Emma Grome Nets 3,000th-Career Assist in 3-1 Win at Mizzou
COLUMBIA, Mo. – The No. 21 Kentucky Volleyball team won its third Southeastern Conference match in a row Friday night, as it knocked off the Missouri Tigers 3-1 (25-19, 25-21, 23-25, 26-24) inside the Hearnes Center and setter Emma Grome logged her 3,000th-career assist in the process during the victory.
Eleanor Beavin had a standout match, as well, with 23 digs for the junior libero from Louisville and there were four UK players with double-figure kills in the match paced by Brooklyn DeLeye’s 18 terminations. The Wildcats hit .344 as a team and with Friday’s win improve to 6-7 on the season overall and are now in a tie for second place in the SEC with a 4-1 league record.
UK will play the Ole Miss Rebels on Sunday afternoon inside Rupp Arena at 1:30 p.m. ET for a match broadcasted live on the SEC Network+ and the ESPN app.
Missouri dominated the play out of the gates in the opening set, hitting .714 through the first 17 points of the match and taking an early 11-6 lead on the Wildcats before UK was forced into an early timeout down by five points, the highest of any point in the set. A 7-0 Kentucky run followed and bookending two Mizzou timeouts, UK took its first lead at 17-16 and expanded he lead to 20-17. UK’s offense took control with Megan Wilson, Azhani Tealer and Brooklyn DeLeye all having five kills to lead a balanced attack and Kentucky took the opening set, 25-19.
Elise Goetzinger’s seventh kill of the night gave Kentucky a 15-12 lead at the media timeout of the second set, matching its largest lead of the frame to that point. After the Tigers cut the lead to one with back-to-back points, UK stood tall and won two in a row thanks to a kill from Jordyn Williams on a quick out of the middle and a Mizzou attack error to make things 18-15 UK, as Mizzou asked for its first timeout of the frame. Kentucky cruised through the middle part of the set and arrived at set point with a 24-19 lead. On UK’s third set point. It was Elise Goetzinger who put away match point to the cross court and gave Kentucky its second 2-0 lead in as many matches. Kentucky never trailed in the set from beginning to end.
It was Missouri controlling things in the third set, as the Tigers won a challenge on the first point of the set, getting a touch off the block through replay and running their lead to as many as three at 8-5 and then again at 15-12 going into the media timeout of the set. A kill by Emma Grome on a two chute tied the set at 16-16 and Mizzou opted for its first timeout of the set followed by an ace from Brooklyn DeLeye out of the stoppage to give UK its first lead of the set since it was 3-2. Mizzou re-took the lead at 23-22 and then won their first set point at 24-23 to send the match to a fourth set.
After having just one block through the first three sets, Kentucky put together back-to-back stuffs on the right pin with Megan Wilson, Jordyn Williams and Emma Grome all getting in on the action and pushing Kentucky to a 15-13 lead at the media timeout after trailing a majority of the opening parts of the set. What was a five-point lead after Kentucky ballooned its advantage to 21-16 was cut to two as the Tigers went on a 3-0 run and pushed UK into its first called timeout. Mizzou won three of four points to get the crowd back into it and a backrow miscommunication led to Missouri tying the set at 23-23 and Kentucky called its final timeout. Out of the stoppage, Missouri committed a service error as the serve floated long and Kentucky picked up match point at 24-23 with UM calling its final timeout after the error. Emma Grome put a service ace into the corner to win the match, 26-24 in the fourth set.
Stat That Matters
- Kentucky had four players with 10+ kills in the match.
The third point of the match saw Kentucky get its first point of the match, and it was an Azhani Tealer kill that was assisted by Emma Grome, marking her 3,000th career assist. She is now one of eight players to achieve that in Kentucky history.
Eleanor Beavin was the key player, as she had 23 digs in the match Friday evening.
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.