Tealer’s 11 kills, 7 blocks pulls Kentucky back into SEC title race – UK Athletics

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Azhani Tealer had 11 kills Sunday afternoon, hitting .333 and tucking seven blocks as the Kentucky volleyball team even topped the Southeastern Conference scoring with Florida thanks to a 3-0 (25-21, 26-24) run retired , 25-17) Sweep the Gators at Exactech Arena.

With the series splitting with Florida on Saturday and Sunday, the Gators and Wildcats will enter the final weekend of the 2022 Southeastern Conference season with a 13-3 record in league play. Florida plays at Ole Miss and Kentucky hosts a series with South Carolina. The SEC does not break the ties for a volleyball championship. So if both teams finish with the same record, the league declares the teams co-champions.

The UK/USC series begins Friday at 4:00pm ET at the Memorial Coliseum, with this match also marking Senior Day. Tickets are available at UKathletics.com/tickets.

Adanna Rollins and Erin Lamb joined Tealer with 11 kills in the match to jointly lead the Wildcats on offense as Kentucky hit .267 for the three-man match in double digits. Emma Grome dished out 36 assists and UK had three assists from Eleanor Beavin and two from Riah Walker.

Defensively, it was Eleanor Beavin who took the lead with 13 digs, and that performance helped UK hold UF in the match with a .163 batting average as only one gator hit a double-digit score.

set one

Kentucky started the opening set brilliantly with a lead as large as three at 12-9 about halfway through the proceedings. The Gators came back to tie the frame at 14, all with an ace from Marina Markova, but a miss of serve on the next point gave Kentucky a 15-14 lead before going into the media timeout. With the two teams tied and a point clear midway through the verse, a block from Adanna Rollins and Azhani Tealer gave Kentucky a two-point cushion at 19-17, and Florida was forced to take their first timeout of the game with UK in the lead a couple. The lead jumped to 21-18 thanks to another block from Tealer down the right as Kentucky restored their three-point lead, their widest since 12-9 early in the set. An Adanna Rollins kill, her fourth of the set, gave Kentucky a 23-20 lead after an extended rally and Florida was pushed to take its final time out. UK called their final timeout at 24-23 and an Erin Lamb termination from the right pin ended the set 25-23 for Kentucky.

sentence two

Set two also started well for the Wildcats, with a 3-1 lead out of the gates that grew to a 7-4 lead after a solo from Adanna Rollins down the left that put things 7-4 for Britain brought. The next point was a flyover that knocked Rollins down for their team-leading seventh kill of the game as Kentucky went 8-4, the widest lead for either team in the game to that point, and the Gators took their first timeout to discuss things. Kentucky’s lead grew to five, 12-7, but Florida put on a 9-4 run to level the set at 16, and Britain burned their first time-out to stop the Gators’ momentum. Azhani Tealer stuffed her fourth ball of the set to give Kentucky a 21-20 lead after both teams were tied 18-21 and it led to a timeout from Mary Wise and the Florida Gators. A block from Bella Bell gave Kentucky a 25-24 lead after saving a set point for UF, and an outside of the system kill for Adanna Rollins down the right gave UK a 2-0 lead and a 26-24 Victory in the second set.

set three

Thanks to Azhani Tealer’s serve early in the set, Kentucky took a 6-3 lead, leading to an exchange of six straight away games by both teams that leveled things 13-10 as the teams tied. UF came within a point at 13-12, but a kill by Rollins and a block by Bella Bell down the middle revived the three-point lead for UK and made the media timeout 15-12. The Wildcats went on a 7-1 run from that point and Florida had to call a timeout after a backrow attack was called and Kentucky was 21-15, four points from the game. Kentucky dominated the stretch and won the third set, hitting .226 in the frame and holding UF to .000 as the Wildcats secured a 25-17 third set win.

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