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Luis Orta became the first runner since 2006 to win the 3,000m and 5,000m at SEC Indoors this weekend. (Chet White, UK Athletics) Luis Orta became the first runner since 2006 to win the 3,000m and 5,000m at SEC Indoors this weekend. (Chet White, UK Athletics)
Luis Orta had to run a great distance at the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championship this past weekend. There, Orta became the first SEC athlete to win both the 3,000m and 5,000m in the same championship in five years.

While this feat was impressive, Orta has had to travel long distances ever since he decided to leave his native country of Venezuela for UK. The distance may have been long for Orta, but the finish line for this accomplished runner has been oh so sweet.

"It has been great," Orta said. "I'm from a big city in Venezuela and it's one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Being here I've been 100 percent focused and because of that, Lexington has been perfect."   

Orta's focus has paid off, culminating in this past weekend's victory on the same track that he has called home for the past four years.

Even before his triumph early in the 2012 track season, Orta was a steady performer. In 2009, Orta was named All-SEC second team in cross country, All-SEC outdoor second team for the 2,000m Steeplechase. In 2010 he won the San Francisco Invitational with a time of 24:25.

In spite of all he has accomplished, Orta is still driven to improve.

"I feel accomplished and I feel like all the work that I've put in since I came to UK has finally paid off," Orta said, "I feel very proud and I'm eager to do more and become better now."

In addition to his success in the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championship, Orta has added another path in his journey to travel down: self-improvement outside of competition.

"Running wise, my times have been going down," Orta said, "But, more importantly I've learned how to train myself throughout the day, eating right, sleeping right and doing the things that I have to do in order to have a good day at practice and have a good race. All of these things are important, just as much as the stuff we do on the track."

With a good night's rest and healthy eating habits, Orta has been able to improve his performance to the point where there has been a noticeable change in his times.  Orta's actions have helped to improve himself, but his determination, focus and hard work have been used to help the lives of others as well.
 
Along with teammate and middle distance runner, Josh Nadzam, Orta is in his second year leading a shoe drive for an organization called Soles4Souls.  Last year alone, they collected about 2,000 pairs of shoes.

"Everything began last year when I would run by myself during the summer and I threw my shoes in the trash because they were done. Us runners, we use shoes and they last like two months for each pair of shoes," Orta said. "I realized, 'Wow, there are people out there who need shoes. Maybe we can do something about it.' So, I talked to my roommate, Josh Nazdam, and he is very involved with the community. He thought it was a great idea and so far we have about 200 pairs of shoes."

With a head start in the race for charity, Orta and Nadzam have a few more finish lines to cross before the end of this season.

"The shoe drive will be until the end of the year, so we are going to focus on that the entire year," Orta said. "With outdoor season coming up, I want to, again, win the SECs; I'm already focused on the 5K. After, I want to try to run 10Ks, maybe go and run a half marathon and break national records for them. For me it's just as important to run for UK as it is to run for Venezuela."

Participating in a sport that is not only based off individual performances, but also the team's overall effort, all of this together will help Orta and the Cats push across the finish line.

"We have a very young team and that means we have a good future," Orta said. "I feel like everyone wants to perform well, so I think we are going to be even better during our outdoor season."
 

The Scratchies (Winter 2011)

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scratchies semiannual (2).jpg While occupying his post in charge of Cat Scratches, Eric Lindsey debuted the Scratchies, a set of awards given for the best performances in UK Athletics for the preceding semester. I wasn't sure at first whether I would continue the tradition, but once I found just how quiet it gets around here during the holidays, I decided it was time to give out some hardware (or maybe I should say "software", since there are no physical awards to be given).

I'll spare you any more preambles, here are the winners for fall 2011:

MVW (Most Valuable Wildcat)
Danny Trevathan (Football) - No, the UK football team did not have the kind of season they envisioned, going 5-7, but Trevathan could not have done any more than he did to help his team succeed. For the second year in a row, the linebacker led the SEC in tackles. The senior linebacker concludes his career ranked 10th all-time in tackles in program history and has reeled in multiple postseason honors for his stellar final season. The 2011 campaign saw Trevathan log 143 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles, four interceptions and three sacks.

The Dream Team (team of the semester)

Volleyball - Craig Skinner has this program on the rise. The Wildcats finished the season with a 26-4 record and a second Sweet 16 berth in three seasons. The regional semifinal was hosted in Memorial Coliseum and over 4,000 rowdy fans showed up to support the Cats as they nearly pulled an upset of Texas, the nation's No. 1 overall seed, before falling 3-1. The atmosphere, though not the outcome, was a fitting sendoff for the most decorated group of seniors in school history. The trio of Ann Armes, Becky Pavan and Gretchen Giesler depart with a record of 100-31 and the best winning percentage (.731) in school history).

In spite of losing those three, UK figures to build on a great season in 2012. Two-time defending Southeastern Conference Libero of the Year and second-team All-American Stephanie Klefot returns for her senior season and will be joined by setter Christine Hartmann and outside hitter Whitney Billings, both of whom were first-team All-SEC performers. Senior-to-be Ashley Frazier (All-SEC second team) and rising sophomore Lauren O'Conner (All-SEC freshman team) will also be very much in the mix.

Honorable mention: Women's soccer, men's basketball, women's basketball

The Adolph Rupp Award (coach of the semester)

Jon Lipsitz (Women's soccer) - Since taking over at Kentucky prior to the 2009 season, Lipsitz has built the women's soccer program in small strides. UK was just 5-10-4 in his first year, but it was clear that the culture was changing. His second season brought a trip to the SEC Tournament, but expectations were still not particularly high entering 2011, at least not outside of Lexington. Instead, the Cats got off to a great start, piling up early-season wins and moving into the top 20 of the RPI.

Under Lipsitz's guidance, Senior Kelsey Hunyadi was at the center of everything, as she had one of the best offensive seasons in UK history in helping lead the team to a 13-7-1 record, a winning mark in SEC play and a berth in UK's first NCAA Tournament since 2006. Kentucky also earned the right to host a tournament game for the first time since 1998 and the fan base responded to the excitement Lipsitz has injected into the program, as 1,065 fans attended the game, third-most of the 32 first round sites nationally.

