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    SEC Volleyball Today: Friday, October 25

    Friday Volleyball RESULTS
    Florida 3, Auburn 0
    Missouri 3, LSU 1
    Alabama 3, Georgia 1
    Tennessee 3, South Carolina 0
    Kentucky 3, Mississippi State 0
    Texas A&M 3, Arkansas 1


    No. 5 Gator Volleyball Blanks Tigers for Seventh SEC Sweep of 2013

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Key play from Florida’s back row helped lead the No. 5 Gator volleyball team to a sweep over Auburn Friday evening (25-21, 25-16, 25-12) in front of an Orange and Blue-clad crowd of 2,525 at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center as the Orange and Blue added a seventh league sweep to its slate.

    Junior libero Taylor Unroe led the back-row charge for the Gators with 17 digs, while senior middle blocker Chloe Mann helped lead UF’s offensive efforts with a .562 clip, including nine kills, to rack up 10.5 points on the evening. Sophomore middle blocker Simone Antwi collected a team-high 14.0 points behind a team-best 11 kills, while sophomore outside hitter Živa Recek was two kills shy of a double-double with eight slams and 14 digs for UF.

    Quick Hits:

    ·         Florida’s sweep over Auburn marked the seventh match this season the Gators had a perfect serve-reception percentage

    ·         Chloe Mann hit .562 against the Tigers Friday, the 15th match of the season the Gator senior has hit about .500

    ·         Senior setter Taylor Brauneis and sophomore setter Mackenzie Dagostino combined for 27 assists on the night, as Brauneis directed the Gator offense in the first two stanzas and Dagostino took over the reins in set three

    ·         Sophomore Živa Recek had a season-high-tying 14 digs for UF, as the outside hitter last had 14 scoops against Kentucky two weeks ago. Recek chipped in eight kills and an assist  against AU

    ·         Juniors Holly Pole and Taylor Unroe combined for four service aces on the night, over half Florida’s total seven. Pole dished up two assists against Auburn, while Unroe collaborated for one on the night

    ·         Set point in both the first and second sets came from Gator aces, Unroe in set one and Brauneis in set two

    ·         Freshman Alex Holston notched a team-tying three blocks alongside Mann, while Brauneis and sophomore Simone Antwi had two stuffs each

    Missouri Volleyball Rides Defense, Kan’s Arm to 3-1 Win at LSU
    BATON ROUGE, La. – The Mizzou volleyball program improved to 24-0 and 8-0 in SEC play as it escaped LSU with a 3-1 (17-25, 25-17, 25-19, 25-21) win on Friday night (Oct. 25). Three Tigers tallied double-doubles in the win and the team collected a season-high 87 digs, led by a season-high 24 from junior libero Sarah Meister (San Diego, Calif.). Freshman Carly Kan (Honolulu, Hawaii) had a career-night, resetting her career-bests in kills with 24 and digs with 17. The win keeps Mizzou atop the SEC standings and as one of just two unbeaten teams nationally.

    “That was one of those matches that was just a battle,” head coach Wayne Kreklow said. “It’s a lot better to win ugly than lose pretty and that’s what we did tonight. I thought we came up with a lot of big plays when we needed them and we put a lot of pressure on them defensively and we forced them into a lot of errors at key points. It’s always tough on the road and LSU was picked to win the SEC West this year, so this is another great win for us.”

    Aside from Kan, the Tigers got double-doubles from their senior class – Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) and Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.). Henning posted 17 kills with 12 digs and Kreklow dished 54 assists while collecting a season-high 18 digs, just four off of her career-best. Mizzou hit a season-low .227, but it was defense that stood out for Mizzou on Friday as it collected a season-high 87 digs while also resetting its season-best with 15.0 total blocks. The Tigers limited LSU to .154 hitting in the win. Junior All-SEC middle Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) finished with a team-high seven blocks (three solo, four assists).

    Although Mizzou didn’t hit as high as it usually does, the offense still finished with three players in double-figure kills as junior Emily Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) added 10 kills in the win. Little also had seven kills to go with her seven blocks. The Tigers used 19 kills in the final set to overcome a 17-10 deficit to clinch the match.

