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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.


Best of Blue Weekly Awards (week of Nov. 7)

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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 - Women's soccer reaches NCAA's for first time since 2006

Jon Lipsitz and the UK women's soccer team may have lost their only game this week, a 2-1 heartbreaker against Tennessee in the Southeastern Conference Tournament, but their achievements for the season as a whole earned them this spot. On the strength of a 13-7-0 regular season, Kentucky learned on Monday they had officially earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006. To take things a step further, the Wildcats will have the honor of hosting their first round game against Washington State (12-6-3).

UK has been led all year by the play of senior Kelsey Hunyadi, who is having one of the top seasons in school history. Hunyadi has started all 20 of Kentucky's games, leading the team in both goals (13) and assists (10) and earning second team All-SEC honors. She arrived on campus a transfer the same year Lipsitz took over head coaching duties and has played a central role in bringing the program to this point.

As much as the Cats have achieved, their season is only just beginning. Their NCAA Tournament run will get started 7 p.m. Saturday at the UK Soccer Complex. Tickets are available now and you can check out this link for complete information.

Player of the week - Greg Ferrucci continues to rewrite diving record book


Swimming and diving hosted a meet for the first time this season, with the men claiming victories over both Missouri and Southern Illinois and the women defeating Southern Illinois and falling to Missouri. Leading the way for the men was sophomore Greg Ferrucci, who claimed first place in both the one-meter and three-meter diving events.

In the one-meter competition, Ferrucci eclipsed the record score he posted just last week with a 396.25 mark. For his performance, Ferrucci earned his second consecutive SEC Male Diver of the Week award.

Game of the week - Football picks up first SEC with dominant fourth quarter

Trailing 13-10 entering the fourth quarter, UK outscored the visiting Ole Miss Rebels in the final period 20-0, carrying the Cats to their first SEC victory of the season. In his first career start, true freshman quarterback Maxwell Smith threw for 110 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the fourth, leading the Cats to three touchdowns on four drives.

Even with a freshman under center, head coach Joker Phillips and offensive coordinator Randy Sanders dialed up aggressive play calls to take the lead and eventually pull away from Ole Miss. Wide receiver La'Rod King was the primary beneficiary of the aggressiveness, catching a go-ahead 38-yard touchdown and another 55-yard bomb to set the Cats up in the red zone for a touchdown that would all but seal the victory.

Play of the week - Men's basketball puts together highlight reel performance in final exhibition



Picking just one highlight from UK's dominating 125-40 win over Morehouse College is no small task. UK's suffocating defense led to numerous opportunities in the open floor and the athletic Cats took advantage at every juncture as they raced out to a 74-13 halftime lead.

Every play in the video above is worth a second look, but my personal favorite begins at the 18-second mark. Terrence Jones tosses ahead to Marquis Teague in the open floor, who makes an acrobatic catch on the right side of the hoop. Recognizing the speed at which he was traveling, Teague decided trying a layup on his own was too tough a proposition, so he instead opted to toss the ball off the backboard back to Jones for an uncontested dunk.

Photo of the week - Bria Goss finishes at the hoop


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

Playing their lone exhibition before the 2011-12 season, Matthew Mitchell and the women's basketball team took down Coker College by a score of 86-44. Leading the way for the Cats in her first game in a UK uniform was freshman Bria Goss. She scored 17 points, including this layup late in the second half

Video of the week - Volleyball staff shows off "Thriller" moves



The No. 18 Kentucky volleyball team had just one match this week, avenging an earlier loss to Mississippi State with a sweep of the Bulldogs in Memorial Coliseum. The Cats will hit the road for a pair of matches against Alabama and Ole Miss as they continue their run at the SEC title.

They took a break from their regular preparations though to film a "Tip of the Week" video for Sportwide/AVCA. Assistant coach Keith Schunzel and players Becky Pavan, Christine Hartmann and Gretchen Giesler demonstrated a crossover and swing block drill the Wildcats use in practice.

The demonstration was informative, but not nearly as entertaining as what happened at the end of the video. Schunzel, along with fellow staffers Lindsey Gray, Sara Sjuts and Anders Nelson one-upped UK Hoops head coach Matthew Mitchell with a nearly perfect rendition of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" dance for Halloween. The dancing commences at the 2:39 mark.

Alumnus/alumna of the week - John Conner scores first touchdown of the season


Former UK fullback John Conner, also known as "The Terminator" has established himself as the starting fullback for the New York Jets this season. He's known more for his crunching blocks, but he scored his first touchdown of 2011 on a one-yard dive as the Jets defeated the Buffalo Bills in a crucial AFC East battle. The touchdown was the second of his two-year NFL career.


UK Athletics weekend primer (Nov. 4)

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The intersection of Kentucky's fall and winter sports is upon us, meaning we're in for some busy November weekends. Over the next few weeks, I'll be putting together a post each Friday running down the UK teams that will be in action during the weekend and telling readers how best to follow the action.

Football closes three-game home stand against Ole Miss

Believe it or not, UK has just two home games left on the schedule in 2011, the first of which takes place 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium against Ole Miss. Freshman Maxwell Smith will make his first career start and will be looking to lead an offense that has made strides in recent weeks.

How to follow the Cats
TV: ESPNU
Radio: UK IMG Sports Network
Live video: WatchESPN
Live audio: UK Athletics
Live blog: UK Athletics
Text updates

Volleyball continues run at conference title

A win over Southeastern Conference heavyweight Florida last Sunday kept Craig Skinner and the UK volleyball team within a game of first-place Tennessee in the race for the SEC title and in control of their own destiny. The Wildcats will be in action for the first time since the big win on Friday at 7 p.m. at Memorial Coliseum against Mississippi State.

How to follow the Cats

Gametracker
Live video: UK Athletics (subscription)
Live audio: UK Athletics with Dick Gabriel
Text updates

UK Hoops opens season with exhibition

Matthew Mitchell and the Cats will play host to Coker College 2 p.m. Sunday in its lone exhibition of the 2011 season. UK will be breaking a mix of talented returnees and one of the most decorated incoming classes in school history.

How to follow the Cats
Radio: UK IMG Sports Network with Neil Price
Gametracker
Live video: UK Athletics (subscription)
Live audio: UK Athletics
Live blog: UK Athletics

Swimming and diving hosts first meet of season

Fresh off of a dominating performance on the road last weekend, UK swimming and diving will host a double dual meet against Missouri and Southern Illinois beginning 10 a.m. Saturday at the Lancaster Aquatic Center.