Honorable mention: Craig Skinner (volleyball), Matthew Mitchell (women's basketball), John Calipari (men's basketball)

The Josh Harrellson Award (most improved player)
Samantha Drake (women's basketball) - The Bardstown, Ky., native had her moments as a freshman, but was not expected to be more than a role player for UK Hoops in 2011-12. Through the first five games of the season, that's exactly what she was, as she averaged 5.4 points. Over Drake's next seven games as UK rose to a No. 6 national ranking, the 6-foot-3 center established herself as one of Matthew Mitchell's most reliable contributors.

She has scored in double figures six times during the stretch, including a career-high 21 points in a trip to face No. 3 Notre Dame and 18 last week against Samford.

"It was not one moment, but it started happening one day then started snowballing," Mitchell said of her improvement. "There was a play here, then the next day she would make two or three. It was pretty dramatic.

"She had a terrific summer and I just tried to put it to her, 'There's nothing that you can't get through.' Finally she proved to herself she can really perform at a high level."

As UK enters SEC play, Mitchell will look to Drake to sustain that improvement.

The Butler-VCU Award (surprise team)

Women's soccer - For all the reasons Lipsitz is the coach of the semester, women's soccer is the surprise team. The Cats clearly had talent with Hunyadi, star incoming freshman Arin Gilliland and others, but this year's team was supposed to be one that battled to make the bottom half of the SEC Tournament bracket. Instead, UK raced out to a 7-0-0 start to the year and never looked back in earning a No. 6 seed in Orange Beach, Ala., and a home match in the NCAA Tournament, where the Wildcats lost in heartbreaking fashion on penalty kicks against Washington State.

One Shining Moment (best moment)


Fans carried Matt Roark off the field after he rushed for 124 yards in a 10-7 win over Tennessee. (Brett Marshall, UK Athletics) Fans carried Matt Roark off the field after he rushed for 124 yards in a 10-7 win over Tennessee. (Brett Marshall, UK Athletics)

Football ends the streak - This one's a no-brainer. It had been over a quarter-century since Kentucky had defeated Tennessee in football and when wide receiver Matt Roark stepped onto the field as quarterback with Maxwell Smith and Morgan Newton sidelined due to injury, it certainly looked as if the streak would continue. Instead, Roark led a gritty offense that did just enough to win thanks to a staunch defensive effort by a group of seniors who desperately wanted to defeat the Volunteers. The 10-7 win set off a raucous celebration, capped off when Roark served as the honorary 'Y' at Rupp Arena that same night.

The "Band is Out On the Field" Award (best game/match)
Men's basketball beats North Carolina - The hype for UK-UNC started way back in May when Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb, Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Tyler Zeller decided to return to their respective schools. It was clear the Cats and Tar Heels would be ranked atop the polls when the season started, setting up a potential No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown in Rupp Arena in early December. UNC lost to undo that possibility, but that was the only part of the game that didn't live up to the hype.

UK trailed by as many as nine points early, but battled back to take a late lead in front of a delirious sellout crowd. The Cats seemed poised to seal the win, but the Heels forced a turnover by Doron Lamb and got a 3-pointer from Reggie Bullock to cut UT's lead to 73-72. Marquis Teague was then fouled and headed to the foul line for a one-and-one. He missed the front end with 21 seconds left, setting up a chance for UNC to take the last shot for the win. UK would hold on, but only because of our play of the semester...

The Doug Flutie Hail Mary Award (best play)




Davis' block seals win over UNC
- Point guard Kendall Marshall ran the clock down and used a screen to position himself for a pass to Zeller inside. As they had been doing all game, the Cats sent a double team at him and Zeller lost the ball, but conveniently right into the waiting hands of Henson. He pulled up for a short jumper, but Anthony Davis skied to get a piece of the shot and grabbed the rebound off his own block. UK would then run out the final five seconds.
Video

All-Wildcat Team (the Scratchies equivalent of the All-America Team)
Kelsey Hunyadi (women's soccer) - Her 38 points were the second most in school history.
Luis Orta (cross country) - With a fifth-place finish at the SEC Championships, Orta became UK's first first-team All-SEC performer since 2003.
Stephanie Klefot (volleyball) - The junior was a second-team All-American and won SEC Libero of the Year for the second year in a row.
Matt Lodge (men's soccer) - Lodge tallied seven goals and 10 assists during his junior season.
Doron Lamb (men's basketball) - He is the leading scorer (16.1 points per game) for the nation's third-ranked team.
Winston Guy (football) - Moving to a new linebacker position, Guy had 120 tackles and a team-leading 14 tackles for loss.
A'dia Mathies (women's basketball) - Now healthy, the junior guard has already eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for her UK career.

All-Calipari Team (all-freshman team)
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (men's basketball) - Averaging 13.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks through 12 games.
Anthony Davis (men's basketball) - Leads UK with 10.0 rebounds per game and ranks among nation's leaders with 52 blocks.
Arin Gilliland (women's soccer) - Blue-chip prospect split time between defense and attack, scoring four goals.
Bria Goss (women's basketball) - Has started 11 games, averaging 12.3 points and 5.1 rebounds.
Lauren O'Conner (volleyball) - Played in 124 of 126 sets on the season, totaling 284 kills and was named to SEC All-Freshman team.

All-Up-and-Comers (non-freshmen on the rise)
Ashley Frazier (volleyball) - Played her first season at UK after transferring, leading the team with 406 kills.
Christina Hartmann (volleyball) - Took over setting duties early in the season and was a first-team All-SEC performer.
Cody Martin (men's golf) - Led UK with an average round of 72.6 as a sophomore and finished second in the UK Bluegrass Fall Invitational.
Alejando Gomez (men's tennis) - Off to a running start to sophomore season with a 15-2 singles mark during the fall season.
Greg Ferrucci (swimming and diving) - Sophomore twice won SEC Diver of the Week during the fall, breaking a school record in the one-meter dive in the process.
Tyler Riggs (men's soccer) - Followed up good freshman season with an even better sophomore year, totaling 11 goals and five assists.

Best Streak Award

Men's basketball's home win streak - With eight wins in Rupp Arena to open 2011-12, UK has extended its home winning streak to 42 games, eclipsing Duke (41) for the longest in the nation. Kentucky has yet to lose a home game with John Calipari roaming the sidelines, winning all 41 games in Rupp during his three-year tenure.

