 12-6 overall on the 2022 season and sits in a three-way tie for first place in the Southeastern Conference with a 7-2 SEC record. Texas A&M with the loss falls to 11-10 and is 3-7 in league play.

Both Reagan Rutherford and Audrey Whitworth were medically unavailable for the match Sunday.

Kentucky will take the week off before playing Auburn on Saturday and Sunday of next weekend inside Memorial Coliseum.

The win was the 1,000th win in Kentucky Volleyball history.

Set One

Kentucky started brighter in the opening set, jetting out to a 10-8 lead with big kills from Azhani Tealer and Adanna Rollins on the pins to keep the Aggies at bay. After TAMU took its first lead of the set at 13-12, the Aggies went on an 8-1 run and took a commanding 22-15 lead late which prompted Kentucky into calling its second timeout of the set, down seven. Kentucky fought off three set points at 24-17, 24-18 and 24-19 before the Aggies called a timeout to talk things over and took the set on the next point to close out the opening frame. Kentucky hit just .049 in the set with only 11 kills on 41 swings. The defense for UK was strong, with 21 digs as TAMU hit just .167, but five kills from Logan Lednicky was enough.

Set Two

Kentucky got off to another good start in the second set, taking an 8-3 lead to push the Aggies into an early timeout as the five-point cushion was its largest of the two-match series to that point. Texas A&M didn’t go away quietly as the Aggies won five of six points to cut what was a large Kentucky lead to just three at 14-11. Out of the timeout, Kentucky was able to get the rhythm in the attack going again, but more significantly, picked up its defense and got three stuff blocks in five plays to make it a 20-15 lead and Texas A&M called its final timeout trailing by five. Out of the stoppage, Kentucky won the next four points to arrive at set point, 24-15. An Aggie attack error ended the set and UK won the set, 25-16.

Set Three

Elise Goetzinger became a big factor in the match during set three, scoring five kills and a pair of blocks in the frame as Kentucky took a 2-1 lead thanks to a 25-22 third-set win. Kentucky took a five-point lead at 15-10 thanks to a 5-0 run after the score was 10-10 and no team had more than a one-point lead through the first 20 points of the frame. The Wildcats then extended a two-point lead back to five at 20-15 as the Aggies were forced into calling their final timeout of the set down five. A kill by Bella Bell made it a 21-16 lead and after TAMU cut the Kentucky lead to two at 21-19, Kentucky called its final timeout. Out of the break, a huge pass by Haley Melby and overpass kill by Adanna Rollins, her 11th of the match, made it a 23-21 lead for the Wildcats. A kill by Rollins ended the set and Kentucky took a 25-22 frame to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

Set Four

The fourth set started on choppier waters for the Wildcats, who fell behind 6-3 through the opening nine points with two service errors and an attacking error contributing to the cause. Kentucky then gathered itself and won five of the next six points to give itself an 8-7 lead and the lead ballooned to three points after a 4-0 run and Texas A&M called its first timeout, trailing, 12-9. A few points later, a 4-0 run gave Texas A&M the lead back and Kentucky was forced into a timeout with TAMU leading by one at 14-13. Kentucky pulled ahead to a 20-18 lead and A&M used its final timeout. Kentucky arrived at match point thanks to a Haley Melby stuff block and an ace ended the match from Elise Goetsinger.

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