Skinner Wins 100th Match in UK Sweep of Auburn
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky head coach Craig Skinner tallied his 100th career victory in a 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-11) UK sweep of Auburn Friday night in front of 1,411 fans in Memorial Coliseum.
Skinner becomes the fastest to 100 career wins (100-41) in school history. The 10th-ranked Wildcats (16-1, 6-0) helped their coach achieve the feat in stylish fashion hitting for a season-high .424 clip with a staggering 50 kills in a three-set match.
Juniors Sarah Mendoza and Lauren Rapp led the offensive output with 13 and 11 kills, respectively to lead all scorers. Sophomores Gretchen Giesler and Ann Armes chipped in with seven apiece and classmate Becky Pavan tallied five. Senior setter Sarah Rumely dished out 42 assists on the night while also adding a season-high six kills.
Kentucky defensively, registered nine blocks on the night led by Giesler who matched a career-high effort with seven stuffs. Rumely posted five rejections in her all-around effort. Mendoza led the way in the back line just narrowly missing a double-double with nine digs.
"I was very impressed with our offense tonight, Sarah Rumely did a tremendous job of distributing the ball," said Skinner. "There was a lot of balance in what we did. Auburn is a good offensive team and we had trouble stopping them at times, but it was a solid effort all the way around for us in getting this win."
The Blue and White began the match with a solid opening effort hitting for a .406 percentage with 15 kills. Rapp paced the opening stanza with five kills to get things started.
UK opened the match by taking the first point off of a Mendoza kill. Auburn stayed close throughout the early stages of the match going toe-to-toe with UK's sizzling offense. With the score tied at 11, Kentucky broke the tie with three consecutive points beginning with another Mendoza kill. Mendoza and Giesler teamed up for a block with Rumely finishing off the run with one of her six kills. UK rolled from that point on never allowing Auburn to get closer than two points at 14-12. Kentucky finished the set on a kill to take the first stanza 25-18.
Pavan ignited the second set with a powerful slam to give the Blue and White an early lead, but Auburn would fire back immediately and take a 6-3 edge. Three consecutive points from kills off the hands of Armes, Pavan and Mendoza knotted the score at six apiece. Kentucky would trail only one more time the rest of the set at 13-12, before another rally gave the home team the lead for good. Much like the opening play, Pavan gave UK the 2-0 lead with a kill marking a 25-20 set two victory.
Kentucky torched Auburn with a .441 hitting percentage and 18 kills. Pavan had five kills with Rapp tallying four in the stanza. Rumely dished out 17 assists in the frame to maintain the balanced attack.
A defensive effort allowed Kentucky to score the opening point for the third consecutive set when Pavan and Rapp teamed up for a block. After Auburn tied the score at three apiece, Mendoza hammered down a kill and the Wildcats dominated from that point on. UK used a .424 attack percentage while limiting Auburn to a .000 hitting percentage. The Tigers committed seven hitting errors with UK turning back five blocks. Mendoza led the attack with seven kills to pace the offense.
UK returns to action on Sunday in a Dig for the Cure match against Georgia. The match is set for a 1:30 p.m. ET start and will be aired live on CWKYT (Lexington - Channel 5). The match can also be seen on tape delay on Fox Sports South on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. ET.
Fans are encouraged to wear pink in helping UK raise awareness for breast cancer. The first 100 fans will receive a free Dig for the Cure t-shirt.
Students will have an opportunity to obtain a wristband for the men's basketball Student Only Practice on Oct. 23. The first 500 students may obtain a wristband at UK's volleyball match with Georgia on Sunday.
Stay tuned to UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date news, highlights and features from the Kentucky volleyball team.
Article courtesy of Kentucky Athletics