He said what? (quote of the semester)

Craig Skinner, after volleyball played No. 1 Texas to a near draw in the Sweet 16 in front of over 4,000 fans in Memorial Coliseum - "I think that's about as high a level of volleyball as you can play. If you aren't excited to play in front of a crowd like that and with a group that puts their heart and soul into the game then I'd be stunned. We're on the right path and we have to continue to take steps forward and this team is so motivated that I'm not worried that won't happen."

The Dougie Award (best dance/celebration)
Matthew Mitchell at Big Blue Madness
- Mitchell's dance in the video below pretty much speaks for itself. The only remaining question is how he's going to top himself in 2012.


Performances of the Week: Nov. 6

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Every Tuesday, UK Athletics recognizes outstanding performances for our student-athletes. These are the honorees for the week ending Sunday, Nov. 6:

Football: Winston Guy

Earned his seventh double-figure tackle game of the season against Ole Miss when he had 10 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss and a quarterback hurry. One of his biggest plays came in the first quarter when he tracked down a speedy Ole Miss ball carrier en route to the end zone, saving a touchdown.

Cross country: Luis Orta

  • Junior Luis Orta finished fifth at the SEC Cross Country Championships on Monday.
  • Orta is the first UK cross country runner to earn first team All-SEC honors since current assistant coach Thomas Morgan won the SEC Championships in 2003.
  • Orta ran a 24:28.36 on the 8,000-meter course in Maryville, Tenn.
  • Led Kentucky to a fourth-place team finish, its best team result at the conference meet since 1992, when the Wildcats finished in third.

Men's tennis: Eric Quigley

  • Advanced to the semifinals of the USTA/ITA Nation Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, taking down two top-24 ranked players along the way.
  • Went 3-1 at the event, increasing his career record to 137-43, sitting only seven wins shy of tying the school record for singles wins in a career.
  • Quigley was honored with the 2011 USTA/ITA Sportsmanship Award as selected by a panel of coaches, officials and tournament committee members.

Football: Maxwell Smith

Earned his first career start and performed well, completing 19 of 36 passes for 283 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Ole Miss.  His 283 passing yards is the most ever in one game for a Kentucky true freshman (non-redshirt) quarterback.  The old record was 208 yards by Larry McCrimmon vs. Florida in 1978.

Football: Danny Trevathan

Continued his brilliance this season with his second consecutive 17-tackle performance against Ole Miss. Also earned his fourth career interception, including one in each of the last three games. He becomes the first player to notch picks in three consecutive games since Tremayne Martin had an interception in the first three games of the 1997 season.

Football: CoShilk Williams

Second career 100-yard rushing game against Ole Miss when he rushed a career high 25 times for 111 yards and two touchdowns. Has played well in UK's last three games, rushing 62 times for 323 yards and two touchdowns.

Best of Blue Weekly Awards (week of Oct. 31)

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Thumbnail image for best of blue logo_web.jpg It can be hard to keep up with everything going on in the University of Kentucky's 22 varsity sports. With that in mind, we will highlight the best from around Kentucky sports each week. We'll recognize the best performances from Wildcat teams and players, we'll show you the coolest videos and photos that you may have missed and we'll mix in some new stuff along the way. Here are your award winners for this week:

Team of the week - Rifle posts NCAA-record score, returns to No. 1

The defending national champion UK rifle team started out the season ranked first in the nation. However, West Virginia eclipsed Kentucky in the national rankings two weeks into the season even though the Cats had been impressive in a pair of season-opening wins. In their first match after falling to second, the Wildcats responded in a big way.

Against conference foe Memphis, UK tallied a score of 4711, breaking their own NCAA-record score set during last season's tournament run. Emily Holsopple led the way with a score of 597 in air rifle as the Cats turned in a performance that returned them to the top of the polls.

Player of the week - Luis Orta stands out at SEC Championships


Cross Country junior Luis Orta has been one of the stars of the fall sports season at UK, winning SEC Men's Runner of the Week honors on three separate occasions. Teams throughout the SEC met in Maryville, Tenn., for the conference championships and Orta showed just how deserving he was of all those accolades.

Orta finished fifth among all runners, leading the men's cross country team to a fourth-place finish, the program's best since 1992. The Venezuela native also earned first-team All-SEC honors for his performance, becoming UK's first runner to earn that distinction since Thomas Morgan in 2003.

Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart took to Twitter to congratulate Orta on his success.

"Really proud of Luis Orta for earning (first) team All-SEC honors at the SEC Championships," Barnhart tweeted. "He finished (fifth and) led the team to (fourth) place. Luis really embodies what being a student-athlete at UK means. He doesn't only excel on the field, but also in the classroom and community."

Game of the week - Volleyball defeats No. 13 Florida in five

Mired in a conference title race with top-20 opponents Tennessee and Florida, every match the Wildcats play down the stretch is a big one, but Sunday's match against Florida felt just a bit bigger. Tied at seven midway through the decisive fifth, UK scored eight of the match's final 10 points to upset the No. 13 Gators and maintain control of its own destiny in the race for the SEC title.

UK won the first and third sets, but Florida responded both times to even things up at two entering the final game. The Wildcats then kicked things into another gear to win in the fifth. As an observer, seeing the intensity of the team during that final stretch and the jubilation they displayed once they got the job done was pretty amazing.

Whitney Billings and Ashley Frazier led the attack with 17 and 16 kills, respectively. Billings also joined Christine Hartmann as one of two Cats to post a double-double. Stephanie Klefot had a career-high 28 digs in the win, carrying her to SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Play of the week - Josh Mulvany scores a beautiful goal on Senior Day




Facing off against No. 15 SMU on Senior Day, UK got a pair of goals from departing seniors and held on for a 2-0 upset victory to send the class out in style. The second of those goals was from Josh Mulvany, who came up with a loose ball about 25 yards from goal and spotted the Mustang keeper too far off his line. He volleyed a shot high into the left "upper V" and over the outstretched arms of the beaten keeper.

Mulvany's goal takes place at the seven-second mark of the above video.

Photo of the week - Volleyball celebrates Florida win

Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics

Alumnus/alumna of the week - Andrew Albers pitches Team Canada to Pan American gold

Former Kentucky left-handed pitcher Andrew Albers became the second Wildcat in as many weeks to earn a gold medal at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, following Molly Johnson. Albers started the gold medal game for Canada against Team USA, pitching 6.2 innings and allowing just a single run in picking up the win for his native country.

