Two seniors went into last weekend's matches at Louisiana State and Texas A&M with an opportunity to achieve personal milestones in their careers. Outside hitter Ashley Frazier was on the cusp of 1,000 career kills, while libero Stephanie Klefot was hunting down Brianne Sauer on the all-time Kentucky digs list.
Each senior put up big numbers in a losing effort at LSU on Friday night, inching them even closer to their marks. Their performances also put them right on schedule to clinch the records in the same match.
And as fate would have it, they did just that, this time in winning fashion.
As Kentucky stopped a four-match losing skid against the streaking Aggies, Frazier became the 15th player in University of Kentucky history to record 1,000 kills. On her way to a 16-kill performance against Texas A&M, Frazier reached the mark in the fourth set on her 10th kill of the match.
She's the first Wildcat to reach the 1,000-kill mark since Lauren Rapp in 2009.
Not to be outdone, Klefot put up her second consecutive match of 20-plus digs against the Aggie offense. After tying her career high with 29 digs against LSU on Friday night, Klefot tallied 20 more digs to lead the Kentucky defense.
The 49 digs over the weekend moved Klefot into sole possession of second place on the all-time digs list at the University of Kentucky with 1,641 and counting. Klefot passed her former teammate and fellow Louisville native Brianne Sauer who had 1,634 digs over her four-year career at UK. Not only did Klefot pass Sauer in the UK record books, but she also vaulted past Sauer into the SEC top-10 leader board. Klefot currently sits behind Jenni Casper (2,037 digs) on the all-time UK digs list.
In the Southeastern Conference record books, Klefot is just 18 digs shy of Arkansas's Krystal Osbourne, who racked up 1,659 digs from 1994-97, to reach ninth all-time.
While the two players player came to Kentucky in much different fashions, both have been instrumental in UK's success during their time wearing Blue and White. Klefot stepped right into the libero position after Sauer graduated and ran with it. Frazier came to Kentucky as a transfer from Alabama after spending two seasons with the Crimson Tide and has banged out 561 kills since becoming a Wildcat, filling a void at the outside hitter position. Sitting at 1,006 career kills, Frazier figures to continue to increase her gaudy numbers with still 17 matches remaining in the SEC.
For Kentucky to reach their goals this season, Kentucky will need both players to continue to pad those numbers and ascend ever higher up leader boards and into the record books. But no matter what happens this year, both Klefot and Frazier have already solidified themselves as significant figures in Kentucky volleyball lore for many years to come.