How to follow the Cats
Live results: UK Athletics

Men's soccer closes 2011 season at South Carolina


Carrying momentum from a Senior Day upset of No. 15 SMU, Ian Collins and his Wildcats play their final game of 2011 on the road against South Carolina Friday at 6 p.m. UK won a tournament hosted by the Gamecocks earlier this season, so No. 25 USC will have revenge on its mind.

How to follow the Cats

Gametracker
Live blog: UK Athletics

Quigley, Musialek making runs at National Indoors

Playing its indoor season, the men's tennis team is having a strong follow up to its Elite Eight run last spring. Closing out the fall, seniors Eric Quigley and Alex Musialek, ranked No. 3 and No. 20 in the nation), are playing in the USTA National Indoor Championship this weekend. Both won first round matches on Thursday to advance to the tournament's round of 16 and will play matches each day starting on Friday until they lose. http://t.co/ApmkCfrE

How to follow the Cats

Live scoring updates
Live chat: ITAtennis.com
Twitter updates: @UKMensTennis

Performances of the Week: Oct. 30

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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. 30:

Volleyball: Whitney Billings

Sophomore Whitney Billings always seems to have the biggest matches of her career during the biggest of times for UK. Billings charted a season-high 17 digs on a .333 hitting clip while adding 12 digs in an upset of No. 13 Florida. Billings' double-double effort was the third of the year, but first in conference action. With the win, UK controls its own destiny and remains in the hunt for the SEC title. Billings provides a consistency in all-around play that is unmatched by any other UK player. She charted 3.00 kills per set on nearly a .300 hitting clip, while also passing out nearly an assist per set. Defensively, she picked up 2.62 digs per set and charted a perfect 1.000 serve-receive percentage while being served at a team-high 41 times. Furthermore, she contributed offensively with a team-high three service aces including a pair against the Gators.

Swimming & diving: Megan Eppler

Megan Eppler continued to see success in the pool for the second consecutive week for Kentucky, claiming the title to the 50, and 100-freestyle events on Saturday. Eppler posted a season-best 23.35 in the 50-freestyle, claiming victory by over .5 in the event. Eppler led Kentucky in a 1-2-3 finish in the 50-freestyle, as the Wildcats swept the podium. Eppler also led Kentucky to a 1-2-3 sweep of the podium in the 100-freestyle, claiming a career-best time of 51.22, winning by .77 in the event.

Swimming & diving: Greg Ferrucci

Greg Ferrucci had a career-best day on Saturday in Nashville, tabbing a career high in the one-meter diving competition, posting a score of 387.37. That score in the competition also set a new University of Kentucky school record. The reigning SEC Male Freshman Diver of the Year also set a career-best score in the three-meter showdown as Ferrucci earned a 405.07. Ferrucci helped lead Kentucky to a 1-2-3 finish in the three-meter competition.

Volleyball: Stephanie Klefot

Kentucky libero Stephanie Klefot continues to provide a consistent presence for UK's back-line defensive effort. In an upset win over No. 13 Florida, Klefot charted a season-high and match-high 28 digs to lead the Wildcats. It marked the 19th time in her career she has posted 20 or more digs in a single match. Her five assists in the match marked a season-high and just the third time in her career she has notched five or more assists. Klefot helped in the scoring effort as well with a pair of service aces. In the three-set victory over South Carolina, Klefot charted 18 digs which was good for an average of 6.00 scoops per set. Klefot leads the league with 435 digs on the year and sits just 20 scoops shy of breaking into UK's top-10 for most digs in a season with six matches remaining in the regular season.

Women's soccer: Caitlin Landis

Caitlin Landis tallied her second multi-goal game of the year netting a pair of goals in Kentucky's 4-2 win over Vanderbilt ... Landis also recorded the game-winning goal, her second this season ... Landis ranks second on the team in goals (6), points (14) and shots (53) ... Landis' efforts in the victory helped guide UK to a six-seed in the SEC Tournament, the Wildcats' highest seed since 2006.

Men's golf: Cody Martin

Sophomore UK men's golfer Cody Martin paced the Wildcats on Sunday with a fantastic round of 4-under par at the Forest Oaks Country Club (par 72, 7,212 yards). Martin had five birdies on the day, including back-to-back birdies on Nos. 6 and 7.

Martin got off to a hot start in 2011, finishing in the top five in each of Kentucky's first three tournaments. His top-15 finish on Sunday is his best finish since the Inverness Intercollegiate Invitational in late September. Martin's 68 is his best round since his 4-under par 67 in the second round of the UK Bluegrass Fall Invitational.

Men's tennis: Alex Musialek

  • Won the singles title at the USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional Indoor Championships, taking down fellow teammate and No. 3 Eric Quigley.
  • The win advanced Musialek to the National Indoor Championship this week in New York.
  • Advanced to the finals of the doubles main draw at the event as well.

Volleyball: Lauren O'Conner

Freshman Lauren O'Conner continues to be the epitome of consistency for the Cats. O'Conner has charted eight or more kills in all but one SEC match this season for UK. In a three-set victory over South Carolina she totaled eight hammers on a match-high .400 hitting clip. In the win over No. 13 Florida, she matched her kill output and also provided four blocks which matches a career-high. She also provided UK's offense with a pair of aces and served the final four winning points for UK in the decisive fifth set with Florida.

Men's tennis: Eric Quigley

  • Advanced to the finals of the USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional Indoor Championships before falling to teammate Alex Musialek.
  • Third consecutive finals appearance at the event after winning the singles title the past two seasons.
  • Advanced to the finals of the doubles main draw at the event as well.

Swimming & diving: Tyler Reed

Tyler Reed continued his impressive senior season, winning all three events he competed in on Saturday afternoon. Reed won the 200-freestyle by a staggering two seconds, and 50-the freestyle by over four-tenths of a second, recording times of 1:40.80 and 21.11 in the events respectfully. Reed as an individual has now won the 100-freestyle in both weekends that UK has been in competition this far in 2011-12.

Football: Matt Roark

  • Senior wide receiver Matt Roark totaled a career-high with both 13 catches and 116 receiving yards today. Roark's 13 receptions rank second on UK's all-time single-game list, tying Randall Cobb (vs. Tennessee, Nov. 27, 2010).
  • Roark's 116 receiving yards is the most for a Wildcat this season and the first time a UK wide receiver has eclipsed the 100-yard mark since La'Rod King earlier this season against Central Michigan.