Facing an American team that featured some of baseball's top prospects, Albers struck out eight batters while walking none, helping Canada to its first gold medal in a senior national event in its history.

Broderick tries new sport, runs to new heights

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In her first year as a competitive runner, Megan Broderick has emerged for UK's cross country team. (Chet White, UK Athletics) In her first year as a competitive runner, Megan Broderick has emerged for UK's cross country team. (Chet White, UK Athletics)
For four years, Megan Broderick was the best player on the Kentucky tennis team. She played No. 1 singles each season, winning 64 matches and ranking as high as No. 55 in the nation before concluding her tennis career in the spring of 2011.

At that point, most athletes would be ready to call it a career, but Broderick just isn't built that way.

Instead, Broderick opted to take advantage of an NCAA rule that allowed student-athletes a fifth year of eligibility in a second sport, joining the cross country and track team for the 2011-12 season. The same competitiveness and determination that propelled her to a decorated tennis are what ultimately drove her to her second Division I career.

"Growing up, I played a lot of different sports and I've always had that competitive spirit in me," Broderick said. "It wasn't really a thought of mine whether I was going to fail or succeed. I just really wanted to do it. I thought that I could help the team in cross country and track."

To say Broderick has helped the team in her first two months as a competitive runner would be an understatement. In four races as a member of the cross country team, she has emerged as one of UK's top runners, finishing no worse than third among her Wildcat teammates.

"It's definitely a little bit of a surprise to me how well I'm doing right off the bat," Broderick said. "I owe a lot of that to the girls. They've really accepted me onto the team and the coaches and trainers have all done a great job working with me to allow me to be comfortable in the new environment."

Don Weber, head cross country and track coach, sees things a bit differently. He learned a great deal about Broderick's willpower and talent before taking her on the team, and had an inkling this kind of success would be on the horizon, but maybe not so quickly.

"I'm not really surprised she's doing well based upon what I know about her," Weber said, "but she's doing better than I thought she would do."

Chance training room meeting starts it all

Broderick was already planning on returning to UK for a fifth year. She had one class to finish up before her planned graduation in December and had heard about and researched the rule that would ultimately allow her to participate in cross country and track. Coaches don't often find themselves recruiting current college seniors, but that's exactly what Weber did when he ran into Broderick.

"Last year, sometime during the school year we bumped into each other in the training room and I knew she was a fourth-year senior," Weber said. "I asked her if she had any school beyond this. She said she did and I said 'Would you consider running in your fifth year?' "

Broderick didn't think too much about the possibility at first, but there were a few classes she knew she would like to take other than the one she needed to graduate. Weber continued to talk to Broderick about joining the team, appealing to the passion for running she had always had even during her tennis career. Ultimately, Broderick gave Weber the "yes" he was looking for.

"Based on how impressed I was with her, how much want-to she had and her very keen interest in doing this, I decided to invest in her and we'll see where it goes," Weber said.

Developing a plan

There was still the small matter of Weber actually seeing his newest runner in action. As soon as she finished the tennis season, Broderick went on a run with Weber looking on. Fortunately, the investment Weber had decided to make in her immediately looked like a good one.

"I was relieved and impressed that she could run pretty well," Weber said. "She looked pretty good and the pace she was running for those three miles was pretty good. After that run, we came into the field house and she did a couple of 200's to get a sense of her speed and how she might run on the track. That was impressive too."

The next step was to begin training. Broderick wasn't in Lexington for much of the summer, but she stayed in close contact with Weber throughout. He assigned her specific workouts with one preeminent concern in mind.

"I didn't have a whole lot of concerns because I was so impressed with her, but the biggest concern was regarding training," Weber said. "Since she had a relatively limited background in running, I didn't want to have her do too much too soon and her body not be ready for that."

The first race

When the season opening race, the Belmont-VU Opener, rolled around, Broderick expected her nerves to be jangling. She had participated in "one or two" races on the cross country team in high school, but this was another level. To her surprise, she was relatively calm on the course, mostly thanks to all her experience on the tennis court.

"I really thought I was going to be more nervous than I was," Broderick said. "Playing a tennis match, you're out there by yourself and everyone's watching you while in a cross country meet, you're running in a pack so eyes are not directly on you as much."

Her debut was an unmitigated success. She finished in 16th place overall and third on the team with a time of 14:53.73. In some ways, it's what she doesn't know that allowed her to start so quickly.

"She's not afraid of hills, she's not afraid of distance, she just competes and attacks," Weber said. "Other people who have done cross country longer, they know those things are additional challenges and, instead of freely accepting them, there's a measure of intimidation. She doesn't have any of that."

As the season has progressed, Broderick has only gotten better. In the team's last race, she turned in her best performance. The Panorama Farms Invitational two weeks ago was UK's longest race of the season so far (6K) and, for the first time in her career, Broderick was the first Wildcat to finish. With a time of 22:28.51, she finished 23rd overall in a strong field.

Broderick's precociousness would suggest it all comes easily for her, but she's gotten a firsthand education in what makes running competitively so different from running to stay in shape.

"I think the biggest difference is the amount of mental toughness it takes," Broderick said. "During my four years of playing tennis at UK, I became a better athlete, not only physically, but also mentally. When you're running races, it's painful and what gets you through is the ability to overcome that pain and be mentally tough."

Cross country season has 'flown by', track on the horizon

With all regular season races completed, UK's focus now turns to the postseason, which begins with the SEC Championships on Oct. 31 in Maryville, Tenn. The brief season has gone by very quickly for Broderick, though she knows there is a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks.

"It's flown by," Broderick said. "Every race, there's a lot of pressure to compete as best you can because there aren't many. We have SEC's and regionals coming up so hopefully we can perform well."

Broderick is optimistic about her and her team's prospects in the postseason, but she admits she doesn't know quite what to expect. Whenever the season does end, though, she'll jump right into training for track. Weber said he expects Broderick to focus on middle distances races such as the 800-meter and mile and he looks forward to seeing her compete in the more intimate atmosphere of track. Weber, though, called every day a "discovery" with Broderick, but there's one thing he knows he can always expect.

 "I expect it to be a whole lot of fun working with her and it will be inspiring to see what she can do," Weber said. "The one thing I know for certain is we'll get her best, because that's the way she is."