    Mizzou opened the match very sluggish as LSU outplayed Mizzou in nearly every facet of the game, opening a 12-4 lead, forcing Wayne Kreklow to use both of his timeouts before the Tigers reached double-digits. LSU kept that cushion throughout the set and ran away with the frame, hitting .359 en-route to a 25-17 set win. The Tigers had an uncharacteristic six attack errors in the first.

    Mizzou came out and flipped the script in the second set, racing out to a 7-1 lead with four kills and three blocks, forcing LSU to call its first timeout of the match. In fact, Mizzou opened up a 9-3 lead, but LSU scored seven of the next 10 points to pull within two at 12-10 as Kreklow used his first timeout of the set. Kreklow’s Tigers responded out of the stoppage with a 9-1 run behind the service arm of Meister as they opened a 21-11 lead after Kan’s 10th kill of the match. LSU fended off four set points before Henning’s 10th kill clinched the set for Mizzou at 25-17, tying the match at 1-1. After LSU hit .359 in the first, Mizzou limited the opposing Tigers to just .045 hitting in the second.

    Coach Kreklow’s group took the momentum from the second-set win into the third set and opened up a 15-8 lead behind a torrid defensive effort as Meister kept getting under balls in the back row while Little turned into a blocking machine, at one point tallying three in a row. LSU put together a 3-0 run after a couple of mental lapses from Mizzou, but Wilson tallied a kill to reopen a five-point cushion at 16-11. LSU then cut the lead to just two at 17-15 but Mizzou went on a 5-1 run to take a 22-16 lead. That was all Mizzou needed, winning the set, 25-19. Kan led all attackers with 17 kills through three sets, doing so on .389 hitting.

    LSU took advantage of some Mizzou attack errors from the Tigers to open a 7-3 lead in the fourth set. The Tiger offense struggled to get going in the frame with seven attack errors, allowing LSU to open a 15-9 lead. LSU kept Mizzou on the ropes throughout the set but a 5-0 run, capped by Kan’s 23rd kill of the match, pulled Mizzou within two at 17-15. The Tigers rallied to take a 22-20 lead after Kan’s 24th kill of the match and then they ran away with the set, 25-21, as they scored 15 of the last 19 points in the frame to seal the win.

    The Tigers will play Texas A&M to wrap up a tough road weekend on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to and follow the team on twitter @MizzouVB.

    Alabama Volleyball Defeats Georgia on the Road, 3-1

    ATHENS, Ga. – Mattie Weldy matched her career-high with 15 kills and Krystal Rivers added 14 kills with a .778 hitting percentage to lead the Alabama Crimson Tide to a 3-1 (25-13, 18-25, 27-25, 25-17) Southeastern Conference win over the Georgia Bulldogs on Friday night from the Ramsey Center.

    The Crimson Tide (17-5, 5-3 SEC) got a balanced attack as four players finished the night in double figures in kills. Alabama had a .344 hitting percentage, while holding the Bulldogs (15-7, 5-5 SEC) to a .201 mark. Both teams had 46 digs and Georgia recorded 11 blocks compared to eight by the Tide. With the win, Alabama improved to 6-1 in true road matches, after handing Georgia its first home loss of the season, in 10 opportunities.

    Weldy had a match-high 15 kills to tie her career-high, after setting the career-high in Alabama’s last match against LSU. Rivers had another great hitting performance, as the redshirt freshman did not commit an error on 18 attempts. Andrea McQuaid was big for the Tide from the right side, as the senior recorded a season-high 11 kills with a .474 hitting percentage. Brittany Thomas chipped in with 11 kills as well.

    Sierra Wilson notched her 10th career double-double, her third of the season, with 50 assists and 10 digs. Wilson and Kryssi Daniels led the Tide with 10 digs each.

    Georgia had three players record double digits in kills as Tirah Le’au and Brittany Northcutt led the way with 11 kills each. Stacey Smith added 10 kills, with a .353 hitting percentage, and Allison Summers had a match-high 18 digs.

    Alabama opened the match by winning the first set 25-13. The Tide hit .462 in the set while holding the Bulldogs to a .029 percentage. Weldy and Rivers paced the Tide with four kills each, as Alabama ran away with the first set.

    Georgia answered by winning the second set 25-18, posting a .550 hitting percentage in the set. Alabama trailed 11-17, before cutting the Bulldogs lead to 17-15 following a Georgia hitting error. The Dogs answered with a 4-0 run to open a 21-15 lead, before winning the set by seven, evening the match at 1-1.