Football: Danny Trevathan

  • Senior linebacker Danny Trevathan, who ranks first in the SEC in tackles, tied a career-high with 17 tackles in the game. Trevathan has double-digit tackles in 15 of the last 17 games, dating back to last season.
  • Trevathan's 17 tackle performance moves him up to 17th on Kentucky's all-time tackle list, passing Keith Martin (1980-83). Trevathan needs two tackles to tie Art Still (1974-77) for 16th all time.
  • Trevathan earned an interception in the game, marking the second consecutive game he has recorded a pick. He becomes the first player to notch back-to-back games with picks since Winston Guy in 2010 against Auburn and South Carolina.

Performances of the Week: Oct. 23

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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. 23:

Swimming & diving: Megan Eppler

Eppler swam a 23.61 in the 50-freestyle, ranking third overall in the event, which was one of the best performances of the day for the UK women in their season-opening meet in Knoxville, Tenn., this weekend. Eppler also swam a career-best 51.27  in the 100-freestyle placing fourth in the event.

Football: Winston Guy

Led UK with 12 tackles, including two pass break-ups. It marked the sixth time this season and 10th time in his career he has had double-digit tackles. Guy now leads the SEC in tackles with 79.

Volleyball: Christine Hartmann

Junior setter Christine Hartmann had the best all-around performance of her career in leading the Wildcats to a pair of tough-road victories. Hartmann notched a double-double effort, her third of the season, with 39 assists and 10 digs in a win at Georgia. The Wildcats set a school-record with 20.5 blocks in the match, and Hartmann had six. In adding to her repertoire she also posted a career-high four aces in the victory. Hartmann's impressive dispersal of the ball aided UK to have four players with .300 hitting clips or better in the match. On Sunday, Hartmann's play only improved. The St. Charles, Ill., native totaled a career-high eight blocks while passing out a career-best 54 assists in a five-set victory. Hartmann found four different players for 13 or more kills with one more posting nine.

Women's soccer: Kelsey Hunyadi

Kelsey Hunyadi tallied her third career multi-goal game against Mississippi State, leading Kentucky to a win and clinching the Wildcats a berth in this year's SEC Tournament ... She attempted a school single-game record and career-high 11 shots against the Bulldogs in the victory ... It was her career-best fourth game-winning goal of the season ... Hunyadi netted her 11th goal of the season against the Rebels, it's the most goals by a Wildcat since the 2001 season and her 30 points on the season are also the most since by a UK player since 2001 ... Hunyadi has attempted 72 shots this season, second most in school history, 15 shy of the school record.

Volleyball: Stephanie Klefot

Junior Stephanie Klefot notched 43 digs on the weekend to become just the third player in UK history to post 1,200 digs in a career. The 26 scoops vs. Auburn are the most in an SEC match this season for UK's starting defensive stalwart. In the match with Georgia, she posted a match-high 17 digs to lead five different UK players in double-figures for digs. Klefot continues to provide a steady presence for the Blue and White has she has posted 10 or more digs in every SEC match this season and in 22-of-23 matches overall this year. Furthermore, Klefot was targeted a team-high 46 times on the service line and committed just one error for an impressive .978 clip.

Football: Offensive line

Did a fantastic job for Kentucky up front, allowing the Wildcats to rush for 340 yards, which is the most since UK had 341 against Vanderbilt last season. It also marked the second-consecutive game UK has not given up a sack.

Volleyball: Jackie Napper

Freshman Jackie Napper's presence in the back-row helped lead the Wildcats to a pair of road victories this weekend. Napper recorded the first back-to-back double-figure dig efforts of her career with 12 in a win at Georgia and an SEC career-high 13 against Auburn. Napper also registered her second career kill in the win at Georgia. Furthermore, Napper's steady play on the serve-receive line continues to be impressive. This week, Napper was targeted 42 times and committed just one error for an impressive .976 average. Her 2.78 digs per set ranked as the second-best total on the team, and the best for a non-libero. For her career, she has notched seven matches with 10 or more scoops.

Football: Martavius Neloms

Started the scoring for Kentucky, sacking the JSU quarterback, causing a fumble which he scooped up and returned 40 yards for a touchdown.  The fumble recovery for a TD in the first quarter was the first for UK since Ventrell Jenkins' 56-yard return vs. East Carolina in 2009 (Jan. 2). Ended the game with eight tackles, one tackle for loss, one sack and a pass breakup.

Football: Morgan Newton

Rushed for a career-high 75 yards on 12 carries, including a touchdown run. Was also impressive in the passing game, throwing two touchdowns and going 10-for-16 on the day with 105 yards.

Swimming & diving: Tyler Reed

Placed first in the 100-freestyle posting a time of 45.24 seconds. The senior captain also placed well in the 200-freestyle with a time of 1:39.13. Reed swam the fastest split of any UK swimmer with a 20.04 split in the home stretch of the 200 medley relay in which Kentucky finished in third place.

Kentucky Sports Report (week of March 28)

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Men's basketball
- Kentucky advances to the Final Four for the 14th time in program history and the first time since the 1998 season.
- John Calipari joins Rick Pitino as the only coach in NCAA history to lead three different teams to the Final Four.
- Kentucky is the first team to lose the No. 1 overall pick (John Wall) to the NBA Draft and make the Final Four the following season since Virginia lost Ralph Sampson in 1984.
- UK hit 12 3-pointers in the regional final against North Carolina, which is tied for the fifth most in an NCAA Tournament game for Kentucky.
- Brandon Knight was named the East Region Most Outstanding Player. Josh Harrellson and DeAndre Liggins joined him on the All-Tournament team.

Softball
- Kentucky swept Mississippi State in SEC action for the second time in three seasons and captured the series over the Bulldogs for the third straight season.
- In the series-clincher, junior pitcher Chanda Bell threw UK's first no-hitter in SEC action in an 8-0 victory. Bell struck out 11 in the win. It was the second no-hitter of the season for UK's hurler.
- Kentucky hit four homers in the opening game of the series to set a program record for the most long balls in a single outing. Megan Yocke, Brittany Cervantes, Lauren Cumbess and Rachel Riley all connected for a homer in the win.