'You run the way you do because of the way you are'

Megan Broderick was a standout in tennis at UK for four years before joining cross country and track. (Chet White, UK Athletics) Megan Broderick was a standout in tennis at UK for four years before joining cross country and track. (Chet White, UK Athletics)

Broderick may not go on to set any records or win any national titles during her one year as a runner, but she has come to represent everything Weber looks for in an athlete.

"I've done this for a long time and in terms of attitude, enthusiasm and personal stake in it, she's one of the best we've ever had in that respect," Weber said. "We have a saying around here: 'You run the way you do because of the way you are.' I think she's a pretty good example of that."

She isn't ready to start thinking too much about her legacy or just how unique she is for participating in two Division I sports at such a high level, but Broderick expects to feel graciousness more than anything else when she does reflect on her time at UK.

"I'm really thankful that (head tennis) coach (Carlos) Drada and (assistant tennis) coach (Kevin) Calhoun were able to develop me as a tennis player and to have the success I did in that," Broderick said. "Then, to run across Coach Weber and to have this awesome opportunity is amazing. I'll just really be thankful for all the people, all the experiences and all the competition I was able to enjoy."

Best of Blue Weekly Awards (week of Oct. 17)

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best of blue logo_web.jpg It can be hard to keep up with everything going on in the University of Kentucky's 22 varsity sports. With that in mind, we will highlight the best from around Kentucky sports each week. We'll recognize the best performances from Wildcat teams and players, we'll show you the coolest videos and photos that you may have missed and we'll mix in some new stuff along the way. Here are your award winners for this week:

Team of the week - Men's soccer turns in best performance of season

Sitting at 0-4 in conference play, Ian Collins and the men's soccer team needed to get in the win column badly. With their Conference USA Tournament and NCAA Tournament future at stake, the Cats played their best match of the season against rival Tulsa en route to a crucial 3-1 victory. Charles Pettys had the first two-goal game of his UK career and Josh Mulvany added another goal. It was also a stalwart defensive effort as Tulsa's only goal came on a disputed penalty call.

UK's explosive offensive had been stymied of late, but forward Matt Lodge led the way to an explosion against Tulsa. Although he didn't score a goal, Lodge was the offensive star. He tied a school record with three assists, moving him into second place all-time on the single season assist list with 10 so far in 2011.

Player of the week  - Luis Orta posts yet another top-10 finish

There hasn't been a single UK student-athlete this fall who has been more consistent than junior cross country runner Luis Orta. The Venezuela native finished in fifth place at the Panorama Farms Invitational this weekend, marking his fourth top 10 finish in as many races in 2011. His strong finish paced the Cats to fourth place as a team in the race and has already been named SEC Men's Runner of the Week three times in 2011. Cross country has a couple weeks off before post-season meets begin with the SEC Championships on Oct. 31.

Game of the week - Volleyball upends No. 18 Tennessee in thriller


It's difficult to imagine a midseason volleyball clash meaning more than last Wednesday's match between then-No. 25 UK and No. 18 Tennessee. First place in the Southeastern Conference standings was at stake and ESPNU was broadcasting the match to a national television audience. Adding fuel to the fire was a raucous crowd participating in a "White out" and the fact that UK hadn't beaten the rival Lady Vols in five tries.

Safe to say, Craig Skinner's team responded to the pressure. In a heart-stopping five-set victory, the Cats emerged victorious and pulled into a tie for first in the SEC. In an evenly-matched affair, Whitney Billings filled the stat sheet. The sophomore had 15 kills at a .367 hitting clip along with six blocks and eight digs. Senior Becky Pavan had a team-high 16 kills.

Play of the week - Horner scores golden goal in double OT



With women's soccer teams in the SEC jockeying for position in the conference tournament in Orange Beach, Ala., UK hosted No. 14 Tennessee on Friday in a key match. The Cats played exceptionally well, outshooting Tennessee 22-11, but could not find a way to net a goal. It was a scoreless tie in double overtime when Kelsey Hunyadi found Natalie Horner in the right side of the box. Horner dribbled past a defender and shot into the top of the net for the game-winning goal. Go to the 30-second mark of the video above to see the goal.

Photo of the week - Silhouette shot of Matthew Mitchell as Michael Jackson
UK Hoops head coach Matthew Mitchell was the hit of Big Blue Madness, introducing himself to fans with a spot on impression of Michael Jackson. (Britney McIntosh, UK Athletics) UK Hoops head coach Matthew Mitchell was the hit of Big Blue Madness, introducing himself to fans with a spot on impression of Michael Jackson. (Britney McIntosh, UK Athletics)

Alumnus/alumna of the week - Molly Johnson stars for Team USA in Pan American Games

A couple weeks ago, it was announced that former star UK shortstop and current softball assistant coach Molly Johnson would play for Team USA in the 2011 Pan American Games. Last week, the team played a few exhibitions to prepare for the tournament and Johnson earned a starting spot. The Americans played their opener in tournament play on Monday, earning a 10-0 win over Venezuela, and Johnson was at the middle of it all. She was 3-for-3 at the plate, including two doubles and four RBI.

Team USA plays a pair of games on Tuesday, facing off against the Dominican Republic at 2 p.m. ET and tournament host Mexico at 9 p.m.

Video of the week - Big Blue Madness introduction



Performances of the Week: Oct. 16

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Every Tuesday, UK Athletics recognizes outstanding performances for our student-athletes. These are the honorees for the week ending Sunday, Oct. 16:

Men's golf: Joseph Barr

  • Junior Joseph Barr carded a career-best round of 66 (-5) in the first round of the Bearcat Invitational on Oct. 10.
  • Barr followed up his first round 66 with a 2-under par 69 in the second round to hold the lead entering the tournament's final round.
  • Barr finished the tournament in a tie for third, his best result of the season thus far, and helped lead Kentucky to a second-place finish.

Volleyball: Whitney Billings

Sophomore Whitney Billings continued her dynamic play in Southeastern Conference action. Billings was the difference maker in UK's upset of No. 18 Tennessee - its first loss of the SEC schedule. Billings struck for 15 kills, the highest total this season, on a sizzling .367 hitting percentage. She was the only UK attacker to post an above .350 attacking percentage in the victory. Billings' all-around play continues as she also notched a squad-high six blocks and added four assists in the win. Against Mississippi State she totaled her 10th match of the season with 10 or more scoops with 14 digs in the three-set match for an average of 4.67 scoops per stanza. Furthermore, Billings was served at 24 times for the week and she did not commit an error.

