Football - The Kentucky football team fell at No. 18/14 South Carolina on Saturday in Columbia, S.C., marking its third-consecutive game against a top-15 ranked team. - Senior safety Winston Guy led UK with 14 tackles, including two tackles for a loss. It marked the fifth time this season, and ninth time in his career, he has had double-digit tackles. - Linebacker Danny Trevathan, the SEC's leading tackler, totaled 13 stops and has double-figure tackles in 14 of the last 15 games, dating back to last season. Trevathan now has 303 career tackles becoming the 18th player in UK history to reach 300 tackles in his career. Volleyball - The Kentucky volleyball team earned two more victories this weekend to improve to 16-3 overall and 7-1 in Southeastern Conference action. UK has lost just one match since August. - Kentucky overpowered its two opponents, charting an above .300 hitting clip and holding its opponents to a mere .072 percentage. Kentucky's defense quieted Alabama to a mere 16 kills on -.012 hitting percentage. It marked the first time a Craig Skinner team limited its opponent to 20 or fewer kills since 2008. The negative hitting percentage was also the first this season for the Wildcat defense. - Junior libero Stephanie Klefot led the charge for UK's defense with an average of 4.43 digs per set to continue to set the standard for SEC defensive stalwarts. Klefot posted 31 total digs to move into fourth place on UK's all-time career list. - Sophomore Whitney Billings led the offense with back-to-back 11-kill performances on a blazing .447 hitting percentage. Freshman Lauren O'Conner continues to provide a consistent offensive hand as the Wildcats improved to 7-0 in league play when she posts eight or more kills.
Women's soccer - The Wildcats posted a split on the weekend with a 2-1 come-from-behind overtime win against Arkansas on Friday, followed by a 2-0 loss to No. 14 (Soccer America) LSU on Sunday. - The Friday win was Kentucky's 10th of the season, giving the Wildcats back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time since the 2006-2007 seasons. It is head coach Jon Lipsitz's second 10- win season in three years at UK. - Kelsey Hunyadi continued her career season with the game-winning goal on Friday night off a penalty kick. Hunyadi leads the Cats in scoring (23 pts), goals (8) and assists (7). She ranks third in the SEC in assists, fifth in game-winning goals (3) and sixth in points and goals.
Men's soccer - The Kentucky men's soccer team completed a two-game week over the weekend, suffering a pair of losses against Conference USA foes Marshall and UAB. - UK returns to action this week, taking on defending league champion Tulsa on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET. - Kentucky broke out of a scoreless stretch with two goals in the 3-2 loss to UAB, as UK fell behind 3-0 before getting a furious second-half rally, led by Brendan Murphy's goal and club-leading five shots. UK fell short in its comeback attempt, despite owning a 9-0 advantage in corner kicks in the final period. - On Wednesday, Marshall netted a pair of goals early in the game and held off the Wildcats for the league win. - UK junior forward Matt Lodge now ranks second all-time in UK single-season history with 62 shots through UK's 16 games, adding seven goals and seven assists.
Rifle - UK completed an exhibition match with the US Army Marksmanship Unit on Monday, as Henri Junghanel and Ethan Settlemires led the way for the Wildcats, who just shot air rifle in the scrimmage. Junghanel finished with a 594 to lead the team, while Settlemires fired a 590. - The UK rifle team opens its official 2011-12 season on Oct. 21, hosting Great American Rifle Conference foe Ole Miss at UK's Barker Hall.
Men's tennis - Kentucky concluded a successful weekend at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Men's All-American hampionships with senior Eric Quigley taking home the singles consolation title. - Quigley, who is ranked No. 3 in the nation in singles, went 5-1 at the event with wins over No. 8 Evan King, No. 10 Sebastian Fanselow, No. 19 Finn Tearney, No. 25 Luka Somen and No. 36 Louis Cant. - The native of Pewee Valley, Ky., moved to 10-2 on the season, having claimed a title or runners up title in both tournaments he has played this fall.
Friday, Oct. 14 Women's soccer hosts Tennessee - 7:00 p.m. Big Blue Madness - 7:30 p.m. Volleyball at Mississippi State - 8:00 p.m. Women's tennis at ITA Regionals/Roberta Allison Tournament Cross country at Panorama Farms Invitational (Charlottesville, Va.)
