Every Tuesday, UK Athletics recognizes outstanding performances for our student-athletes. These are the honorees for the week ending Sunday, Nov. 7:
Volleyball: Whitney Billings
Freshman Whitney Billings put together a complete performance for the Wildcats during their 1-1 road trip. Billings provided UK with a spark both offensively and defensively this week. The Helena, Ala., native charted 14 kills on a .306 hitting percentage in a wild five-set loss to Alabama. It marked the 14th time this season she had topped the 10-kill mark and the fifth time she hit for an above .300 clip. Billings’ floor defense was impressive as the freshman picked up 35 digs on the weekend for an average of 3.89 scoops per set which ranked second on the squad only behind libero Stephanie Klefot. Billings also added six blocks for the weekend including a pair of solo rejections. She was targeted 60 times from the service line and committed just one error for a stellar .983 percentage. Her two assists against the Tide is a career-best for a match, while she totaled back-to-back 15 or more dig performances for the first time in her career.
Volleyball: Gretchen Giesler
Junior Gretchen Giesler led the Blue and White with 2.89 kills per set on a team-best .447 hitting percentage. Giesler was one of two players to reach double-figures in the kill column with 10 in the win over Mississippi State. She followed that performance with the best offensive output of her career in the five-set thriller against Alabama. Giesler tossed down a career-best 16 kills on .483 hitting against the Tide. Her previous career-best number was 13 set last season. Giesler paced the squad with 26 kills on the weekend while also adding five blocks for the week. She averaged twice as many kills per set and over .200 percent better than her average hitting percentage for the season.
Football: Winston Guy
Women's golf: Betsie Johnson
Betsie Johnson led the Cats for the third straight tournament. Johnson was the highest placing golfer on the team in three of the Cats' four fall tournaments.
Volleyball: Stephanie Klefot
Sophomore Stephanie Klefot was sensational for the Wildcats this weekend during their 1-1 road trip. Klefot led a strong defensive effort against Mississippi State as the Blue and White totaled a season-high 77 digs in the win. Klefot was responsible for a match-high 21 digs to lead the way. She followed that performance with a career-best and match-high 28-scoop effort in five-thrilling sets against Alabama. Klefot’s 28 digs is the most since BriAnne Sauer had 35 in 2009 for any UK player. The sophomore picked up nearly 50 digs on the week in nine sets of action for a staggering 5.44 digs per set average. She topped the 20-dig plateau twice and has now tallied 10 career matches with 20 or more digs, including seven this season. Klefot’s 4.44 digs per set in SEC action ranks third in the SEC – and this week she averaged a dig more than her league average. For the season, Klefot has racked up 429 digs and needs just 11 more to break into the single-season top-10 list at UK. Additionally, Klefot posted a .971 reception percentage as she was targeted 68 times and had a mere two reception errors. For the season, Klefot averaged a .963 clip in that category.
Men's soccer: Brendan Murphy
Freshman Brendan Murphy picked a great time for his first career goal, netting the game-winning goal against South Carolina in the 87th minute … Goal broke the 1-1 tie and gave UK the win, avoiding the school-record 10th overtime game of the season … Murphy’s goal may have been the best goal for the Wildcats all season, as he took the ball on the far side of the pitch, working his way through the South Carolina defense inside the box, side-stepping a sliding tackle and leaping a Carolina defender, firing an off-balance shot from the near side of the 18-yard box, sailing into the net at the near post.
Men's tennis: Eric Quigley
- Junior Eric Quigley defeated several highly-ranked players to take home the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships consolation singles title Sunday.
- Quigley won the title with a three-set victory over No. 26 Dennis Nevolo of Illinois 7-5, 4-6, 6-4.
- The victory was one of many so far this fall for Quigley, who has a 18-3 record with a 12-1 mark against top-45 ranked players, including wins over Nos. 1, 13 (twice), 21, 26 (twice), 28, 30, 31, 33, 44 and 45.
- The finals appearance is the fourth of the season for Quigley, who won his second consecutive USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championships in late October. The junior also played in the finals of the ITA All-American Championships in early October and the Land Rover Napa Valley Tennis Classic in September.
Football: Donald Russell
Rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns
Football: Danny Trevathan
13 tackles, two tackles for loss
Football: CoShik Williams
Rushed for 95 yards and three touchdowns