Freshman Emma Grome with 32 assists
DAYTON, Ohio – August 26, 2021
Senior outside hitter Alli Stumler logged a match-high 14 kills and freshman setter Emma Grome netted 32 assists as the No. 3 Kentucky Volleyball team stormed past Texas State, 3-0 (25-18, 25-7, 25-15) in three sets Friday morning inside the Frericks Center in Dayton, Ohio.
UK hit .407 in the match behind freshman Emma Grome pulling the strings, but it was the defense that told the story with Texas State held to a .012 hitting percentage and only 21 kills in the entire match. Sophomore libero Riah Walker had 13 digs in the match to lead all Wildcats, as freshman Eleanor Beavin tallied double-digit kills, as well, with 11.
Offensively it was Stumler’s 14 kills that told the story as Reagan Rutherford added in a career-high tying nine kills and sophomore Madi Skinner collected eight terminations.
At the net, Azhani Tealer made her presence known by netting six blocks to lead all UK players and Rutherford added in four, as well.
Kentucky will now take the afternoon off before facing the host Dayton Flyers at 7 p.m. ET on Friday night.
Thanks to two early kills from Reagan Rutherford, Kentucky jetted out to a fast start, winning the first five points and led 5-0 in the earlygoing. A huge block on the right side from Madi Skinner and Emme Grome put the punctuation mark on a 3-0 UK run as the Wildcats’ lead ballooned to 13-6 and Texas State called its first timeout of the set trailing by seven. The Bobcats ran off five in a row and cut the Kentucky lead to just two at 15-13 and UK called its first timeout of the set leading by its smallest margin at 15-13. Azhani Tealer and Alli Stumler had a huge block, again on the left side, with UK putting the hammer down late in the set, and leading 20-15. Texas State followed by calling a timeout and trailed 22-16. An ace from Tealer ended the set with UK taking it, 25-18. UK held Texas State to .111 in the frame as Skinner and Stumler both had four kills in the frame. Grome had 10 assists and Riah Walker led UK with six digs.
The second set brought another good early start for UK with a 6-1 lead inside of the first seven points of the frame. UK ran it up to 8-1 by winning seven points in a row thanks to a block by Goetzinger and then it was 9-1 before the Bobcats could blink after a kill by Stumler, her team-high fifth of the match. UK ended up running off 13 points in a row to take a 13-1 lead before TXST broke the streak on a kill. The lead continued to climb in the second set with UK’s offense climbing to a .712 hitting percentage and Grome dishing out 10 assists inside of the first 16 points of the set. UK closed out the set in 16 minutes to take the set, 25-7. UK hit over .600 in the set and led two sets to none.
Stumler’s team-high 12th and 13th kills of the match gave the Wildcats the first degree of separation in the third as UK took a 9-6 lead in the third. The UK lead grew to six at 19-13 thanks to a joust at the net win by Emma Grome and the Bobcats took their first timeout of the set trailing by six. A kill by freshman Erin Lamb, in her first-career point, ended the match as Kentucky won the third set, 25-15.