No. 10 Kentucky Upset by Colorado State on Opening Night, 3-1
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The No. 10 Kentucky Volleyball team fell victim to 13 service errors and was held under .300 attacking by the Colorado State Rams, as CSU took the opening-night match in Fort Collins, 3-1 (29-27, 25-19, 20-25, 25-18) in front of 7,687 fans at Moby Arena.
Kentucky will face Northern Colorado on Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN+ to complete its Rocky Mountain road trip to open the season.
It was Colorado State that had the early edge during the first few points, earning the opening point of the match on its serve following that up with three in a row to take the early edge. Kentucky got back into system and took its first lead at 5-4 on a kill from Erin Lamb on the left side as the two would trade the lead for the next several points. CSU used a bevy of Kentucky attack errors to take its largest lead of the day at 14-10 and UK called its first timeout. Led by back-to-back kills from Elise Goetzinger out of the middle, Kentucky clawed back into the frame and a kill from Reagan Rutherford made it 19-18 CSU with the Rams using their first timeout following the kill from Rutherford. Kentucky fended off three set points to force a deuce game and even had a set point after an Azhani Tealer kill at 27-26, but Colorado State called a timeout and won all three points after to grab the opening set.
Colorado State got out of the gates quick again in the second, hitting .700 in the first 20 points of the frame and ballooned its lead to 19-14 and the Rams ran away with the set, taking it 25-20.
The third set was the only set the Wildcats were able to win Friday night, taking it 25-20. Kentucky got off to a strong start in the set with a 5-3 lead behind kills from Megan Wilson and Elise Goetzinger before a 7-0 Ram run made things turn in the green favor for CSU as the Wildcats called timeout with a 13-10 deficit staring themselves in the face. Kentucky chipped away and finally took the lead at 17-16 following an unsuccessful challenge from the Rams and then a 4-2 run by the Wildcats to close out the set gave UK a breath of life, as the Wildcats trailed, 2-1.
Colorado State again had the stronger of the two starts in the fourth set, with a 7-2 lead early on in the frame and forcing the Wildcats into a timeout. The Ram lead doubled and the Wildcats couldn’t catch up even though UK cut the lead to 19-15 later in the set. CSU ran out the clock on the Wildcats with a 25-17 win in the fourth and took the opening-night win.
Stat That Matters
12-2. The Rams had a 12-2 edge in blocks Friday night.
Colorado State jumping out to a 7-2 lead in the fourth set was the key moment in the match, as the home crowd was able to steal back the momentum that the Wildcats had generated by winning the third, and UK was forced into a timeout.
Elise Goetzinger was the key player in the match, netting a team-high and career-high 15 kills on 30 swings with a block sprinkled in, as well.
Kentucky Volleyball in Rupp Arena
UK Athletics announced earlier this spring that Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center will serve as the primary home venue for the Kentucky gymnastics, volleyball and women’s basketball teams for the 2023-24 season while Memorial Coliseum undergoes an $82 million renovation.
For the latest on UK Volleyball, follow the Wildcats on Twitter and Instagram at @KentuckyVB.