Saturday, Oct. 15 Women's tennis at ITA Regionals/Roberta Allison Tournament
Sunday, Oct. 16 Women's soccer hosts Georgia - 4:00 p.m. Women's tennis at ITA Regionals/Roberta Allison Tournament
It's been a little quiet around the office over the past week with so many UK teams on the road, but that's all about to change. Men's soccer kicks off a busy weekend with a home game on Wednesday at 7 p.m. against Conference USA rival Marshall. It's a wonderful evening, so head on over to the UK Soccer Complex to see a very entertaining team take the field. On Friday at 7 p.m., volleyball and women's soccer each will be in action, with Craig Skinner's Cats taking the floor in Memorial Coliseum for a game against Ole Miss and Jon Lipsitz's bunch facing off against Arkansas.
More games are to follow, with men's soccer continuing its home stand on Saturday vs. UAB. Women's soccer plays again Sunday at 1 p.m. against LSU while volleyball faces Alabama at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Check your calendar and come out to support the Cats.
In the mean time, here are a few notes for a late Wednesday afternoon:
The aforementioned women's soccer team attained a milestone today as the Cats were ranked in the top 10 of the RPI rankings for the first time in program history. The Wildcats (9-3-0, 2-2-0 SEC) have already played nine games this season against opponents rated among the RPI's top 100, winning six. UK has faced a brutal schedule this season, including five in a row on the road before returning home this week. The Cats have a long road ahead, but a strong start to the season has the team in position to advance to the SEC and NCAA Tournaments.
Finally, UK's Mitch Barnhart and athletic directors from around the SEC met Wednesday at the league office in Birmingham, Ala., to plan for the integration of new conference member Texas A&M into the league. Here is the statement issued by the league office.
"Today's meeting of the SEC athletic directors was planned immediately following the announcement of Texas A&M joining the league. The purpose of the meeting was to integrate Texas A&M into the Southeastern Conference and plan for a 13-team schedule for all sports in 2012-13. The transition team from the SEC office made its initial report in this meeting to the athletics directors with the focus on scheduling and championship formats. The SEC is excited to have Texas A&M in the league and looks forward to having the Aggies compete in the SEC next year."
This week's episode of UK Rewind is posted and ready for viewing. Make sure to head over to UK Interactive to see a new episode each week. Also, if you missed it this past Monday, I sat down to talk with Stacey Johnson, the regular host of UK Rewind to learn a little more about her and the show, so check that out.
Whether it's on the blue-painted streets of Nashville during the SEC Tournament, an airport where a few Kentucky fans happen to run into one another or somewhere out celebrating a big win, wherever the Big Blue Nation goes, the "C-A-T-S, CATS, CATS, CATS!" chant will follow.
Now you have a chance to upload and share your video or photo renditions of the chant or other displays of your UK fanaticism with both the university and your fellow fans.
Football - Kentucky and Florida met for the 62nd time in school history with the Gators winning 48- 10, Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium. - UK earned 299 yards of total offense against the Gators and 134 rushing yards, which is the most Florida has allowed this season. - Kentucky had a two-play, 14-second drive that ended in a touchdown, marking the fifth time this season UK has had a touchdown drive that needed two minutes or less. - The Wildcats' defense forced three turnovers in the game, getting an interception and recovering two fumbles. It marked the second time this season that the UK defense has forced three of more turnovers. Volleyball - UK hit the road for a pair of SEC East matchups and split for the weekend, winning at South Carolina and falling at No. 6 Florida. - Senior Becky Pavan led the attack for the Blue and White with an average of 4.0 kills per set on a blazing .469 hitting clip. Pavan also took a team-high 49 swings and committed a mere five errors. - In Kentucky's win at South Carolina, the Blue and White charted a season-high .398 hitting percentage and had three players top 10 or more kills for the match. The trio combined for 40 kills and committed a combined two errors. - Senior Ann Armes was flawless for the match with 11 kills on a squad-high .647 hitting clip. Women's soccer - The UK women's soccer team posted a weekend split in Alabama, dropping a 4-1 affair at Auburn before securing a 4-1 win at Alabama Sunday. - The win over Alabama was the Wildcats' first in Tuscaloosa since the 2003 season. The win also marked the first time since 2004 that UK opened the conference season on the road and collected a win. - In the win, Kelsey Hunyadi and Caitlin Landis each recorded multiple goals. Hunyadi also recorded an assist tying her career high for points in a game with five. It marked Landis' first career multi-goal game. - Hunyadi ranks second in the league in points with 20 and is in the top five of four different offensive categories. Hunyadi's 20 points is the most by a Wildcat since Giuleana Lopez finished the 2006 season with 25. Men's soccer - The No. 21 Kentucky men's soccer team completed a two-game week with a 3-2 win over Evansville Friday night, getting a game-winning goal from senior Sam Brooks in the 85th minute in the back-and-forth affair. UK also fell 2-0 at No. 3 Creighton on Wednesday night in Omaha. - UK's trip to Florida will wrap up a brutal stretch for the Wildcats. Over a 15-day travel period, including trips to California, South Carolina, Nebraska and Florida, UK will have traveled more than 9,700 miles. - UK has been paced by an explosive offensive attack, netting 25 goals in 11 games, ranking second in the NCAA in goals scored in stats released Tuesday. Overall, UK has taken 17.1 shots per game and is averaging 2.27 goals scored per contest, owning a 77-45 lead in corner kicks. - Kentucky has been led offensively by Matt Lodge, who has seven goals and seven assists through 11 games, including two game-winning goals. Sophomore Tyler Riggs has eight goals and four assists, including two game winners, while Charles Pettys has a team-high seven assists and one goal.
