Posted: Sep 16, 2012 3:33 PM
In the Southeastern Conference season opener the No. 13 Florida Gators topped No. 24 Kentucky 3-0 (25-21, 25-14, 25-18) on Sunday afternoon in Memorial Coliseum in front of 1,898 fans. Junior Alexandra Morgan equaled a career high with 10 kills and senior libero Stephanie Klefot had a match-high 18 digs in the loss for the Blue and White.
Kentucky falls to 6-5 and 0-1 in SEC action with the loss. Florida improves to 8-2 and 2-0 in league play. Kentucky will hit the road for a pair of road conference matches next week. UK faces LSU on Friday, Sept. 21 at 8 p.m. ET, before heading to Texas A&M on Sunday, Sept. 23 at 2:30 p.m. ET.
"Give Florida credit, they had a great game plan and executed it well," UK coach Craig Skinner said. "We didn't serve tough enough to try and get them out of system and create easy points for ourselves with our serving and blocking defense."
Morgan led the Blue and White with 10 kills, with sophomore Lauren O'Conner notching seven. Senior Ashley Frazier and freshman Sara Schwarzwalder each had six. Klefot had 18 digs with Frazier totaling six in the match.
Florida hit .376 in the match, but benefited from 20 hitting errors and seven service errors from the Wildcats.
The Gators captured the opening match by a 25-21 score with the visitors earning 16 kills on .469 hitting. UK posted 16 kills on .243 hitting, but committed seven hitting errors in the stanza.
Florida opened to a 6-1 advantage and never looked back in the frame. The Wildcats cut the lead to two at 14-12 on a kill from Frazier. Florida answered with a 6-2 to run to create a 20-14 advantage that the home team could not overcome. UK saved set point once on a kill from Morgan, but Florida answered with its 16th kill of the set for the win.
The second set saw the Gators total 14 kills on .387 hitting, but again benefited from eight UK hitting errors.
Schwarzwalder opened the set with a kill and the teams exchanged points in the early portion of the set. Florida would utilize a 6-2 run to open up a 10-5 lead. The visitors kept the pressure en route to earning a 25-14 second set win and taking a 2-0 lead into the locker room.
In the third frame, Florida posted 12 kills on .267 hitting while adding a pair of blocks. Kentucky had 10 kills on .147 hitting and committed five service errors. The Gators earned a 2-0 lead in the set and never trailed. UK fought back to tie the score at 10 with a solo block from freshman Shelby Workman. The teams then traded points before the Gators shook loose for three consecutive points to make the score 18-15 and UK couldn't overcome the deficit falling 25-18 in the final frame.