Baseball
- Kentucky posted a pair of wins during the midweek, riding a 4-2 win over Cincinnati and a 12-4 win over Canisius on Wednesday. The Wildcats then traveled to Alabama for its first road series in SEC play on the year. 'Bama rode a complete-game shutout performance from ace right-hander Nathan Kilcrease on Friday and took advantage of a UK error in the bottom of the
ninth for a walk-off win on Saturday. In the Sunday game, 'Bama plated four runs in the first inning and the Wildcats couldn't recover, falling in a series sweep with a 9-3 loss.
- The Wildcats have been led by freshman J.T. Riddle, who has batted .349 with five doubles, two homers and 11 RBI. Outfielder Chad Wright hit .348 with three homers and 19 RBI, adding 11 stolen bases. Senior shortstop Taylor Black hit .317 with six doubles, two triples, one homer and 19 RBI, while center fielder Brian Adams has hit .306 with six doubles,
eight RBI and five steals.
- As a team, UK has hit .302 through 25 games with 17 homers and 144 runs scored, adding 43 stolen bases and a .973 fielding percentage. On the mound, UK owns a 3.93 team ERA with eight saves and 208 strikeouts in 219.2 innings.

Men's tennis
- The Kentucky men's tennis team wrapped up a seven-match home stand this week with dominating wins over No. 43 Maryland and Eastern Kentucky. The Wildcats dropped it's lone SEC match of the week 4-1 to Auburn.
- The win over Maryland was Kentucky's 11th this season over a top-50 ranked team and the two non-conference home wins extended UK's home non-conference
winning streak to 25 matches.
- Freshman Tom Jomby was named SEC Freshman of the Week last week for his efforts two weeks ago with Kentucky's wins over Notre Dame, Butler and Alabama.

Women's tennis
- Kentucky won all three doubles matches en route to a 6-1 win over Auburn, with senior Megan Broderick and freshman Khristina Blajkevitch clinching the doubles point and grabbing their team-leading fourth victory at the No. 1 position.
- Broderick won her eighth victory in singles play with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Auburn's Paulina Schippers at No. 1. Broderick leads Kentucky with three victories in SEC competition.
- Blajkevitch earned a win over Auburn and was also the lone player to capture a victory in the loss to Alabama.

Swimming and diving
- Freshman diver Greg Ferrucci placed 33rd on the one-meter board at the NCAA Championships before suffering a quad injury that forced him to withdraw from the remaining competition.
- Senior forward Victoria Dunlap has been selected as one of the top 40 finalists for the 2011 State Farm Coaches' All-America Team, as announced by The Women's Basketball Coaches Association, in cooperation with State Farm. The finalists, who are voted upon by WBCA-member coaches in each of the eight WBCA geographical regions, are now in the running
for selection to the 10-member State Farm Coaches' All-America Team.

Upcoming schedule

Monday, March 28
Men's golf at Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegaite (Awendaw, S.C.)

Tuesday, March 29
Baseball hosts Tennessee Tech - 4 p.m.
Men's golf at Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegaite (Awendaw, S.C.)

Friday, April 1
Men's tennis at Florida - 3 p.m.
Women's tennis hosts Florida - 4 p.m.
Softball hosts Florida - 7 p.m.
Baseball at South Carolina • 7 p.m.
Women's golf at Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic (Athens, Ga.)
Track and field at Florida Relays

Saturday, April 2
Softball hosts Florida - 1 p.m.
Baseball at South Carolina - 4:30 p.m.
Gymnastics at NCAA Regional - 7 p.m. (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
Men's basketball vs. Connecticut • 8:49 p.m. (Houston)
Women's golf at Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic (Athens, Ga.)
Track and field at Florida Relays

Sunday, April 3
Women's tennis hosts South Carolina - noon
Softball hosts Florida - 1 p.m.
Men's tennis at South Carolina - 1 p.m.
Baseball at South Carolina - 1:30 p.m.
Women's golf at Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic (Athens, Ga.)
Men's basketball vs. VCU/Butler - 9 p.m. (Houston)

Kentucky Sports Report (week of March 21)

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Men's basketball
- Kentucky advances to its 22nd Sweet 16, the second most in NCAA history, after a 71-63 win over West Virginia in third round of the NCAA Tournament.
- In holding the Mountaineers to 63 points, Kentucky ran its record to 25-0 this season when holding the opponent to 67 or fewer points and 46-0 under John Calipari. The win extended UK's season-best winning streak to eight games.
- Brandon Knight poured in 30 points in the victory, the most by a UK freshman in program history in NCAA Tournament action. Terrence Jones notched his 12th double-double this season, tying him with Chris Mills for second on UK's freshman double-double list.
- Josh Harrellson is averaging 15.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game in the NCAA Tournament.
- The Wildcats have four players averaging double figures in the tournament, including Brandon Knight (16.0), Josh Harrellson (15.0), Terrence Jones (11.0) and Darius Miller (10.0).

Women's basketball
- The Cats are making their eighth NCAA Tournament appearance and now own an 8-7 record in the tournament following a win over Hampton in the opening round.
- UK is now 4-1 all-time as a No. 4 seed.
- Junior guard Keyla Snowden scored a team-high 19 points in a career-high 37 minutes of play. Snowden's 16 points in the first half marked the most points in an opening frame since Dunlap scored 16 vs. Tennessee on Feb. 7.
- Dunlap recorded her 31st career and ninth doubledouble of the season with 13 points (11 coming in the second half ) and a game-high-tying 12 rebounds.

Swimming and diving
- The Kentucky women's swimming and diving team concluded its season Saturday with a 28th-place finish at the 2011 women's NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships held at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin, Texas.
- Senior diver Lisa Faulkner led the Wildcats by earning points on each of the three boards with a fifth-place finish on the platform, a 15th-place mark on the three-meter board and a 16th-place finish on the one-meter board.
- Senior backstroke swimmer Chatham Penrod earned All-America honorable mention honors in the 100 backstroke with a 16th-place finish.
- Mandy Myers swam a career-best time in the 100 butterfly on Friday, tapping in at 54.31. Myers topped her previous best time by .02.

Softball
- Head coach Rachel Lawson earned her 100th career victory as the head coach of Kentucky with the first of two wins at Arkansas. She attained 100 wins in the Blue and White faster than any other coach in school history.
- Senior Meagan Aull is enjoying a career-long hitting streak at nine games. Aull has a hit in every SEC game this season.
- Freshman pitcher Ellen Weaver earned the win on the mound in the opening game of the LSU series. It marked just the third win in program history over the Tigers, and Weaver is the second consecutive freshman pitcher to earn a win in Baton Rouge, La.