Men's tennis - UK senior and No. 3 ranked player, Eric Quigley, sophomore Alejandro Gomez, and doubles duo Maks Gold and Ryuji Hirooka, advanced to the title match at the Southern Intercollegiate. The Southern Intercollegiate will award five winners at the event. Of those five title matches, Kentucky is represented in three of them, which is more than any of the 25 other schools at the event. - Quigley took down two ranked foes Sunday, defeating No. 107 Hernus Pieters of Georgia in the quarterfinals and No. 24 Sadio Doumbia of Georgia in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 in the semis. - Gomez will represent Kentucky in the Division II finals after posting two straight-set wins Sunday. Gomez has played brilliant tennis so far this fall season, posting a 9-0 record with all nine wins coming in straight sets. Upcoming schedule
Monday, Sept. 26 Men's tennis at Southern Intercollegiate (Athens, Ga.) Men's golf at Inverness Intercollegiate (Toledo, Ohio) Tuesday, Sept. 27 Men's golf at Inverness Intercollegiate (Toledo, Ohio)
Wednesday, Sept. 28 Men's soccer at UCF - 7:00 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 30 Women's soccer at South Carolina - 6:00 p.m. Volleyball at Arkansas - 8:00 p.m. Women's golf hosts Bettie Lou Evans Invitational Women's tennis hosts UK Invitational
Saturday, Oct. 1 Football at LSU - 12:21 p.m. Women's golf hosts Bettie Lou Evans Invitational Women's tennis hosts UK Invitational Cross Country at Greater Louisville Invitational (Louisville, Ky.)
Sunday, Oct. 2 Men's soccer at Florida International - 1:00 p.m. Women's soccer at Florida - 2:00 p.m. Volleyball at LSU - 2:30 p.m. Women's golf hosts Bettie Lou Evans Invitational Women's tennis hosts UK Invitational
UK student Stacey Johnson is the host of the weekly highlight show, UK Rewind. (UK Athletics)
Stacey Johnson, a senior community communications and leadership development student from Burlington, Ky., is the regular host of UK Athletics' new highlight show, UK Rewind. The show, produced by UK Sports Video, airs each week on UK Interactive and recaps the latest in Wildcat sports with video highlights and commentary. Cat Scratches sat down with Johnson to learn more about the host and talk about the show. Cat Scratches: How did you end up deciding to attend the University of Kentucky?
Johnson: "We're a really big UK family. We're all big Wildcat fans so I guess it was kind of ingrained in me as a little girl that UK was the college I wanted to go to. For a while, I thought about Northern Kentucky University if I wanted to stay at home, but I said 'I'm going to UK' and so I came. I fell in love with it after the first semester." CS: How did you find out about the opportunity to host UK Rewind?
Johnson: "Derek Kirk, one of the producers, is one of my really good friends and I've worked with him on other things too. He always talks to me about the different stuff that he's doing so he asked me 'Do you want to do it?' and I said 'Sure!' I didn't even know that UK Rewind was coming up and he talked about it and said they needed an anchor." CS: How does the weekly production of the show work?
Johnson: "Derek will email me the weekly sports overview on Monday and then I usually will read over it on Monday and start writing a script. On Tuesday, I have a break from 12 to three (in the afternoon) and I'll come in, finish the script and film."
CS: With eight UK sports in action right now, there is a lot to keep track of for the show. What do you do to prepare?
Johnson: "I'm actually a really big sports fan anyway. I'm really interested in that so I go to the games anyway. To me it's not like work, it's fun and something I love to do. It's more like playing than it is like working!" CS: What is it like to see the finished product after all the work put into the show?