Women's soccer: Natalie Horner

Natalie Horner netted the golden-goal in Kentucky's 1-0 double-overtime upset of 14th ranked Tennessee Friday night. It was Horner's second goal of the season and her first in conference play.

Men's soccer: Matt Lodge

Junior forward Matt Lodge shined in a shellacking of UK rival Tulsa on Wednesday, assisting on a school-record three goals in the 3-1 win over the Golden Hurricane ... Lodge's three assists are the most in a single-game in school annals, marking the fourth time in UK history a player has accomplished that feat and the first since Barry Rice in 2006 ... Now owns 10 assists on the year, the second-most assists in UK single-season history, just three shy of Jamal Shteiwi's school-best 13 in 2003 ... Has added seven goals and 62 shots, with his shot total ranking as the second-most shots in UK single-season history ... 16 games deep into his junior season, Loge owns 17 goals and 15 assists (49 points), ranking among the career leaders in points (seventh), goals (eighth), assists (fifth), shots (137; fifth) and game-winning goals (six; seventh) ... With 24 points in 2011, Lodge ranks fifth in UK single-season history ...A Rossington, England, native and a 2009 Freshman All-America honoree, Lodge ranks among the C-USA leaders in shots (first, 62), points (fourth, 24), points per game (sixth, 1.50), goals (sixth, 7) and assists (first, 10).

Volleyball: Jackie Napper

Freshman Jackie Napper has been the epitome of consistency for the Wildcats with seven or more digs in six consecutive matches for the Louisville, Ky., product. Napper put together one of her best performances of the season in the upset victory over No. 18 Tennessee. Napper charted eight scoops, but it was her demeanor on the receiving end of serves that helped propel UK to the win. Napper was served at an astounding 42 times in the match and did not make a single error. Napper then went on to post seven scoops in three sets of action, for 2.33 scoops per set, well above her season average.

Cross country: Luis Orta

  • Luis Orta earned his fourth top-10 finish in as many races this season.
  • The junior from Caracas, Venezuela finished in fifth at the Panorama Farms Invitational, crossing the finish line at the 8,000-meter race in 24:29.74.
  • Orta has led UK in every race this season and has been named Southeastern Conference Men's Runner of the Week three times already.

Men's soccer: Charles Pettys

Junior midfielder Charles Pettys notched his first career two-goal game, in leading UK to a 3-1 beatdown of Conference USA powerhouse Tulsa on Wednesday ... Pettys notched both of UK's two goals to start of the game, getting his first in the 13th minute and adding his second in the 27th frame ... On the year, Pettys owns three goals and seven assists, ranking fourth in the league in assists and ninth in the conference in points (13) ... Pettys' first career two-goal game marked the 57th all-time two-goal outing from a UK player in program history ... In his two-year UK career, Pettys - a native of Los Angeles, Calif. - has played in 29 games with 20 starts, posting four goals and eight assists.

Women's soccer: Kayla Price

Freshman Kayla Price notched her fifth shutout of the season in the upset of Tennessee. She currently second among all-time UK freshmen in shutouts and her 1.19 GAA is the third lowest among freshmen in program history.

Women's tennis: Jessica Stiles and Khristina Blajkevitch

  • Junior Jessica Stiles and sophomore Khristina Blajkevitch have paired up for doubles play at the USTA/ITA Women's Tennis Ohio Valley Regional's and have yet to lose a match. Their impressive play has earned them a spot in the semi-finals in the main draw.

Oct. 2 Performances of the Week

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Every Tuesday, UK Athletics recognizes outstanding performances for our student-athletes. These are the honorees for the week ending Sunday, Oct. 2:

Women's golf: Ashleigh Albrecht

  • Won the Bettie Lou Evans Fall Invitational by one stroke.
  • This is her second career collegiate win, first being at the UCF Challenge in Feb. 2011.
  • Finished the invitational with 12 birdies and an eagle.

Volleyball: Whitney Billings

Sophomore Whitney Billings was simply the impact-player of the week for UK in two road victories. Billings has been a defensive ace for the Wildcats in helping UK to a 14-3 overall start and a 5-1 mark in league play. This week, Billings averaged 3.29 digs per set (Only UK's libero ranked higher with 3.43) and she also posted 1.14 blocks per set - meaning she contributed on the defensive side in both ways. Kentucky averaged 15.57 digs per set and 3.00 blocks per set in the two wins combined, with only Billings ranking in the top-two on the team in both digs and blocks per set. Her 15 scoops in the win at Arkansas were a season-best and ranked as the highest mark in the match. Her six blocks at LSU was a season-high mark and was the best on the floor as well.

Football: Winston Guy

Had another fantastic game with 12 tackles, including two tackles for loss. Guy ranks second in the SEC in tackles this season53 stops, while sitting first on the team in tackles for loss with six and a half and interceptions with two.

Volleyball: Christine Hartmann

Junior setter Christine Hartmann directed the Wildcat offense to a pair of victories at Arkansas and at LSU this weekend. For the weekend, Hartmann passed out 86 assists and moved into 10th place all-time in the UK record books with 1,534 career assists. In both matches she topped 40 assists, including a career-high 41 for a three-set match. In the win vs. LSU, Hartmann found six players for five or more kills and the offense had a .385 hitting clip. She also contributed six kills of her own. She notched 45 assists in the win at Arkansas with Ashley Frazier posting a career-high 18 kills in the match. Hartmann is in charge of an offense that leads the SEC in kills and assists per set.

Women's soccer: Caitlin Landis

Caitlin Landis netted her fourth goal of the season on Friday night in Kentucky's 1-0 win at South Carolina ... It was UK's first win against USC since 2006 and it's first win in Columbia since 2005 ... Landis' goal was her game-winner this season ... She finished with a team-high three shots in 85 minutes of action ... It was also her third goal in league play this season, tied for second most in the league.

Men's golf: Cody Martin

  • Finished in fourth at the rain-shortened Inverness Intercollegiate Invitational with an even-par round of 71.
  • Has finished in the top five in each of Kentucky's first three tournaments this season.
  • Has a season stroke average of 70.14, the lowest on the team.
  • Of the seven rounds of golf he's played this year, five have been even par or better.