Baseball
- Kentucky has won eight of its last nine contests.
- In the rubber match on Sunday with Tennessee, UK rode a four-hit game from senior closer/outfielder Mike Kaczmarek and a three-RBI outing from freshman J.T. Riddle to a 7-3 series-clinching win.
- Riddle had a monster week, batting .538 during the four games with a homer and eight RBI. Riddle's breakout game on Sunday included a three-run homer in the first inning, his first career homer, and a spectacular diving catch in right field to save extra bases.

Gymnastics
- The gymnastics team earned a team score of 193.95 en route to a seventh-place finish at the SEC Championships.
- Kentucky's best event score came on vault where the Wildcats scored a 48.715. The Wildcats were led on the event by seniors Jasmine Minion and Phylicia Reshard, who each scored a 9.8. Fellow senior Andrea Mitchell earned a 9.775, while senior Colleen Williams scored a 9.7 and freshman Audrey Harrison posted a 9.65.
- Kentucky concluded the meet on floor exercise with a team score of 48.675. Mitchell led UK on the event with a 9.85, while Minion and Reshard each earned a 9.8.

Men's tennis
- The Kentucky men's tennis team continued its dominance this season, posting three wins on the week over No. 21 Notre Dame, No. 37 Alabama and Butler.
- UK has now defeated 10 top-50 ranked teams this season, including a 5-2 record at home. The Wildcats are now 11-2 at home this season overall and 39-8 at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center since the start of the 2009 season.
- With the wins over Notre Dame and Butler, Kentucky continued to be unbeatable at home in non-conference play, earning a 23-0 record the past two seasons, including a 10-0 mark this season.
- Kentucky was led throughout the week by its strong play in both singles and doubles, winning at least five singles matches in each victory. No. 4 Eric Quigley, No. 77 Anthony Rossi, No. 117 Alberto Gonzalez, Brad Cox and Tom Jomby each earned two singles wins during the week.

Men's golf
- Kentucky finished the Schenkel Invitational in a tie for 13th with freshman Cody Martin and sophomore Chase Parker finishing in the top 40 on the individual leaderboard.
- Martin scored the lowest round of the tournament for UK with his 1-under-par 71 in the second round. The native of Union, Ky., earned a team-high 10 birdies on the weekend en route to finishing tied for 32nd. Parker scored only three birdies at the event but earned
an impressive two eagles to finish tied for 50th.

Women's tennis
- The UK women's tennis team concluded its three-match Texas road swing on Saturday, but could not pick up a victory.
- Senior Megan Broderick and sophomore Jessica Stiles each picked up their co-team-leading seventh singles victories of the season. Broderick defeated Elizabeth Ullathorne of Texas Tech 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) and Stiles got a win over TCU's Olivia Smith 6-0, 6-3.
- Freshman Khristina Blajkevitch earned her fifth victory in singles play by topping Texas Tech's Haley Fournier 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3).

UK Sports Report (week of March 15)

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Rifle
- Behind gritty performances from veterans Heather Greathouse and Ethan Settlemires, the Kentucky rifle team won the overall national title at the 2010-11 NCAA Championships. After UK won the smallbore NCAA Title on Friday in the first day of competition, the Wildcats held off West Virginia's charge in air rifle on Saturday to secure the first national championship in
program history, finishing with a 4700 team total score.
-  Kentucky entered the final day of competition on Saturday owning a seven-point lead. UK claimed its first-ever NCAA Championship in smallbore on Friday, totaling a 2336 team score, led by Settlemires and Greathouse. Settlemires won the NCAA individual championship on Friday with a 590 in smallbore, becoming the first individual NCAA Champion in smallbore in program history.

Men's basketball
- Kentucky won its league-leading 27th SEC Tournament championship, defeating Florida 70-54 in the championship game. Darius Miller was named the tournament MVP and the Wildcats placed Miller, Josh Harrellson and Brandon Knight on the SEC All-Tournament team.
- UK will be making its NCAA record 51st appearance in the NCAA Tournament, taking on Princeton in the second round of the tournament in Tampa, Fla.

Women's basketball
- The No. 17/16 Kentucky women's basketball team earned its eighth bid to the NCAA Tournament with a No. 4 seed in the Spokane Regional. UK will play 13th-seeded Hampton on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. in Albuquerque, N.M.
- It is the eighth overall NCAA Tournament berth for the Cats and their first back-to-back appearances since the 1982-83 seasons. UK is 7-7 all-time in the Big Dance, including a 3-1 mark under Matthew Mitchell.

Softball
- Behind a pair of comeback victories, the 23rd-ranked softball team defeated No. 7 Tennessee in two out of three games to capture the series to begin SEC play. It marked the first time since 2000 UK had won the series with its border-state rival.
- Senior Megan Yocke batted .556 on the weekend, which included a three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings in the rubber match between the two teams. She was then intentionally walked in the bottom of the 10th to set the stage for Kara Dill's walk-off RBI-single.

Baseball
- The Wildcats posted four wins on the week, totaling a staggering 1.40 ERA as a team in 45 innings pitched, walking just 13 and striking out 45. UK got stellar starting pitching during the week, including quality starts from four of five starters a complete-game shutout from junior Alex Meyer on Saturday.
- Kentucky has been a well-rounded team, totaling a .295 batting average and a 3.51 team ERA, fielding at a .978 clip. The Wildcats have been led by center fielder Brian Adams, who has hit .368 with five doubles and five RBI.

Gymnastics
- The gymnastics team scored three wins over the weekend, defeating William and Mary on Friday and North Carolina and George Washington on Sunday. Kentucky was led in both meets by senior Phylicia Reshard, who won the all-around against William and Mary and finished second in the all-around in Sunday's quad-meet.
- The Wildcats defeated William and Mary on each event, with junior Storey Morris winning the uneven bars title, Reshard winning the vault title, seniors Jasmine Minion, Andrea Mitchell and Reshard winning on floor, and Mitchell grabbing event honors on beam.

Men's tennis
- The Wildcats were led by impressive play in doubles, taking the doubles point from both Tennessee and Georgia. Against Tennessee, Kentucky got upset wins at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles with senior Alberto Gonzalez and freshman Tom Jomby taking down the 55th-ranked doubles tandem in the nation, while junior Alex Musialek and sophomore Anthony Rossi
defeated the 52nd-ranked team. UK was equally impressive against Georgia in doubles with junior Eric Quigley and senior Brad Cox knocking off the sixth-ranked doubles team in the nation and Gonzalez and Jomby posting a win over the 36th-ranked doubles team. UK dropped the overall matches to nationally ranked Tennessee and Georgia.
- In singles, Musialek led the UK charge with a convincing win over No. 24 Javier Garrapiz, while Rossi and Jomby also posted singles wins.