    The Tide led 16-12 in the third set before the Bulldogs scored three straight points to get within one, 16-15. Alabama then held a 21-18 lead, only to see the Bulldogs respond with a 5-1 run to take a 23-22 advantage, following three hitting errors by the Tide. Bama held set-point at 24-23, but a kill by Le’au and an error by Weldy gave the Bulldogs set-point at 25-24. After calling a timeout, Alabama got kills by Weldy, Thomas and McQuaid to win the set, 27-25, and open a 2-1 lead in the match.

    In the fourth set, Bama led 13-10 before getting kills on four straight points to extend its lead to 17-10. The Bulldogs closed the margin to four at 19-15, before the Tide closed the set with a 6-2 run to put the Bulldogs away in four on the road. The Tide hit .394 in the fourth set, while holding the Bulldogs to .083 mark, as Bama recorded four of its eight blocks in the final set.  

    The Alabama weekend wraps up on Sunday with a 12:30 p.m. CT match against the No. 15 ranked Kentucky Wildcats (14-5, 6-2 SEC) from Memorial Coliseum. Kentucky defeated the Crimson Tide, 3-1, when the teams met in Tuscaloosa on Sept. 29.

    UT Sweeps South Carolina in SEC Rematch

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Led by freshman Raina Hembry's 14 kills and four blocks, Tennessee volleyball swept South Carolina, 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-17), Friday evening at VCF in Columbia, S.C. It is the first conference win for the Lady Vols who improve to 9-13 overall and 1-7 in SEC play. The Gamecocks are now 11-10 with a 3-6 mark in league action.

    "I was happy for the team to get this win," head coach Rob Patrick said. "They've been practicing hard and have been very focused, we just haven't seen the results in matches. I was very proud of them to keep hanging in there. We've never dropped our heads this season, even though it hasn't gone the way we have wanted it to. I was really proud of the way we able to come in to a very raucous arena and take a victory from a really good South Carolina team."

    The Big Orange hit .318 on the night and held South Carolina to a .072 mark. Hembry hit at a .667 clip, with no errors. Junior Shealyn Kolosky added nine kills while freshman Ashley Mariani added six. Freshman setter Abby Brewer dished out 17 assists, while sophomore Lexi Dempsey recorded her 14th double-double this year handing out 13 helpers with 11 digs. Kolosky and Mariani also tallied three blocks apiece.

    In her first game back since Sept. 29, freshman outside hitter Jamie Lea put down five kills and hit .364. She added one ace, as well as two blocks.

    "Our middles can really dictate what we do offensively," Patrick said. "Raina played flawlessly, she had zero errors. I'm very proud of how she's done so well in her young career here. All Shealyn does is work her tail off. She's gotten better even in the last month. Up until the last set, she had just one error. She's really matured as a player."

    Tennessee got off to a strong start in the opening set, hitting at a .385 clip. The Lady Vols recorded 14 kills, six of which came from Hembry who hit. 750 on eight attempts with no errors. UT held the Gamecocks to just five kills, and -.048 hitting percentage. Behind Hembry's six kills, Kolosky followed with four kills and Mariani added three.

    Tennessee pulled away in the second, going on a 5-1 run to lead 16-12 as South Carolina took a timeout hoping to stop UT's momentum. Three of the five points during the run came from Kolosky, who recorded a kill and two blocks during the time. Tennessee capitalized on seven Gamecock errors to claim the second set, 25-18, and take a 2-0 lead in the match.

    The third set tied on six occasions before Kolosky put down a kill to send UT on a 4-0 run, taking a 14-11 lead. After a South Carolina timeout, Kolosky sent a hit long, but Tennessee responded with another 5-0 run to go up 19-12 on the Gamecocks. The Orange & White went on to win the third set, 25-17, to complete the sweep.

    UT travels to Gainesville to take on the No. 5 Gators for a 1:30 p.m. ET match.

    Dominant First Set Propels UK to Sweep of MSU

    LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 15 University of Kentucky volleyball team used a strong offensive effort from senior Whitney Billings and freshman Anni Thomasson to sweep Mississippi State 3-0 (25-13, 26-24, 25-21) on DanceBlue Night Friday at Memorial Coliseum.