Volleyball: Lauren O'Conner

Freshman Lauren O'Conner had an all-around weekend in helping guide UK to a 2-0 record on the road. O'Conner posted 3.29 kills per set on a team-high .435 hitting percentage. She totaled 10 or more kills in both victories, including 13 on a career-high .545 hitting clip at LSU. For the week, she took 46 swings and committed a mere three hitting errors. Her all-around game has continued to improve with five digs and a four blocks this weekend - which are both above her average for the season.  

Cross country: Luis Orta

  • Finished in 10th out of 240 runners at the Greater Louisville Classic on Saturday in Louisville, Ky.
  • Led the men's cross country team to an eighth place finish out of 29 competing teams.
  • His time of 24:17.72 is also is his collegiate-best time.
  • Has finished in the top 10 overall in each of Kentucky's first three races this season, including back-to-back wins in each of UK's first two races.

Women's soccer: Kayla Price

Kayla Price earned her first career SEC shutout Friday, in helping to lead Kentucky to 1-0 win at South Carolina ... It was UK's first win against South Carolina and its first win in Columbia since 2005 ... Price is currently tied for fourth in league games in saves with 19 and tied for second in shutouts with one ... Her four shutouts on the season is tied for fourth on UK's all-time freshman goalie list

Women's tennis: Jessica Stiles

Junior Jessica Stiles took third place in her singles draw after defeating Jennifer Rabot of Purdue University in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2.

Football: Danny Trevathan

Senior posted 13 tackles in the game, marking the third time this season he has earned 13 tackles or more. Trevathan has double-figure tackles in four of UK's five games this season and is currently leading the SEC in tackles with 59.

Fall sports get athletics year off to hot start

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When Mitch Barnhart took over as Athletics Director in 2002, he set out his vision for the success of all 22 varsity teams at the University of Kentucky. During that time, UK has seen unprecedented levels of achievement across those sports, especially during the last athletic year.

Between rifle's national championship, men's basketball's trip to the Final Four, softball's berth in the Super Regionals, the appearance by men's tennis in the Elite Eight, volleyball's sixth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, football's fifth straight bowl game and UK Hoops' second consecutive NCAA berth, 2010-11 was arguably the best season in the history of UK Athletics.

As good as last year was, this one is setting up to potentially be even better. Teams with high expectations like rifle, men's and women's basketball and softball have yet to begin their seasons, but fall sports have the 2011-12 athletics year off to an amazing start. The fall sports teams have a combined record of 27-9-1 among those with win-loss records, while teams that play tournaments or participate in meets have four first place finishes in eight opportunities.

Here are some of the top storylines from the first month of the season:

Volleyball rallies from early season adversity

Craig Skinner presents junior libero Stephanie Klefot with a game ball commemorating her 1000th career dig. (Chet White, UK Athletics) Craig Skinner presents junior libero Stephanie Klefot with a game ball commemorating her 1000th career dig. (Chet White, UK Athletics)
Knowing UK would be hosting a regional in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, the Wildcats had high goals entering the season, wanting to position themselves to potentially play in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight in Memorial Coliseum. The season, though, did not get off to the best start. Volleyball lost two of its first four matches, both by sweeps. The second came at home against Cincinnati and the Cats did not hesitate to call the performance "embarrassing".

Since then, the Wildcats have been anything but embarrassing on the floor, winning 10 of 11 matches to run their record to 12-3 on the season, 3-1 in SEC play. In the 10 wins, UK has won an astounding 30-of-33 sets. The lone loss came in the toughest game the conference has to offer: on the road against No. 6 Florida.

After winning SEC Libero of the Year a season ago, junior Stephanie Klefot has been a defensive stalwart. Averaging nearly five digs per set, Klefot became the 11th player in school history with 1,000 digs three weeks ago. UK's attack is a balanced one, with five players averaging at least two kills per set, including junior Ashley Frazier with a team-leading 2.73.

Men's and women's soccer making a mark

Both the men's and women's soccer teams recently entered conference play having established themselves as contenders during difficult non-conference schedules.

Senior forward Kelsey Hunyadi has tallied 20 points in 10 games this season (Barry Westerman, UK Athletics) Senior forward Kelsey Hunyadi has tallied 20 points in 10 games this season (Barry Westerman, UK Athletics)
At 8-2-0, Jon Lipsitz and his women's team rank 12th in the nation in the RPI, the highest rating in program history.  Seven of the Wildcats' 10 games have come against teams ranked in the top 100 of the RPI, with UK winning five. The team started the year with six straight wins, but a loss to No. 24 Dayton on Sept. 17 ended the streak and forced Lipsitz to cut the beard he promised to grow until his team's first loss.

After losing their next game at Alabama in the SEC opener, UK bounced back with a 4-1 win over Auburn in which Kelsey Hunyadi tied a career-high with five points. Her two goals and one assist moved her point total on the season to 20, putting her on pace to make a run at the school record.

Since arriving at UK before the 2009 season, Lipsitz has built the program quickly. The Cats advanced to the SEC Tournament Quarterfinals a season ago and appear poised to improve upon that finish in a difficult conference that features nine teams in the RPI top 50. Next up for UK is a pair of road games this weekend against South Carolina and Florida.

Ian Collins and the men's team (7-4-1) currently are ranked 21st in the nation. Right off the bat, UK made a statement with a home upset of then-No. 9 ranked Michigan en route to a 4-0-1 start. The Wildcats are in now the midst of a stretch of games that called for them to travel nearly 10,000 miles in three weeks and face some of the country's top teams. Though the Cats have lost four games during that time, three of the losses have come at the hands of teams ranked in the top 20 and all have been on the road.

Most recently, UK suffered an overtime loss against No. 10 Central Florida, but sophomore Tyler Riggs scored his team-leading ninth goal. Riggs leads one of the nation's top attacks and ranks among NCAA leaders in both points and goals. Junior Matt Lodge also keys UK's high-octane offense and has tallied seven goals and seven assists.

Don't let the record fool you, because UK is more than capable of making noise in the post-season. With that stellar offense, an improving defense and the experience of playing an exceptionally tough schedule, there won't be a challenge the Cats face that they won't be capable of overcoming. UK next faces Florida International at noon ET Sunday in the second game of play in Conference USA.

Orta leads cross country's strong start

Junior Luis Orta has twice won SEC Runner of the Week this season. (UK Athletics) Junior Luis Orta has twice won SEC Runner of the Week this season. (UK Athletics)
Following a strong first two seasons at UK, junior Luis Orta entered the season with high expectations. Looking to improve on his three top-five meet finishes from a year ago, Orta has exceeded the goals head coach Don Weber set for him.

