Sept. 9, 2006
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Queen Nzenwa and Nicole Britenriker had 16 kills each to lead Kentucky (7-1) past Georgia Tech (5-2), 3-1 (28-30, 30-21, 38-36, 30-27), on Saturday at the Kentucky Volleyball Classic. Junior Lindsey Gray (14 kills, 14 digs) and sophomore Allie Niekamp (10 kills, 55 assists) each had double-doubles for the Yellow Jackets.
“We learned what the grind is like on the road this weekend,” said Tech coach Bond Shymansky. “We have to sustaining our effort through the course of an entire match. We did a lot of great things offensively to have five players in double-digit kills. We really like where we are going to be as we continue to improve on the small things in the game, most importantly service and passing.
“We are confident that those things will come to us during the course of the season quickly. We got great play from different players and we always need to find a way to get different people to contribute. Today Talisa Kellogg really turned it up a notch, Abby Showers did a great job in the back row and sustained our defensive effort by really working hard. That’s the type of effort we need back there if we are going to be successful.”
The loss snaps a five-match winning streak for the Jackets. Sophomore Talisa Kellogg had 20 kills to lead Tech offensively. Junior Ulrike Stegemann added 12 kills and eight digs, while sophomore Callie Miller added 10 kills and eight blocks. Niekamp was just two digs away from her second triple-double of this season, finishing the game with eight, 10 kills and 55 assists.
The Yellow Jackets used defense to start their offense in the opening game against the Wildcats, taking the opening game 30-28. Tech had 10 blocks, led by Miller with four, holding Kentucky to a .114 hitting percentage. Stegemann led the offensive attack with 12 kills.
The Wildcats bounced back in game two, using an early run to extend their lead to as much as six on two occasions and held the Rambling Wreck to a .105 hitting percentage to defeat the Jackets 30-21 and tie the match up at 1-1.
Game three featured 23 ties and 10 lead changes as both teams hit over 30 percent, but the Wildcats worked extra to come up with a tough 38-36 win over the Yellow Jackets. Kentucky hit .305 and had 12 blocks to take a 2-1 advantage in the match.
The Jackets climbed back from an eight-point deficit in game four, but the Wildcats rallied late to hold off Tech 30-26 in the final game of the match.
The Yellow Jackets will return home to host their second tournament of the season, the Regency Suites Midtown Classic. The tournament will feature Stetson, South Florida, Sam Houston State and Tech. All games can be followed on www.ramblinwreck.com and Jacket contests will also air on WREK-FM (91.1).
“We are excited to come back home this next weekend,” said Shymansky. “We really feel good about heading into conference play after this home tournament.”