    The Wildcats (14-5, 6-2 Southeastern Conference) improved to 42-2 all-time against the Bulldogs (11-10, 2-5) on a night that saw UK earn set wins in lopsided, come-from-behind and tight fashions.

    UK’s first-set win was one of its biggest of the season, and the Wildcats dominated in nearly every statistical category. The second frame saw Kentucky down 24-22, but it staved off set point to score the final four points to earn the win. The final set was close, but after they trailed briefly early at 2-1, the Wildcats maintained the lead.

    “I liked our focus each point,” UK head coach Craig Skinner said. “That was a big theme of ours for tonight and our floor defense was solid making good plays defensively. We were able to kill the ball at a pretty good rate tonight and keep our errors down so definitely pleased with that.”

    Billings led the way for the Wildcats with game highs of 15 kills and a .438 hitting clip, while Thomasson produced 12 kills and a .357 hitting margin. Billings also added six digs and a service ace. Senior Alexandra Morgan hit an even .400 with five kills.

    Sophomore Morgan Bergren dished out 34 assists and had nine digs, while Junior Jackie Napper led the UK defensive unit with 16 digs. Sophomore Sara Schwarzwalder and junior Lauren O’Conner each added three kills and two blocks. Redshirt freshman Kelsey Wolf had eight scoops, a career high.

    Kentucky returns to the court Sunday at Memorial Coliseum for a 1:30 p.m. match against Alabama. The contest, a rematch of Sept. 29th’s 3-1 UK win, will air locally on the UK IMG Network and will be rebroadcast at 4 p.m. on Fox Sports South. Dick Gabriel and Katie Eiserman will have the call.

    The first set was tied 3-3 early, but a 9-0 run by the Wildcats quickly gave them a 12-3 lead, plenty to propel UK to a 25-13 first set win. The run from the Blue and White began with two straight kills from Billings and included three off the hand of Thomasson. Kentucky led Mississippi State in nearly every statistical category. UK had 16 kills to MSU’s six and registered a 3-0 advantage in blocks. The Wildcats’ .500 hitting clip was also higher than the Bulldogs’ .036 mark. Billings’ six kills was a set high, while Thomasson added five. O’Conner and Morgan each notched two blocks.

    While the first set was dominated by the Wildcats, the second set featured four lead changes, 11 ties and it took an extra point for UK to earn a 26-24 win. Kentucky found itself down 3-1 early, but UK never let MSU get away, and after several opportunities to tie the set, the first tie occurred at 11-11. The Wildcats took their first lead at 14-13 but found themselves trailing 20-19 and again 24-22. UK staved off two Bulldog set points and recorded the final four points to secure the win.

    Thomasson paced the Wildcats with a set-high-tying four kills and Kayla Tronick posted three. Bergren recorded a service ace in the frame along with 10 assists and one kill. MSU had a 14-13 advantage in kills, but UK’s hitting clip was better, .323 to .189.

    The final frame was another close set, but after UK fell behind 2-1, it took a 3-2 lead, an advantage it would never give up. The set was close throughout, and the Wildcats never trailed, but their lead never grew beyond six. After a UK service error enabled MSU to get within three at 24-21, Morgan recorded a kill to clinch the win. Kentucky out-hit Mississippi State .308-.226 and had 15 kills to MSU’s 11. UK had just one block and no service aces, but held the Bulldogs to zero blocks and a single ace. Billings had a set-high seven kills, while Napper recorded six digs in the final stanza.

    Kentucky's Memorial Coliseum will play host to the NCAA Regionals Dec. 13-14. UK is one of four sites selected for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight matchups with one team advancing to the Final Four in Seattle, Wash., from the Lexington Region. This marks the second time in three seasons Memorial Coliseum will host this premier volleyball event.

    Texas A&M Defeats Arkansas, 3-1

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M used a solid all-around performance to get back into the win column, coming from behind to defeat Arkansas, 27-29, 25-20, 25-23, 25-22 tonight at Reed Arena.

