Road-weary Gators swept by Kentucky

Kentucky Wildcats outside hitter Leah Edmond tips the ball past two Florida Gators defenders on Wednesday, Sept. 28 in Gainesville.

Matt Stamey/staff photographer
Published: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at 11:42 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at 11:42 p.m.

Take a tired Florida volleyball team and mix in a fired-up squad from Kentucky and the result was a 3-0 Wildcat victory Wednesday night at the Lemerand Athletic Center.

The visitors took it to UF from the outset and made all the big plays in throttling the Gators, dropping them to 12-2 on the season and 2-1 in Southeastern Conference play while improving to 10-4 and remaining unbeaten in the SEC with a 3-0 league record.

The Wildcats won by scores of 25-17, 25-18 and 25-23.

“Kentucky played great. Give them all the credit in the world,” UF coach Mary Wise said. “They played so well, and we didn't really have an answer. We thought it could happen, and just the road caught up with us.

“Our players are just spent. We were concerned that it would happen, and thought if we could just sneak this one out. But Kentucky was too good.”

Florida's lone senior, right-side hitter Alex Holston, had a solid night, leading the Gators with 15 kills and hitting a team-high .400 while adding five digs, but she had little help.

As a team, the Gators only hit .128, were out-blocked 11-6, were out-dug 41-36 and gave up four service aces while recording none.

Outside hitter Leah Edmond, a freshman who was averaging a team-best 3.91 kills per set, paced the Wildcats with 19 kills, just one shy of her career-high, while hitting .325.

Middle blocker Kaz Brown added nine kills while hitting .444 and fellow junior Emily Franklin chimed in with seven kills and a team-high .462 hitting mark as UK captured the only regular-season meeting between the two teams.

“We always know Kentucky is going to play great against us,” Holston said. “They're a great team. They came out with a lot of fire tonight. All credit goes to them for sure, but I think we did make a lot of our own errors. That's a learning experience, and that's something we can take away from this match.”

Next up, UF will host SEC foe Tennessee Sunday at noon.

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