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Monday morning notes: Calm before the storm edition

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Another November weekend is in the books, and with it another eight Kentucky athletic events. This past weekend featured season openers for both men's and women's basketball, a pair of Southeastern Conference matches for volleyball, NCAA play for women's soccer and cross country, and a rifle trip to Columbus, Ohio.

Believe it or not, the next week is going to top it.

There are no UK events on Monday, but Tuesday begins a six-day stretch during which at least one Wildcat team will be in action each day with 12 total events going on. Included in that timeframe is this Saturday, when men's basketball, football and women's basketball will all play games within a five-hour span. I'll be trying to offer some help in preparing for that as the week goes on, but in the mean time, let's run down some of the biggest storylines for this Monday morning:

-The toughest loss of the weekend came in women's soccer's penalty kick heartbreaker in the first round of the NCAA Tournament against Washington State. The Wildcats surged to a first-half lead on a Kelsey Hunyadi goal, but yielded the equalizer in the early in the second half. In spite of opportunities for both sides, neither team managed a goal in the final 34 minutes of regulation nor 20 minutes of overtime, so the outcome was left to be decided by penalty kicks. The Wildcats missed their first two tries and fell 4-2. It was as disappointing a loss as a team can have, but UK still had a tremendous season and has a bright future ahead. Jon Lipsitz has the program on the right track and though top scorer Hunyadi has exhausted her eligibility, UK loses just two seniors of this year's team.

-I don't know about you, but I was pretty excited to see the college hoops season tip off at long last. The men's team overcame a sluggish start against Marist, coasting to a 108-58 victory behind Anthony Davis' double-double. UK is now looking toward a matchup with Kansas 9 p.m. Tuesday in the Champions Classic played at Madison Square Garden. The Jayhawks are ranked in the top 15 of both polls at this point and figure to test another young John Calipari team. The Cats fly to New York City later today, but before then Calipari and a few of his players will be available to talk to the media. I'll have video and a story later this afternoon.

-Matthew Mitchell and UK Hoops got off to a similarly sluggish start in their opener, trailing 32-31 at halftime on the road against Morehead State. The Cats, though, shot a blazing 20-of-29 from the field in a 65-point second half explosion en route to a 96-60 win. Kastine Evans led the way for No. 18 UK with a career-high 23 points, who play their home opener Tuesday at 11 a.m. We'll have video of Mitchell later today and a live blog of the action tomorrow.

-Volleyball took care of business in two key road matches this weekend, dispatching Alabama in straight sets and withstanding Ole Miss in a five-set thriller to move to 15-2 in conference play. With three games remaining in SEC play, UK trails Tennessee by a game in the standings. The Wildcats have two home matches this weekend against LSU and Arkansas and if they win both and the Lady Volunteers win their next two matches, it will set up a showdown in Knoxville, Tenn., next Wednesday with the SEC title on the line. UK defeated UT once already in Lexington, Ky., so the Wildcats would own the tiebreaker if they beat Tennessee a second time. The Wildcats set a goal of winning the conference title from the beginning of the season and are exactly where they want to be: in control of their own destiny.

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