Lexington, Ky. --- The Tennessee State University volleyball team played hard but fell to SEC member Kentucky 0-3 (19-25, 7-25, 17-25) Wednesday night in UK's Memorial Coliseum.
With the loss TSU moves to 0-4 on the season while UK improves to 6-2.
Christian Lowe led the Tigers with nine kills while Candace Saleaumua tallied a team-high 11 digs.
Lauren Rapp (10) was the only player to post double-digits in kills for Kentucky while BriAnne Sauer recorded ten digs for the Wildcats.
Holding a slight 2-1 advantage in the opening set, Kentucky scored five straight points to go ahead 7-1, leading to a TSU timeout. UK would stretch the lead to 10-3 before a kill by Christian Lowe sparked a 6-0 run that cut the Wildcat advantage down to two (10-8).
UK later stretched the lead to17-11 but timely kills and blocks from Christian Lowe and Nicolette Jens helped a determined Tiger squad claw back to within one (19-18) and force a Wildcat timeout. Out of the timeout, however, UK scored six out of the last seven points to claim the first set 25-19.
Kentucky grabbed an early 4-0 lead in set two before a block by Nicolette Jens brought the contest to 4-2. The Wildcats then used a 12-4 run to stretch the advantage to 16-6 and never looked back in route to the 25-7 set two win.
Both teams battled from the onset of the third set as neither team led by more than two points at a time. With the contest tied 8-8, back-to-back service aces from UK’s Sarah Rumely sparked a run that saw the Wildcats rally off eight unanswered points and grab a 16-8 lead. The Tigers came to within five (20-15) but that would be as close as they would get as Kentucky went on to win the set 25-17.
The Tigers return to action next Tuesday when they host Alabama A&M in the season home opener. Match time is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Kean Hall.