Kentucky Falls to Creighton Despite Skinner’s 14 kills
LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the first time in 59 matches dating back to opening weekend of 2019, the Kentucky Volleyball team was swept, as the Creighton BlueJays pulled off a third-set comeback to down UK 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 27-25) on Saturday morning inside Memorial Coliseum.
Kentucky will conclude the Bluegrass Battle on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. ET against Southern California.
Madi Skinner led all Wildcats with 14 kills, hitting .244 in the match. She was the only Wildcat player to hit double figures, the first time that has happened to the potent UK offense all season long.
Creighton hit .297 as a team and was led by 18 kills from Jaela Zimmerman and 16 terminations from Norah Sis. The BlueJays had 10 blocks in the match. Azhani Tealer and Madi Skinner both had four blocks to lead the Wildcats.
The loss also snaps UK’s winning streak dating back to 2020-21 at 12, in what was the nation’s longest run of matches won.
Creighton took advantage of uncharacteristic mistakes from the Wildcats in the opening parts of the first set, as a blocking error let the Blue Jays saw an 11-7 lead and UK called its first timeout of the frame trailing by its largest deficit of the season at four points. Three kills in a row from Madi Skinner on the left pin got the Kentucky offense back in order and Creighton used its first timeout with UK closing the deficit from 14-7 to 14-11. Kentucky got a challenge to go its way to cut the lead to 18-14, but Creighton ended up taking the set, 25-19.UK hit a season-low .191 in the frame with four errors while Creighton was efficient, hitting .372 with 19 kills against the Wildcat defense.
After Kentucky had a majority of the lead in the early parts of the second, but a 4-0 run midway through by the Blue Jays forced the Wildcats into their first timeout with UK trailing, 12-9. Reagan Rutherford’s fourth kill of the match put Kentucky on a 3-1 run and Creighton called its first timeout with the set tied 14-14. The Blue Jays rallied to survive a challenge and won four of the final five points to take a two sets to none lead with a 25-22 second frame success. UK hit .158 in the set, as the CU defense continued to cause problems for the Kentucky offense and nine kills from Madi Skinner was the leading number for the UK offense as the match progressed through two sets.
Creighton was off and running in the early stanza of the third set, taking seven of the first nine points of the set and forcing UK into an early timeout. The Blue Jays ran their lead up to 12-5 and the seven-point lead was the largest of the set. Kentucky began to chip away slowly and tied the set at 19-19 after an illegal contact was called on Creighton’s setter. A block by Azhani Tealer pushed Kentucky into the lead for the first time all match and then a thunderous overpass was obliterated by Tealer to make it 21-19 Kentucky and Creighton burned its final timeout. UK’s lead was expanded to 23-20 on a kill by Madi Skinner but Creighton ran off three points in a row to make it 23-23 and Kentucky called its final timeout. After it was 25-25, Creighton won two points in a row to make it final, closing by winning four of the final six points in the match to close it out.
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