LEXINGTON, Ky. – The 12th-seeded Kentucky volleyball team had 15 knocks from Adanna Rollins and 44 assists from sophomore Emma Grome to advance to the second round of the 2022 NCAA Volleyball Championship with a score of 3. -0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-20) sweeps Loyola-Chicago Ramblers.
Kentucky will play Western Kentucky Friday night at 7 p.m. ET inside the Memorial Arena for a spot in the NCAA Sweet 16 Palo Alto Zone. The match will air on ESPN+ with Jeff Greer and Leah Edmond on a call from Lexington. Tickets are available by visiting UKathletics.com/tickets or by contacting the UK Athletics Box Office.
Rollins led all players in Thursday night’s match with 15 kills in 31 turns as she hit 0.778 in the first set and 0.355 for the match along with five digs and one block. Also hitting doubles in score is Reagan Rutherford, who had 11 kills on Thursday hitting 0.391 with three blocks and a pair of diggers.
Kentucky as a team hit 0.398, the highest output in a month, as Grome posted 44 assists, her highest total of assists this season in any three-set match. Grome, this season’s SEC Player of the Year, also had five digs and a trio of blocks on Thursday night’s affair.
Great Britain drew Loyola-Chicago to 0.159 hits in the match as only one Rambler hit double-digit kills overnight with Karlie McNabb scoring 13 finishes in the competition. Eleanor Beavin had 16 digs on Thursday night to lead all the Wildcats, as Rollins, Grome, Riah Walker and Audrey Whitworth all had 5 or more defenses in the game.
Kentucky took a 15-10 lead in the first media timeout of the bracket, as Adanna Rollins and Bella Bell both had four kills each in the first 25 points of the game. Bell had hit 1,000 for the game up to that point, and it was Kentucky’s biggest lead in the set to that point. Timeout, Kentucky recorded successive blocks of Reagan Rutherford and Bell in the right peg to lead 17-10 and Loyola-Chicago called the first half timeout against Great Britain at 4 -0. After Kentucky’s fourth serve, this time from Eleanor Beavin, Loyola-Chicago called the final timeout as Kentucky led 20-12. Adanna Rollins’ seventh knock ended the first set, as Great Britain won 25-17. Rollins hit 0.778 in the set with seven kills on nine turns and one serve. Great Britain hit .433 as a team with 13 assists from Emma Grome and two saves each from Bell and Rutherford in the opener.
Adanna Rollins continued to heat and Rutherford burst into flames to start the second set as she killed Rutherford’s right peg, her fourth inning of the match, forcing Loyola-Chicago to time out early to try to stop it. Great Britain scored 4-0 and the Wildcats led 9-3. Erin Lamb recorded back-to-back kills, both out of the system to give Kentucky a 13-5 lead, and the Ramblers burned through their final timeout in the set, leading eight in the frame. The UK so far in the set has hit 0.408 and holds Loyola at -0.038. The run stretched to 8-0 on a block by Azhani Tealer and Great Britain took an 18-5 lead, the biggest score of any set the evening before Loyola took the lead 18-6. Kentucky hit 0.385 in the set and won the bracket, 25-14 with seven knockouts in the set from Rutherford.
Kentucky took an 8-5 lead thanks to a Tealer block in midfield to give the Wildcats a three-point cushion, its biggest advantage in the set to that point. After consecutive counter-faults killed by Adanna Rollins midway through, Kentucky’s lead rose to 16-10 and the Ramblers were forced to enter the final timeout with Great Britain leading a half-dozen nine points ahead. the finish line. The match ended well with Adanna Rollins’ spin, her 15th takedown of the match, to claim the Ramblers’ clean sweep.