Johnson: "It's really fun. It's really exciting. I always send it to my mom. When you're up there in front of the green screen, you're just talking to a camera. When you get to see the clips being put in with what you're saying and all the graphics, it puts it all together and looks really cool."
CS: How much do you enjoy being in front of the camera?
Johnson: "I actually really like it a lot. Even though I don't want to admit it, I like being on camera. I'm a pretty outgoing person, so I don't really shy away from that kind of stuff."
CS: How has working on UK Rewind compared to your past experiences in broadcasting?
Johnson: "I love it. It's so different because I also worked UK SportsZone with Wildcat Student TV last year. I did an intramural segment with them so I had some experience coming in, but so far it's been completely different." CS: How much has this experienced helped you improve your on-camera presence?
Johnson: "Being able to see the finished product, sometimes I see things and say 'I could have done that better' or 'That kind of sounded weird, I should work on that next time.' I think I've improved a lot, especially since last year when I was just volunteering with student TV. I can tell that I'm more comfortable in front of the camera and I'm not afraid for people to be around watching me. I was really kind of shy at first but now it doesn't bother me at all."
CS: How did your interest in broadcasting develop in the first place? Could you see yourself pursuing a career in it after college?
Johnson: "I didn't even think about broadcasting or anything like that until two years ago. I worked with ESPN as a runner when they came to do one of the football games. The producer asked me to go out with a camera man to 'tent day' for Big Blue Madness. He had me asking questions and it was really fun. I came back and I was really excited and I wondered if I should look into it some more. That's when I got connected to Wildcat Student TV.
"After talking to my parents, they said 'You really should try that out' and I might think about it. My major isn't broadcast journalism or anything like that, but I would love that be my career after college. I'll wait and see. I have some time and that probably won't be something I do right out of college, but maybe eventually."
CS: A few months ago, you did not even know about UK Rewind. How much have you enjoyed this unexpected opportunity?
Johnson: "It's been really cool to have this opportunity when it's not my major. I'm just an outgoing person and I enjoy being on camera and it's worked out for me. It's all the things that I love in one: talking to people and talking about sports."
The Southeastern Conference officially announced on Sunday that Texas A&M University will join the conference effective on July 1, 2012. The Aggies will begin competition in all varsity sports beginning in the 2012-13 academic year. The announcement marks the first time the SEC has expanded since South Carolina and Arkansas each joined the league in 1991.
Texas A&M's brings the current SEC membership up to 13 institutions and the Aggies immediately add to the standard of athletic excellence of the conference. Texas A&M boasts a tradition-rich football and three national championship programs from 2010-11: men's and women's track and women's basketball.
University of Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart worked under current Texas A&M Athletics Director Bill Byrne while at Oregon in 1983 and reacted to the news on Twitter this evening.
"On behalf of the coaches, administrators and student-athletes at UK, I would like to welcome the Texas A&M Aggies to the SEC," Barnhart tweeted. "Coming off its best year athletically in school history, Texas A&M adds a strong athletic program along with its academic prowess. I look forward to competing against one of my mentors, Bill Byrne, for years to come."
Current associate head coach and former UK tennis star Cedric Kauffmann is one of six 2011 inductees into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame. (UK Athletics)
In conjunction with tomorrow's football game against Florida, UK Athletics is hosting Hall of Fame Weekend Friday and Saturday. Six former student-athletes are being recognized as a part of the 2011 class: Jeff Abbott (baseball), Pam Browning (women's basketball), Ilkka Jantti (men's soccer), Cedric Kauffmann (men's tennis), Bill Ransdell (football) and former administrator Russell Rice.
Jeff Abbott (1991-94) was a UK baseball All-American and a first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection in 1994 after setting single-season school records for batting average (.445), hits (102), home runs (23), total bases (203) and slugging (.886), all of which still stand today. Abbott also holds the UK single-season on-base percentage mark of .533 set in 1992 and ranks in the top five in eight career offensive categories, including batting average, runs, hits, doubles, home runs, total bases, slugging percentage, walks and on-base percentage. UK won at least 30 games in each of his four years, including a then-school-record 41 wins in 1991. Abbott's class posted more wins in a four-year span than any other class in school history. He went on to play five seasons in the major leagues with the Chicago White Sox.
Pam Browning (1974-78) is one of only two players in UK women's basketball history to be named All-America by Street & Smith's annual publication (1977). She ranks fifth on UK's career scoring list with 1,598 points and she continues to hold the school record for highest scoring average in a season, averaging 25.5 points in 1976-77. As a member of the first women's basketball team at UK in the modern era, she led UK to its first two wins over ranked opponents in program history with victories over No. 2 Tennessee Tech and No. 18 Indiana during the 1976-77 campaign. Browning averaged 14.9 points during her four-year career.