Swimming and diving
- Freshman diver Greg Ferrucci and senior diver Lisa Faulkner earned spots in the men's and women's NCAA swimming and diving championships, respectively, thanks to their performances in the Zone C Diving Championships.
- Ferrucci recorded a score of 339.60 in the preliminaries and finished with a mark of 716.35 in the finals to finish in second place on the men's one-meter and earn his spot in the NCAAs. Faulkner earned a score of 296.35 in the women's one-meter preliminaries and finished with a score of 581.15 in the finals to finish in fifth place and earn a spot in the NCAA championships.

Track and field
- Kentucky track and field junior Keith Hayes capped off an incredible three-week run leading up to the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships with a seventh-place finish in the finals of the 60-meter hurdles, grabbing two points for the Wildcats.
- Hayes earned his first All-America honor for his top-eight performance in the finals Saturday.

Men's golf
- Behind impressive final rounds from sophomore Chase Parker and freshman Cody Martin, the UK men's golf team moved up four spots on the leaderboard to finish 13th in the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate. Martin (80-70-69-219) and Parker (78-72-70-220) led the Wildcats, posting solid scores on the final day to earn a top-25 finish.
- Martin carded the lowest UK round of the day Tuesday, earning a 1-under-par 69 to move 36 spots up the leaderboard. He finished the tournament in a tie for 21st, totaling a 9-over-par 219 after a 10-ove-par 80 in the opening round and an even-par 70 in the second round.

Women's golf
- The Cats competed in the LSU Tiger Golf Classic and finished in 18th place with a final score of 95-over-par 959.
- Sophomore Heather Lott led the Wildcats with a final score of 12-over par to finish the tournament in a tie for 31st among the 111 competing golfers.

Women's tennis
- The Cats dropped a pair of SEC road matches over the weekend to Tennessee and Georgia. The Wildcats fell 6-1 in each match.
- Freshman Khristina Blajkevitch won a thrilling victory over UT's Kata Szekely 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 (12-10). Senior Megan Broderick topped Chelsey Gullickson of Georgia after the 48th-ranked player had to retire.


Upcoming schedule

Tuesday, March 15
Baseball hosts Murray State - 4 p.m.

Wednesday, March 16
Softball at Arkansas (DH) - 5 p.m.
Women's tennis at Baylor • 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 17
Men's tennis hosts Notre Dame - 1 p.m.
Women's tennis at TCU - 2 p.m.
Men's basketball vs. Princeton - 2:45 p.m. (Tampa, Fla.)
Men's tennis hosts Butler - 7 p.m.
Women's swimming and diving at NCAA Championships (Austin, Texas)

Friday, March 18
Baseball hosts Tennessee - 6:30 p.m.
Softball at LSU - 7 p.m.
Women's swimming and diving at NCAA Championships (Austin, Texas)
Men's golf at Schenkel Invitational (Statesboro, Ga.)

Saturday, March 19
Women's tennis at Texas Tech - 10 a.m.
Baseball hosts Tennessee - 1 p.m.
Men's tennis hosts Alabama - 1 p.m.
Softball at LSU - 4 p.m.
Women's basketball vs. Hampton - 6:30 p.m. (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Men's basketball vs. West Virginia/Clemson/UAB - TBA (Tampa, Fla.)
Gymnastics at SEC Championships (Birmingham, Ala.)
Women's swimming and diving at NCAA Championships (Austin, Texas)
Men's golf at Schenkel Invitational (Statesboro, Ga.)

Sunday, March 20
Baseball hosts Tennessee - 1 p.m.
Softball at LSU - 2 p.m.
Men's golf at Schenkel Invitational (Statesboro, Ga.)

UK Sports Report (week of Feb. 28)

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Men's basketball
- UK extended its home winning streak to 33 games, which is the second-longest streak in the country. The 33-game winning streak is tied for the longest streak in Rupp Arena history and the third-longest streak in program history. John Calipari is 32-0 at Rupp Arena as Kentucky's head coach.
- Over the last four games Darius Miller is averaging 18 points and 5.5 rebounds. He's made 25-of-47 shots for 53.2 percent, including 12-of-24 3-pointers. He's also blocked 10 shots.
- Kentucky will celebrate Senior Night on Tuesday, hosting Vanderbilt. The Wildcats are 84-6 all-time on Senior Night.

Women's basketball
- Senior Victoria Dunlap recorded a team-high 19 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two blocks in a 76-62 win over Auburn in the final game of the regular season. UK improved to 22-7 overall, 11-5 in league play, which tied the school record for SEC wins set last season and tied the school mark for SEC road wins (five) set in 2005-06.
- UK has earned a No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the SEC Tournament for the second consecutive season and is preparing to square off with the winner of LSU (No. 7 seed) and Alabama (No. 10 seed) in the quarterfinals.

Softball
- Kentucky went 3-1 at the Stanford Nike Invitational behind the play of Megan Yocke. Yocke batted .615 in front of her hometown and charted two hits in every game.
- Junior pitcher Chanda Bell tossed the second no-hitter of her career in a 7-0 win over Colorado State. The history didn't stop there as Bell also topped her own single-game record with 16 strikeouts, besting her previous high of 15. Additionally, she became the school's
all-time career leader in strikeouts thrown, passing Keary Camunas for first on the list.
- Kentucky has matched its best start in program history winning 11 of its first 14 games.

Baseball
- Kentucky rebounded from three losses during the season-opening weekend by winning four of five games last week, including picking up a series win over the University of Illinois Chicago over the weekend.
- UK has posted a .307 team batting average through its eight games in 2011 totaling five homers and 45 RBI. On the mound as a team, UK owns a 3.99 ERA with a pair of saves and 65 strikeouts in 70 innings.
- Individually, catcher Luke Maile leads UK at the plate with a .419 average with four doubles and five RBI. Shortstop Taylor Black, named this week's SEC Player of the Week, is coming off a monster week that saw him total nine RBI and a .529 batting average. On the mound, UK junior Alex Meyer has posted a 1-1 record with a 3.00 ERA through his first two starts in 2011. Meyer has struck out 20 in 12 innings, allowing only six hits and a .158 opposing batting average.

