UK volleyball wins 6th-straight SEC title
The Kentucky volleyball team (20-7, 15-3 SEC) swept South Carolina 3-0 (25-21, 29-27, 25-16) on Saturday afternoon inside Memorial Coliseum to claim its sixth-straight Southeastern Conference volleyball championship.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The Kentucky volleyball team (20-7, 15-3 SEC) swept South Carolina 3-0 (25-21, 29-27, 25-16) on Saturday afternoon inside Memorial Coliseum to claim its sixth-straight Southeastern Conference volleyball championship.
According to UK Athletics, Senior Azhani Tealer once again led the way for the Wildcats, hammering home 16 kills on a .520 hitting percentage. She also contributed two blocks. Two other Wildcats also had double-digit kills, as Adanna Rollins and Reagan Rutherford each had 11 terminations. Rollins padded the stat sheet with eight digs, six blocks, and an ace. Rutherford also added four digs and a block.
As a team, Kentucky’s offense fired on all cylinders Saturday afternoon. Emma Grome dished out 44 assists and ran the offense to the tune of a .366 hitting percentage. The Wildcats registered 50 kills in just three sets, marking just the fourth time the Wildcats eclipsed the half-century mark in a sweep this season. In addition to the double-digit trio of Tealer, Rollins, and Rutherford, Erin Lamb contributed six kills, while Elise Goetzinger and Bella Bell had four and two, respectively.
The Wildcat defense was paced by Eleanor Beavin who added 16 digs to her stat column. As a team, Kentucky racked up 42 digs, nine blocks, seven aces, and held the Gamecocks to a .184 hitting percentage for the match.
While Kentucky now has already clinched a share of the regular-season title, a Florida loss at Ole Miss later Saturday evening would mean the Wildcats would clinch the championship outright. If Florida wins in Oxford tonight, the SEC will declare the Wildcats and the Gators co-champions. Because the two teams split their head-to-head meeting in Gainesville, the league would use the secondary tiebreaker of head-to-head points scored to award the automatic qualifier for the NCAA Tournament. The Gators hold that advantage 139-136.
Kentucky now improves to 20-7 on the year, including a 15-3 record in Southeastern Conference play. The 2022 season marks the 12th-straight season of 20 wins or more for the program and the 15th such season in the 18-year tenure of head coach Craig Skinner.
The Wildcats now await the decision of the NCAA selection committee before knowing their next match. Selections, including host sites, seeded teams and first-round matchups will be announced during the 2022 NCAA Volleyball Selection Special, which will air on Sunday, November 27th at 7:30 pm ET. It will be televised on ESPN2 and streamed live on the ESPN app.
SEC awards including All-SEC, All-Freshman, player of the year, coach of the year and libero of the year will be announced Sunday afternoon by the league office.
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