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Five-Set Victory Gives Kentucky VB Fifth-Straight Win

Ian Alvano10/09/22


Article written by:On3 imageIan Alvano
On3 image
Photo by Tommy Quarles | UK Athletics

That’s a new season-long winning streak for the No. 19 Kentucky Wildcats volleyball team. The win on Saturday night over Arkansas moves Kentucky to 10-5 (5-1 in SEC) on the year. Even more impressive was the fact that the Wildcats won their first five-set match of the year.

Kentucky now sits tied for first place in the SEC after its impressive run of late.

Let the Marathon begin

You wouldn’t have thought that the match would go five sets after seeing the first set unfold.

Kentucky had opportunities to win the first set, five of them actually. Five set points went to waste before Arkansas would capitalize and ultimately finish off the set. Reagan Rutherford had five kills to help the ‘Cats after the first.

Losing the first set might’ve been what Kentucky needed as they responded perfectly in the consecutive sets.

Azhani Tealer made her second-straight start after a shoulder injury had her sidelined leading up to the weekend series. She added a crucial block late in the second to give Kentucky a six-point lead. Eleanor Beavin also was crucial for the ‘Cats, adding a couple of service aces on the offensive end.

Rutherford and Tealer kept Kentucky firing on all cylinders with important contributions in the third set. Emma Grome was also vital for the ‘Cats adding a block and multiple assists. Grome finished the match with a career-high 63 assists.

Tealer added a late kill which put Kentucky up 23-20 and was enough for the ‘Cats to take the set 25-21, leading the match 2-1.

Just hold on we’re going home

With their backs against the wall, Arkansas stayed alive and took the fourth set 25-21. The Razorbacks closed the set on a 9-4 run and the match was tied 2-2.

Rutherford and Tealer had two huge blocks early in the fifth. Tealer’s block put Kentucky up 6-4. Arkansas was able to tie the set 8-8 later, but Bella Bell’s kill put the ‘Cats back up 9-8.

Tealer grabbed her 18th kill of the evening and sealed the victory for Kentucky.

The Wildcats will be back in Lexington for the first time in over a week when Ole Miss comes to town. Kentucky will take on the Rebels Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 8 p.m. EST. Craig Skinner’s squad will be looking for their sixth win in a row after a productive road sweep of Arkansas at the weekend.

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