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Bells Five Blocks Secure Road Sweep at LSU in Baton Rouge

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BATON ROUGE, La. The No. 5 Kentucky Volleyball team defeated Louisiana State 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-20) behind five blocks of red-shirt sophomore Bella Bell and 16 sophomore kills Madi Skinner.

With Friday night’s win live on the SEC Network, Kentucky improves to 13-3 on the season and remains the only undefeated team in the Southeastern Conference in league play, 6-0. The LSU Tigers drop to 7-11 on the year and are 3-6 in SEC play.

Bell’s breakout night featured a career-high five blocks, in addition to six kills on nine no-fault swings and a dig. The Blythewood, South Carolina native hit .667 that night and was one of the key players in Kentucky’s win over LSU.

Madi Skinner added to her season tally of 16 in-game kills with a 0.324 success rate in addition to five digs, a block, and two service aces.

The Wildcats served the Tigers off the floor Friday night and scored nine aces, a new season high. The Tigers were out of the system as the Kentucky served most of the game and LSU was held to only three aces in the game.

Kentucky ends their SEC road swing with a perfect 3-0 record, now playing Arkansas at Memorial Coliseum this week on Friday nights (9:00 PM ET, SEC Network) and Saturday nights (7:00 PM ET, SEC Network+).

Set one

Unlike Thursday night’s game, Kentucky came to the fore, winning six of the first seven points behind the immense digs of Eleanor Beavin and out-of-system terminations by: Azhani Tealer and Alli Stumler to make it a 6-1 Kentucky lead. A 4-0 Kentucky run made it 11-4 Wildcats on Azhani Tealer’s service run and LSU called its first timeout with seven left. Back-to-back killings by Tealer and Madi Skinner made it 18-11 and LSU was forced to call its last timeout. AN Madi Skinner over pass termination in addition to a powerful kill from Bella Bell made it 23-16 and the Wildcats closed the opening set 25-17. Kentucky hit .300 in the set with four kills from Tealer who led the way for the Kentucky attack. Madi Skinner and Bella Bell both had three murders. UK held LSU to .161, hitting with three blocks for the Wildcats and Emma Grome registered 11 assists on 12 Kentucky kills in the opener.

Set two

LSU sucked up early momentum in the second set, taking six of the first eight points to take a four-point lead early in the frame. The Wildcats were able to slowly work their way back into the set while methodically working their way out, tying the set at 8-8 for the first time, with the two swapping points in media timeout 15-14 with LSU up front. Kentucky took the frame’s first lead at 17-16 on a Alli Stumler killing and after its second kill in a row to reach five in the game, LSU called its first timeout trailing the Wildcats, 19-17. Madi Skinner’s third back-row kill of the set put Kentucky three-leading to 22-19, the biggest lead of the set, and LSU called his last timeout. Madi Skinner’s The game’s 10th kill gave the UK a set point at 24-22 and after two LSU points, Kentucky called its last timeout at 24-22. After LSU narrowed the lead to 24-23, a kill by Madi Skinner on the left pin ended the set and Kentucky took a 2-0 lead in the game.

Set three

Kentucky’s Bella Bell and Sophie Fischer made it 10-6 in the third set out of the gates and after a 5-0 Kentucky run, the Tigers called their first timeout of the set four behind and struggled to get out of the rotation. LSU came all the way back, walking away five in a row after a successful challenge and Kentucky segment of the game where it struggled to serve received and it was 11-10 LSU followed by a timeout in the UK. Kentucky brought the score back to a 5-1 run to make it 16-12 before the series of runs continued and LSU made it 16. Kentucky’s service numbers were off the charts all night, but Stumler’s second ace of the night made it 20-18 UK and LSU called his last time out with two behind. Kentucky won seven of the last eight points to close the game, 25-19.

Follow along with the Wildcats Twitter,facebookandInstagram, and on the web at UKathletics.com.

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