Wildcats advance to second round with Loyola sweep
3 hours ago
LEXINGTON, Kentucky- The No. 12-seeded Kentucky volleyball team got 15 kills from Adanna Rollins and 44 assists from sophomore setter Emma Grome to advance to the second round of the volleyball championship- ball NCAA 2022 with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-20) sweep of the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers.
Kentucky will face Western Kentucky Friday night at 7 p.m. ET inside the Memorial Coliseum for a spot in the NCAA Sweet 16 Palo Alto Regional. The game will air on ESPN+ with Jeff Greer and Leah Edmond at the call from Lexington. Tickets are available by visiting UKathletics.com/tickets or by contacting the UK Athletics Ticket Office.
Rollins led all players in Thursday night’s game with 15 kills on 31 swings as she hit .778 in the first set alone and .355 for the game with five digs and a block. Reagan Rutherford also hit double digits scoring with 11 kills Thursday on .391 with three blocks and a pair of digs.
Kentucky as a team hit .398, their highest production in a month, as Grome dished out 44 assists, their highest total this season in a three-set game. Grome, the SEC Player of the Year this season, also had five digs and a trio of blocks in Thursday night’s deal.
UK held Loyola-Chicago to .159 hits for the game as only one Rambler managed double-digit kills for the night with Karlie McNabb recording 13 dismissals in the contest. Eleanor Beavin had 16 digs Thursday night to lead all Wildcats, while Rollins, Grome, Riah Walker and Audrey Whitworth all had five or more in the game defensively.
Kentucky took a 15-10 lead in the frame’s first media timeout, as Adanna Rollins and Bella Bell both had four kills apiece in the game’s first 25 points. Bell was at 1,000 for the game up to that point and it was Kentucky’s biggest lead of the set to that point. Outside the timeout, Kentucky recorded back-to-back blocks from Reagan Rutherford and Bell on the right pin to take a 17-10 lead and Loyola-Chicago called their first timeout of the set with the United Kingdom on a run of 4-0. After Kentucky’s fourth service ace, this time from Eleanor Beavin, Loyola-Chicago called its final timeout as Kentucky took a 20-12 lead. Adanna Rollins’ seventh kill ended the first set, as the UK took the frame, 25-17. Rollins hit .778 in the set with seven kills on nine swings and an ace of service as well. UK hit .433 as a team with 13 assists delivered by Emma Grome and two blocks each from Bell and Rutherford in the opener.
Adanna Rollins stayed hot and Rutherford caught fire to start the second set killing from Rutherford’s right pin, his fourth of the game, forced Loyola-Chicago to an early timeout to try and stop a 4-0 run in the UK and the Wildcats led 9-3. Erin Lamb recorded back-to-back wins, both off the system to put Kentucky up 13-5 and the Ramblers burned their final timeout of the set, trailing by eight in the frame. UK at this point in the set were up to .408 and held Loyola at -.038. The run extended to 8-0 on a block from Azhani Tealer and UK took an 18-5 lead, their biggest of any set on the night before Loyola pulled out to carry the score at 18-6. Kentucky hit .385 in the set and took the frame, 25-14 with seven kills in Rutherford’s set.
Kentucky took an 8-5 lead on a middle Tealer block to give the Wildcats a three-point cushion, its biggest advantage of the set to that point. After back-to-back typing errors sandwiched by Adanna Rollins killing in the middle of the set, Kentucky’s lead grew to 16-10 and the Ramblers were forced into their final timeout with the UK ahead by a half. dozen and nine points from the finish line. The match ended appropriately on a swing by Adanna Rollins, his 15th kill of the match, to earn the Ramblers sweep.