It's August. The middle of August. Summer break has come and went, and the typical University of Kentucky student is tying up loose ends preparing for the trek back to Lexington for the beginning of the fall semester. But there is another group of students who have already been in Lexington, back at work in the hot summer sun or the muggy confines of a gymnasium. Fall sports are right around the corner for Kentucky, and student athletes are already in full swing when it comes to preparation.
Before you know it, men's and women's soccer will be kicking off and volleyball will be looking to build on last year's trip to the Sweet 16. All of that starts in the summer, when other kids are mowing lawns, swimming or vacationing, the elite athletes of the University of Kentucky are using their time to better themselves in the classroom, in the weight room or improving their game. All in the name of the University of Kentucky.
Craig Skinner's volleyball team is hard at work in Memorial Coliseum on a daily basis, sweating out two-a-days in hopes of building on a strong ending to the 2011 season. Kentucky hopes to build on a Sweet 16 run and break through into the Final Four, which will be hosted in the Bluegrass.
Johan Cedergren hopes to rekindle a winning tradition for men's soccer. After accepting the position as an assistant at Dartmouth in late December, Cedergren has sought to make a connection with his new players. A 3-0 run in the spring has Cedergren and his team excited about the prospects this fall.
And women's soccer looks to combine some veteran leadership with some talented underclassmen under the tutelage of head coach John Lipsitz. Lipsitz guided the women back to the NCAA Tournament, and this season looks to take more steps forward
People are definitely getting excited in the Big Blue Nation as we prepare to get underway here at UK Athletics. Women's soccer will have its first game of the season this Friday when it hosts Coastal Carolina at 7 p.m. at the UK Soccer Complex. On Sunday, volleyball will get a final tune-up when the Wildcats go live in the annual Blue/White Scrimmage Sunday at 6 p.m. at Memorial Coliseum. Then, men's soccer kicks off its season with a Sunday evening match up at Dayton at 5 p.m.
With Kentucky football on the horizon, it won't be too long before we're all back to normal, cheering on the Blue and White to bring home the victory.