Skinners net 22 kills in 3-0 win over Rebels
LEXINGTON, Ky. – March 12, 2021
Senior outside hitter Avery Skinner pounded 12 kills, and her sister, freshman Madi Skinner, slammed 10 terminations to the floor to defeat the Ole Miss Rebels in No 3. Kentucky’s 3-0 sweep (25-21, 25-17, 25-11) in Memorial Coliseum on Friday night.
M. Skinner reached double figures in kills this season for the second time with her 10 kills, while also contributing two of Kentucky’s 16 blocks on the night against Ole Miss. Redshirt freshman Bella Bell also set a career high of five blocks and contributed three kills to Kentucky’s team’s 41 on the night.
Kentucky started out slow until the back half of the first set when Avery Skinner’s kill propelled the Wildcats into the lead at 19-18. The second set mirrored the first, with Ole Miss coming out of the gates strong, before the Wildcats seized control midway through and took the frame, 25-17. In the third, it was all Kentucky, as UK was able to pull away from the get-go and dominated the remaining parts of the set to wrap up the match in straight sets, 25-11.
Saturday will be the conclusion of the UK/Ole Miss series, as the two teams will play at 5 p.m. ET. The match will be shown on the SEC Network+, ESPN3 and the ESPN app with Dick Gabriel and Kathy DeBoer on the call from Lexington.
Saturday will also be Senior Day in Memorial Coliseum as Kentucky will honor its four seniors, Madison Lilley, Gabby Curry, Kendyl Paris and Avery Skinner before the match.
Tickets are available for Saturday’s match and both of UK’s final schedule home matches vs. Alabama at UKathletics.com.
Kentucky is now 15-0 on the season, continuing to wave the flag as the only remaining undefeated team in the Southeastern Conference in 2020-21. With its 15-0 record, UK retains its two-game lead over Florida in the SEC championship standings as the race comes down to the final few weeks.
The lead switched hands greatly in the first set, as Ole Miss and Kentucky played the first half of the set within a four-point window. The Rebels took a 15-14 lead into the media timeout of the first set with UK hitting just .211 at that point in the set. Ole Miss took a two-point lead at 18-16 before the Wildcats won three in a row and Ole Miss called a timeout with UK leading 19-18. Kentucky then began to create separation with the Rebels, leading by as many as three late before clinching the set on match point to take the opening set, 25-21. UK hit .267 in the set with Avery Skinner leading the way on three kills. Ole Miss was held to .161 offensively and had 13 kills as a team.
Kentucky came out much more aggressive in the second set, edging the Rebels with a 10-7 lead in the frame, prompting an Ole Miss timeout. Kentucky’s fifth team block was a dual stuff at the net by Azhani Tealer and Madi Skinner as the Wildcats went up 15-9, its largest lead in the match to that point. With Kentucky’s offense clicking at a .464 pace in the second set, Bella Bell had two critical kills to keep UK’s scoring stretch alive and UK gained separation to take a 23-14 lead. Following the second Rebels timeout of the set, a kill from the right side by Madi Skinner and an error on a serve gave UK the second frame, 25-17.
Paced by kills from Alli Stumler and Avery Skinner, Kentucky had its best start to a set in the third frame. The Wildcats raced out to a 9-4 lead, and quickly the Rebels were forced into a timeout. At the point of the timeout, Stumler was up to eight kills, one behind Avery Skinner’s nine for the game. After winning seven points in a row, Kentucky’s lead increased to 17-6, and the Rebels called their final timeout. Kentucky ran away and hid in the final stanza of the match to wrap up the match in straight sets, 25-11.