Gymnastics
- UK defeated LSU on Friday with a season-high score of 195.575. UK has now defeated the Tigers for the second consecutive season after posting its first win over LSU in 31 tries last year in the Lady Luck Invitational in Las Vegas. Kentucky has now posted back-to-back wins over an SEC opponent for the first time since defeating Auburn in 2005 and 2006. The victory in a SEC dual meet is the first for the Kentucky program since it took down Auburn on
Jan. 12, 2008.
- Kentucky finished third at the event, defeating Bowling Green 194.65-189.45, while No. 7 Nebraska won the four-team meet with a 196.5 and No. 15 Iowa finished second with a 195.5. Seniors Andrea Mitchell and Phylicia Reshard finished second and third in the all-around competition, respectively, with Mitchell earning a 39.25 and Reshard a 39.075.
- The meet wraps up a stretch of four meets in 10 days for UK, with Kentucky showing major improvements during the difficult stretch. The Wildcats faced five top-25 teams the last two weeks, defeating No. 20 LSU with its season-best score of 195.575. Kentucky also scored a 195.05 at then-No. 14 Ohio State and finished off the 10-day stretch with a solid-road score
of 194.65 Sunday at the Masters Classic. UK's best improvement throughout the last two weeks came on beam, where Kentucky improved its season-high mark from 48.375 to 48.7.

Rifle
- Despite getting strong performances on Sunday from newcomers Emily Holsopple and Henri Junghänel in air rifle, the Kentucky rifle team posted a 4672 total team score to finish second at the 2010-11 Great American Rifle Conference Championships.
- Holsopple and Junghänel led UK in air rifle, with both newcomers totaling a 591. Ethan Settlemires finished with a 588, while Megan English had a 590 and Heather Greathouse - who led UK in smallbore on Saturday - totaled a 578.
- The Wildcats, who won the regular-season title with an unbeaten slate, finished with a 4672 total team score, with No. 1 West Virginia winning the GARC Championships with a 4704 team score.

Track and field
- Junior Precious Nwokey launched herself to the 2011 SEC pentathlon championship with the third-highest point total in the NCAA this season, Friday in Fayetteville, Ark. With her performance the junior also broke her own school record with 4,185 points.
- Junior Keith Hayes took home the silver medal in the men's 60-meter hurdles with a career-best time of 7.78. Hayes' time ranks second on UK's all-time 60m hurdles list, only trailing former Wildcat star Mikel Thomas at 7.74.
- The women's team equaled their 2010 point total of 38 points but finished one spot higher in eighth place at the conclusion of the 2011 SEC Championships on Sunday.
- The men's team finished ninth with 20 points and had contributions from Keith Hayes (eight points), Josh Nadzam (three points), Colin Boevers (two points), the 4x400m relay (four points) and the distance medley relay (three points).

Men's golf
- The men's golf team scored the lowest team round of the tournament to finish in second, while sophomore Chase Parker finish tied for second at the final day of the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate.
- Kentucky (293-302-279-874) was extremely impressive in the final round, posting a 9-under-par for the lowest 18-hole round of the season en route to the lowest 54-hole tournament score of the year of 874. The final round of 279 was the eighth-lowest mark during the
Brian Craig Era.
- UK was led in the event by Parker (73-69-70-212), who finished in a tie for second place for his best collegiate finish.

Women's golf
- The Cats began play in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Golf Championship in New Orleans on Sunday. Kentucky was led by sophomore Ashleigh Albrecht who shot a 3-over par, 75. Kentucky, competing in one of the most competitive tournaments of the spring season, finished the first round with a 17-over par, 305.

Women's tennis
- The women's tennis team got wins at Nos. 1-3 singles, but fell to No. 37 Indiana at home on Saturday. Senior Megan Broderick, sophomore Jessica Stiles and freshman Caitlin McGraw each earned their fifth wins of the season in singles play.

Swimming and diving
- The men's and women's swimming units competed in a last chance meet in Knoxville, Tenn., on Friday and Saturday. The Kentucky men and women had 200-free relay teams earn NCAA (B) provisional times.

Upcoming schedule

Monday, Feb. 28
Women's golf at Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate (New Orleans)

Tuesday, March 1
Men's basketball hosts Vanderbilt - 9 p.m.
Women's golf at Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate (New Orleans)

Wednesday, March 2
Men's tennis hosts Murray State - 1 p.m.

Friday, March 4
Men's tennis at Ole Miss - 3 p.m.
Women's basketball vs. Alabama/LSU • 3:30 p.m. (Nashville)
Women's tennis hosts Ole Miss - 4 p.m.
Gymnastics hosts George Washington and Bowling Green - 7 p.m.
Baseball vs. Rice - 8 p.m. (Houston)
Track and field at Iowa State Qualifier

Saturday, March 5
Softball at Southern Illinois • 1 p.m. (Carbondale, Ill.)
Baseball vs. Houston • 4:30 p.m. (Houston)
Women's basketball SEC semifinal game - 4/6:30 p.m. (Nashville)
Softball vs. SIUE - 7 p.m. (Carbondale, Ill.)
Track and field at Iowa State Qualifier
Swimming and diving at Last Chance Meet (Columbus, Ohio)

Sunday, March 6
Softball vs. Wright State - 10 a.m. (Carbondale, Ill.)
Women's tennis hosts Mississippi State - 11 a.m.
Baseball vs. Utah - noon (Houston)
Men's basketball at Tennessee - noon
Men's tennis at Mississippi State - 1 p.m.
Softball vs. Purdue - 2 p.m. (Carbondale, Ill.)
Women's basketball SEC championship game - 5:30 p.m. (Nashville)

Winding road leads star diver Ferrucci to UK

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Ferrucci.jpegThis time a year ago, Greg Ferrucci was in a situation familiar to many young adults struggling to find their way. He had tried his hand at one line of work but had decided to make a career change and was trying find a job in that field. In short, he was trying to figure out which direction to take his life.

What happened next was completely unforeseen.

Ferrucci placed a call to Kentucky head diving coach Ted Hautau to ask for a reference for a job application. Hautau was willing to provide the reference, but he offered him something more: a chance to come to the University of Kentucky on a diving scholarship.

As a result of that unexpected phone call, Ferrucci is now a standout diver at UK. He is coming to the end of a historic season that has seen him become the first Southeastern Conference Male Freshman Diver of the Year in school history. He is also on scholarship with a chance to earn a degree from a top university.