Ilkka Jantti (1998-2001) was the first All-American in UK men's soccer history. The four-time NSCAA All-Region honoree was named the 2001 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year, the 1998 MAC Newcomer of the Year and earned All-MAC honors in all four years at UK. Jantti took Kentucky to three NCAA Tournament appearances and led UK to back-to-back MAC regular-season championships in 2000 and 2001, as well as MAC Tournament titles for three straight years from 1999-2001. In addition to being named to the All-Tournament team twice, Jantti was a first-team NSCAA/adidas Scholar All-American, a Verizon Academic All-American, a winner of a prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and he was named to the conference academic honor roll three times. Cedric Kauffmann (1995-98) was the first three-time All-American in singles play in Kentucky men's tennis history. Kauffmann went 121-61 during his four-year career at UK and finished in the top 10 in the country from 1996-98. He climbed as high as No. 2 in 1997. Kauffmann was a National Clay Court Singles Championship finalist in 1997 and a National Indoor Singles Championships semifinalist in 1996. He played on the ATP Tour after his time at Kentucky and reached as high as the world's No. 170 ranking. Kauffmann competed in the 2001 French Open and the 2000 United States Open, losing in a fifth-set tiebreaker at the 2001 French Open to tennis legend Pete Sampras. He was hired as the UK men's tennis assistant coach in 2005 and currently serves as the associate head coach.
Bill Ransdell (1983-86) is one of the top quarterbacks in UK history. He set Wildcat season records for most offensive plays, total offense, pass attempts, pass completions, passing yardage, completion percentage and consecutive passes without an interception. He held single-game UK records for total plays, pass attempts, completions and completion percentage and notched then-school career records for total offense (5,456 yards), total offensive plays (996), pass attempts (816), completions (460), passing yardage (5,564) and completion percentage (.575). Ransdell also helped lead the Wildcats to a 9-3 record and Hall of Fame Bowl victory in 1984 and went on to a two-year career in the NFL. He has been an analyst on UK TV network telecasts and also has served as president of the K-Association lettermen's group.
Russell Rice (1967-87) is a former UK Athletics administrator who was associated with UK Athletics for more than a half-century. Rice spent 20 years on the UK staff from 1967 to 1987, including 18 as a sports information director. He wrote several books chronicling the history of Wildcat men's basketball and football programs and served as media coordinator for several NCAA men's basketball tournaments hosted by UK. Rice was also a president of the SEC Sports Information Directors Association. For more than 20 years since his retirement from UK, Rice has written a weekly column for The Cats' Pause magazine and has been a historical resource for UK Athletics. A World War II veteran (U.S. Marines) and a UK graduate, Rice spent 16 years in the media after graduation, including five years as sports editor of the Lexington Leader, before joining the UK staff.
The Hall of Fame was established in 2005 as a way to honor notable contributions to the athletic program. Following departure from UK, candidates must wait five years before becoming eligible. Election of new inductees is carried out each year by a committee of Hall of Famers, media, campus representatives and current coaches and administrators.
There's a reason they call the yards gained or lost on special teams "hidden": it's because that part of the game is not talked about noticed nearly as much as it probably should be. That's not so much of an issue this week, as Florida's special teams unit and what UK must do to combat it on Saturday have very hot topics. I wrote on the subject yesterday and so did Michael Grant of the Courier-Journal. Clearly, UK will need to hold its own in the battle for field position to win this weekend.
Facing the difficult challenge of playing the third-ranked team in one of the nation's best venues, the men's soccer team succumbed to Creighton by a score of 2-0 last night. Though disappointing to the team, there is no shame in dropping a road decision against a defensive unit that has yet to allow a goal this season. The No. 21 Wildcats (6-3-1) returned to Lexington very early this morning and will immediately begin preparing for a home matchup against Evansville at 7 p.m. tomorrow. The turnaround will be tough, but UK has shown the ability to rebound from losses this season. Head on over the UK Soccer Complex tomorrow evening to see one of the most entertaining teams on campus take the field.
While men's soccer is returning home, volleyball is getting ready to hit the road. After a month-long home stretch that saw the Cats win nine matches in a row and 27-of-29 sets, UK (11-2) hits the road for a pair of tests this weekend. It begins in Gainesville, Fla., with the most difficult match the SEC has to offer against the No. 6 Florida Gators. Balanced performances have carried UK to its recent success and those will need to be duplicated as UK begins its run at the SEC title in earnest this weekend.