    Sophomore opposite hitter Sierra Patrick led the Aggies in kills with 20, and sophomore middle blocker Shelby Sullivan was clutch, hitting .556 while tallying a career high 16 kills with only one error. Senior setter Allie Sawatzky also posted double-digit kills with 10 and dished out 47 assists to record her league-leading 14th double-double of the season. Each of the three players hit .333 or above as the Aggies outhit Arkansas, .313 to .236 for the match.

    Defensively, Aggie freshman Victoria Arenas had a team-high and career-high 20 digs, and senior Heather Reynolds, playing libero for the first time, added a season-high 16 digs in the winning effort. Redshirt freshman middle blocker Jazzmin Babers had five blocks and Sullivan added four as A&M outblocked the Razorbacks, 10-5.

    A&M let a 17-14 lead slip away in the first set as Arkansas outhit the Aggies .362 to .289 to come back and get the win. The Razorbacks managed to tie the score at 18 and again at 19 before a block gave them their first lead since 7-6. Arkansas continued to rally and built its largest lead at 23-20 when A&M called its final timeout.

    Sullivan came back from the timeout and got a kill on the slide attack and then teamed with freshman outside hitter Emily Hardesty for a block to cut the lead to 23-22. An Arkansas attack error tied the score at 23-23, but Meredith Hays got a kill to put the Razorbacks at set point. A&M fought off three set points before a kill by Patrick returned the lead to the Aggies, 27-26.

    A&M, however was unable to close out the win. The Razorbacks’ Ana Sofia Jusino got a kill to tie the score for the 15th time in the set, and A&M’s next attack sailed long to put Arkansas serving for the set for the fourth time. Breana Jones then finished out the win for the Razorbacks with her fourth kill of the set.

    Arkansas overcame a four-point deficit early in the second set, scoring five unanswered points to go up 6-4. The lead would change hands twice before an ace by Arenas gave the Aggies the lead for good at 11-10. Patrick followed with back-to-back kills, and an Arkansas attack error continued a five-point surge that put the Aggies up, 14-10.

    Arkansas fought back and got within a point at 18-17 and again at 19-18 before the crafty Sawatzky deceptively set the ball over for a kill. A block by Babers and Patrick and a kill by sophomore outside hitter Angela Lowak gave the Aggies a 22-18 cushion. Hays ended the run with her sixth kill of the frame, but Patrick countered with a kill and Babers and Hardesty followed with a block to put the Aggies at set point. Arkansas, which was outhit, .244 to .140, fought off one set point with a kill before Patrick secured the win with her sixth kill of the set and her 10th of the match.

    Although A&M never trailed in the third set, Arkansas did manage to fight back from a 19-14 deficit and get within 21-20. That would be the closest the Razorbacks would get as they fell short of taking a lead. A&M scored back-to-back points on a kill by Sawatzky and a block by Lowak and Babers to go up 23-20. Arkansas then got a kill, but Patrick answered with fifth kill in the stanza to put the Aggies at set point. Patrick, however, then committed consecutive attack errors that allowed Arkansas to get back within a point, 24-23. After an A&M timeout, Hardesty recorded the set winning kill, giving the Aggies a 2-1 lead in the match.

    The Maroon and White used a 9-0 run to build a 14-8 lead in the fourth set, but the Razorbacks once again rallied, getting within 17-16. The teams then began trading points before Babers tipped a ball in for a kill and then blasted an overpass to put the Aggies up, 21-18. Patrick’s off-speed kill gave the Aggies a 22-18 lead, but back-to-back attack errors by A&M and an Arkansas ace put the Razorbacks within 22-21.

    After an A&M timeout, Patrick strategically placed a kill to the open back corner, and Arkansas’ next attack was wide, putting the Aggies at match point. Although the Razorbacks were outhit, .395 to .132 in the set, they stayed alive as Hays posted her match-high 21st kill to get within 24-22 before Sullivan clinch the victory with a kill down the block.

    A&M snapped a two-match losing skid with the win and improved to 11-8 overall and 3-5 in Southeastern Conference matches. Arkansas falls to 13-8, 6-4.

    A&M returns to Reed Arena on Sunday to play host to league-leader and 11th-ranked Missouri. First serve against the Tigers, who are 24-0 overall and 8-0 in the SEC, is slated for 1:30 p.m. Fans can get in for only $3 by presenting a ticket from Saturday’s Texas A&M-Vanderbilt football game.