OXFORD, Miss. -- In another excellent defensive outing, the No. 21 Kentucky Wildcat volleyball team earned its second sweep of the weekend, 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-23), this time over the Ole Miss Rebels on Sunday afternoon at the Gillom Sports Center in Oxford, Miss.
The Wildcat team continued to hang its hat on outstanding defensive performance. Following a 14-block performance at Alabama on Friday, the Wildcats tallied 13 rejections in the three-set win. The team also had 37 digs in the outing, while holding Ole Miss to .117 hitting on the day. The .117 hitting percentage is the second lowest percentage the Wildcats have held an opponent to this season - UK held South Carolina to just .098 in their Southeastern Conference opener.
"Yet again, our defense was a big factor in the match," 11th-season head coach Craig Skinner said on the match with Ole Miss. "It's always difficult to win on the road, and they put a lot of pressure on us in the third set and our team responded. Darian [Mack] had a big day offensively and Brooke [Morgan] had a couple of big kills for us at the end. Kaz [Brown] had another 10-block night and it was a big reason we were successful today."
"I was also proud of the way we served," Skinner added. "We've made our serving a point of emphasis, and with six aces as a team, we're excited to see it paying off."
Kentucky advances to 15-6 on the season with a 7-1 in SEC play. Ole Miss is now 18-6 on the season while going 4-5 in the league. Kentucky resumes conference play on Friday, Oct. 30, when the Cats host Texas A&M in Memorial Coliseum.
Sophomore Kaz Brown paced Kentucky's defense at the net with a match-high 10 blocks on the day while adding five kills. Freshman Brooke Morgan notched six rejections in the match with a team-second eight kills.
Sophomore Darian Mack paced the UK offense with a match-high 14 kills on 27 swings for .357 hitting. Junior outside Anni Thomasson added eight kills, seven digs, and two blocks. Senior setter Morgan Bergren guided the offense to .274 hitting with 34 assists, while tacking on two kills of her own and four blocks. Sophomore middle Emily Franklin had three kills, two aces, and two blocks.
Sophomore libero Ashley Dusek once again served as a defensive stalwart, registering 14 digs and adding three service aces in the match. Freshman Olivia Daily served as a defensive specialist for the second game in a row, providing six digs and an ace during the three sets.