In the opening two meets of 2011, the Caracas, Venezuela, native has dominated, leading the men's team to a pair of wins in the Belmont/VU Opener and the Tennessee Invitational. Orta placed first in both meets, including finishing the 8,000-meter course at the Tennessee Invitational over 17 seconds faster than his nearest competitor. Orta was named SEC Men's Runner of the Week after both wins, the second and third times he earned the award in his career.

The women's team has also had a successful start to the season, placing first in the Tennessee Invitational and third in the Belmont/VU Opener. Junior Chelsea Oswald has paced the Cats in both meets.

The men's and women's cross country teams are in action again this weekend in the Greater Louisville Invitational in Louisville, Ky.

Men's, women's golf in full swing

Women's golf head coach Golda Johansson Borst is in her second season as head coach and is looking to build on a successful first year that saw the team advance to post-season play for the first time since 2008. Things are looking good so far as UK finished third in its first tournament of the season, the Texas A&M "Mo"Morial. The finish is the best of Borst's tenure. Senior Ashlee Rose and junior Ashleigh Albrecht each finished in the top 10 of individual play to lead the team.

Women's golf is the only fall sport with a home event this weekend, as they host the Bettie Lou Evans Invitational Friday through Sunday.

Men's golf has had three events already this season, including a first place finish in the UK Bluegrass Fall Invitational two weeks ago. Sophomore Cody Martin has been steady for UK, earning top-five finishes in all three tournaments. UK next plays in the Bearcat Invitational in Hebron, Ky., Oct. 10-11.

Sept. 18 Performances of the Week

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Every Tuesday, UK Athletics recognizes outstanding performances for our student-athletes. These are the honorees for the week ending Sunday, Sept. 18:

Volleball: Ann Armes

Senior Ann Armes provided the spark for the Blue and White in UK's perfect 2-0 weekend. Armes was sensational both offensively and defensively. Armes posted a career-high seven rejections and added her third match with 10 or more kills in UK's victory over Georgia to preserve Kentucky's ninth consecutive victory. Armes struck for the 11 kills on a .450 hitting clip. In Kentucky's victory over Auburn, Armes posted seven kills and did not commit an error with a .778 hitting percentage. Her two aces in the win over the Bulldogs was also a season-high. Only one other player has tallied seven or more blocks in a match this season for the Wildcats. Armes currently ranks second in the SEC in hitting percentage and sixth for blocks in conference matches.

Men's tennis: Tom Jomby

Jomby went 3-1 at the Olympia Fields Invitational, including his first career win over a ranked foe at the collegiate level when he took down No. 28 Casey Watt of Notre Dame in dominating fashion 6-2, 6-0.

Volleball: Stephanie Klefot

Junior Stephanie Klefot posted a pair of 17-dig matches to help preserve UK's unbeaten streak in the month of September. Klefot has now charted 10 or more digs in 12 matches this season and 50 in her career. With 34 digs this weekend, she moved into eighth place all-time at Kentucky with 1,062 career scoops. Furthermore, Klefot's serve-receive line continues to be incredible. She received a team-high 42 serves in UK's two victories and did not commit an error.

Men's golf: Cody Martin

  • Finished in second at the UK Bluegrass Fall Invitational with a final score of 1-over par.
  • For the second-straight tournament, Martin led the Wildcats with the lowest score on the team.
  • Led UK to the team title at the UK Bluegrass Fall Invitational.

Men's tennis: Alex Musialek

Musialek had a great start to the fall season, earning two wins over ranked foes at the Olympia Fields Invitational. The senior defeated No. 113 Ben Chen of Texas and No. 45 Nick Andrews of California at the event. Musialek went 3-1 at the tournament with his only loss coming to No. 7 Dennis Nevolo.

Football: Morgan Newton

Set career highs by completing 27 of 41 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns.

Volleball: Lauren O'Conner

Freshman Lauren O'Conner continues to soar for the Wildcats, this time charting a team-high 22 kills and committing just four errors on 57 attempts in UK's 2-0 week. O'Conner tallied a career-high 14 kills in UK's victory over Georgia to keep UK's record in the month of September unscathed. She also charted her first career service ace in the victory as well. Furthermore, O'Conner's .364 hitting clip against Georgia matches a career-high. O'Conner has been a consistent performer for the Blue and White with at least seven or more kills in Kentucky's nine consecutive victories. She has posted six matches with 10 or more kills in that stretch.

Cross country: Luis Orta

  • Won the Tennessee Invitational, his second-consecutive first-place finish this season.
  • Led the men's team to its second team title in as many events this year.

Men's soccer: Tyler Riggs

Sophomore star Tyler Riggs continued his breakout season with three goals during No. 29 UK's conquest of the 2011 Gamecock Classic ... Riggs led UK to a 2-1 win over High Point on Friday and a shelling of No. 15 Brown, 5-1 on Sunday ... A native of Louisville, Ky., Riggs netted the first goal of the game vs. High Point on Friday, putting UK in position to win the Gamecock Classic with a match with Brown Sunday ... Riggs led UK to the dominating win, netting two goals as UK posted its second win over a top-15 foe in 2011 ... He sparked UK's first five-goal outing since the season opener in 2008 ... In the win Sunday vs. Brown, Riggs fired a six shots in just over 80 minutes, with all six coming on target ... Riggs' three goals came against two quality opponents, as No. 15 Brown finished in the NCAA Elite Eight in 2010 and High Point is coming off a 16-win season and an unbeaten slate in conference play ... Through nine games, Riggs has an eye-popping eight goals and four assists, ranking among the NCAA leaders in goals scored ... Riggs was honored with NSCAA Player of the Week, C-USA Offensive Player of the Week and Soccer America National Player of the week honors during the opening weekend after helping UK claim the 2011 UK Invitational Championship.

Men's tennis: Anthony Rossi

Rossi, who is ranked No. 95 in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, had an impressive run to the Duke Fab Four singles title, earning arguably the best singles win of his career in the semifinals on Saturday when he took down Duke's top-ranked player and No. 4-ranked Henrique Cunha. Rossi wrapped up the tournament with a dominating 6-3, 6-3 win over Luke Marchese to claim the tournament title.

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