"I think it really gave him a great opportunity," Hautau said. "It kind of gave him a direction. It's been a blessing for him because he has a chance to get a college education. I'm excited as much for that as I am for our program."

It may not sound like it, but Hautau's offer was more than just a shot in the dark. Before rising to the college coaching ranks, Hautau was Ferrucci's youth diving coach in Huntersville, N.C., beginning when Ferrucci was 11. Hautau saw immediately that Ferrucci had a chance to be very good.

"I realized he had real potential," Hautau said. "I had taken him very slowly when I coached him in club because of that. We spent a great deal of time on the basics to make sure he had a good foundation."

However, Ferrucci had an accident in competition at the 2006 US Open when he hit the board, a nightmare scenario for any diver. After that, Ferrucci was out of diving for a year to recuperate. Right around the time that Ferrucci was returning, Hautau accepted a position with North Carolina State. Ferrucci made the decision to give up diving shortly thereafter.

His diving career seemingly behind him, Ferrucci graduated from high school in 2008 and attended cosmetology school. He completed the one-year program, but diving was something he just couldn't toss aside.

"Throughout the year I was in cosmetology school, I would go in and dive just to play around and see my old teammates and coaches," Ferrucci said. "They were always a big part of my life and good friends of mine."

Ferrucci worked in a salon for approximately six months after finishing his training, but it just wasn't for him. He heard from friends about an interesting opportunity that would allow him to dive again.

"I knew some people who were in the performing business and worked with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines," Ferrucci said. "They told me about their newest ship, the Oasis, having a diving show on it."

Ferrucci made an audition tape and received notice that Royal Caribbean was interested. Eventually, they called back in March of 2010 and requested a resume and references. When it came time to decide whom to list as a reference, Hautau was the perfect choice. The conversation went in a direction that neither expected.

"Mid-conversation while we were talking about some of my old experiences with diving, he was like, 'Do you want to come to Kentucky on a scholarship?' " Ferrucci recounted. "That completely shifted my life and I decided to go for it."

Hautau's recruiting pitch was a bit different than the one he was accustomed to delivering.

"I jokingly said, 'Why don't you come get some school paid for and get a college degree and you don't have to get sea sick when you're diving?' " Hautau said.

During that same recruiting season, UK had been involved with a number of the top divers in the nation but was unable to sign any of those top prospects.

"We were excited that we got some of the best recruits to come in and look," Hautau said. "The team was still in the rebuilding phase and we just didn't end up landing those top kids. That all worked out perfectly. I'm glad because I think I got the best one of the bunch."

To some, the way things ended up may seem lucky. Others may chalk it up to innovative recruiting and scouting by Hautau. Hautau, though, looks at it a different way.

"To be honest with you, I give credit to God," Hautau said. "It's providential. It's God's hand moving."

As talented as Ferrucci was, there were no guarantees things would end up working out as they did. Even though Ferrucci almost instantly leaped at the chance to go on scholarship, he did have a period during which he got "cold feet" because of how quickly things came together. Eventually, though, a trusting relationship with Hautau reassured him.

"He's always kind of been an inspiration in my life," Ferrucci said of Hautau. "He's a great guy. We didn't stay very close when I quit diving but we would catch up every once in a while. He's definitely like a father figure. I could talk to him about anything, not just diving."

Particularly with the way Ferrucci was coming to UK, Hautau recognized special attention would need to be paid to ensuring a smooth transition to college life. For that reason, Ferrucci came to UK for summer school to ease him into a new routine.

"I told (head swimming coach) Gary (Connelly) this kid is really talented, but what you didn't know was how he was going to adapt to school," Hautau said. "That first year is pretty challenging. We decided to bring him in for summer school and I think that was a really good move as far as him getting used to going to school. It got him familiar with our academic support program and got him in the habits of the team."

Another benefit of his early arrival was that Ferrucci hit the weight room seriously for the first time since giving up diving in high school.

"(The weight room) really significantly changed his body," Hautau said. "If you look at him from when he came in to where he is now, it's unbelievable. He really has bought in and worked hard and that's a credit to him."

Once he set foot on campus, Ferrucci was 100 percent devoted to capitalizing on the opportunity afforded him, which is evidenced by all of his hard work. Ferrucci is more mature than a typical freshman and also has real world experience that most college athletes lack. Hautau says that experience has honed his focus.

"He comes in as a pretty mature freshman," Hautau said. "He was out in the real world and it has really made him appreciate being in a university, so he's going to take advantage of it. He has more of a purpose about him."

Picking back up a complex and dangerous sport like diving as readily as Ferrucci has is really quite amazing, but Ferrucci talks about it as if it is as simple as riding a bicycle.

"Part of me will always be a diver no matter how much I try to push it away," Ferrucci said. "It's always there in the back of my mind. I guess just working on it for a while it all comes back."

At his first meet against Indiana, Ferrucci won the three-meter event. His initial success only served to motivate him further.

"It kind of sparked something in me," Ferrucci said. "I thought, 'I really am getting back into this pretty well,' so I kept working hard."

Hautau lauds Ferrucci's mental fortitude as the biggest reason why Ferrucci has been so consistent in his freshman season.

"The most impressive thing has been his head," Hautau said. "He has competed very well and I've been really impressed. Being off that long, you're going to have some practices where things are just not clicking. When things aren't clicking in diving, you're not able to make certain skills and you're crashing. He has a real ability to not panic and not worry. He's been faithful and confident that everything would fall into place."

Things have indeed fallen into place for Ferrucci. The freshman finished in third place on the platform at the SEC Diving Championships a couple of weeks ago, the second-best finish in the event in school history. He also finished in fifth in the one-meter dive and seventh in the three-meter.

His ultimate goal of qualifying for the NCAAs March 24-26 in Minneapolis, Minn., is still ahead of him, but already Ferrucci ranks in the top three all-time scores in the platform (second), three-meter (second) and one-meter (third) in school history.

Hautau said that Ferrucci will face some of the best diving competition the NCAA has even seen, but that he has the ability to rewrite the record book at UK.

"He's on pace to set some records here at UK as far as scores," Hautau said. "Making NCAAs is going to be tough, much less scoring there, but if he stays on pace and stays steady, we'll see what happens. I won't make any predictions but he's going to try to be the best diver that has even been here."

He certainly makes the case for the most unique path.

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