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17 Days to 2014 UK Volleyball: Alyssa Gergins

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Leading up to Kentucky's season-opener on August 29, we asked each member of the team what Kentucky Volleyball meant to them. Yesterday, Kelsey Wolf got it started. Next up is senior Alyssa Gergins: 

"To me, Kentucky Volleyball means family. We're always pushing towards the same goal together and working hard as a team. The next thing I would say is hard work and love of the game."

A native of Murrieta, Calif., Gergins earned All-SEC Academic team honors in 2013.  A transfer from Master's College, the junior saw action in two matches in her first season in the Blue and White and averaged 1.00 assists per set and 0.50 digs per frame Gergins made her first career appearance in UK's win over Ole Miss and logged one assist. She also recorded a dig and an assist against South Carolina.

Preseason Team Update: August 12, 2014
Today, the SEC announced its preseason awards and preseason coaches' poll. The league's coaches voted the Wildcats to place second in the conference, while junior setter Morgan Bergren was named to the Preseason All-SEC Team.

A setter from Muncie, Ind., Bergren started all 31 matches for the Wildcats in 2013 and led the team with 1,215 assists. She was second on the team with 24 service aces to go along with 192 digs, 130 kills and 77 blocks.

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For an archive of previous "What Kentucky Volleyball Means to Me" entries and team updates throughout the preseason, follow along with the full Countdown to 2014 UK Volleyball, leading up to the August 29 season-opener. Additional updates throughout preseason practice can be found on Twitter at @KentuckyVB and on Instagram at @KentuckyVolleyball.


18 Days to 2014 UK Volleyball: Kelsey Wolf

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Leading up to Kentucky's season-opener on August 29, we asked each member of the team what Kentucky Volleyball meant to them. First up is redshirt sophomore Kelsey Wolf: 

"Kentucky Volleyball to me means passion and community. We always have each other's backs on and off the court. Everything from matches and training to the classroom, we do with passion."

Wolf, from Cincinnati, Ohio, earned All-SEC Academic Team honors and played in 16 of UK's 31 matches with 12 starts last season. The defensive specialist had 83 digs for a 1.60 digs per set rate, the fifth-best total on the team as a redshirt freshman in 2013. In a win over Texas A&M, Wolf logged a career-best 12 digs and one service ace, while she tallied nine digs in UK's NCAA Tournament Second Round match vs. Michigan State.

Preseason Team Update: August 11, 2014
The AVCA Preseason Poll was announced today, and for a program-record third consecutive year, Kentucky will begin the season ranked in the preseason top-25 after the Wildcats earned a No. 19 ranking.

UK's spot in the top 25 poll marks the fifth time in six years the Wildcats have earned a place in the preseason poll, all under 10th-year head coach Craig Skinner. Before 2009, Kentucky's first time in the preseason top-25 under Skinner, UK had been ranked in the preseason poll just three times dating back to 1982. The poll also features five teams UK will face in 2014, four of them at home.

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For an archive of previous "What Kentucky Volleyball Means to Me" entries and team updates throughout the preseason, follow along with the full Countdown to 2014 UK Volleyball, leading up to the August 29 season-opener. Additional updates throughout preseason practice can be found on Twitter at @KentuckyVB and on Instagram at @KentuckyVolleyball.


19 Days to 2014 UK Volleyball: Day Two of Practice

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Kentucky had its second day of practice Sunday, 19 days before Aug. 29th's season-opener. After two high-energy practices to open the season Saturday, it was more of the same for the Wildcats on Sunday. The day was capped by a dinner and team activities at the UK men's basketball team's Coal Lodge.


Tomorrow as the countdown continues to Aug. 29, we'll begin a daily feature with each member of the UK volleyball team. Each day, the student-athletes and coaches will share what Kentucky Volleyball means to them. First up Monday will be sophomore Kelsey Wolf.

Follow along with the full Countdown to 2014 UK Volleyball here, leading up to the August 29 season-opener. Additional updates throughout preseason practice can be found on Twitter at @KentuckyVB and on Instagram at @KentuckyVolleyball.


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The Wildcats held their first practice of the 2014 season Saturday morning. The two-hour session was filled with plenty of energy as Kentucky prepares for the 31-match regular season and the opener on Aug. 29 in Memorial Coliseum. While the team had their first team meetings yesterday, today it was time to get to work.

After a 22-win season in 2013, UK will look to notch a 20-win season for the seventh time in the past eight years and earn their 10th consecutive NCAA Tournament berth. While the big goals are clear for the 2014 Wildcats, today the focus was on taking a good first step as a team. Twenty days remain until Kentucky takes on Wichita State in the season's opening match, and Craig Skinner and the Wildcats know that every moment of the preseason matters.

Follow along with the full Countdown to 2014 UK Volleyball here, leading up to the August 29 season-opener. Additional updates throughout preseason practice can be found on Twitter at @KentuckyVB and on Instagram at @KentuckyVolleyball.







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Countdown to 2014 UK Volleyball: 21 Days

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Kentucky has 21 All-Americans, including Whitney Billings and Alexandra Morgan, who were honored last season. Billings, who was named to the second team in 2013 in 2012 and the honorable mention team in 2011, is UK's first-ever three-time All-America honoree. Morgan captured an honorable mention nod to become the ninth different player in head coach Craig Skinner's nine seasons at UK to be named All-American. Fifteen of UK's 21 All-America accolades have come under Skinner, with at least one in each of the past seven seasons.

Today, the Wildcats had their first official team meeting of the year, and tomorrow, UK will hold its first practice of the 2014 season. When the first whistle is blown tomorrow, that's when it starts to get real. August 29th's season-opener is almost here, when Kentucky and Wichita State square off to open the season as part of the Commonwealth Classic in Memorial Coliseum.

Follow along with the full Countdown to 2014 UK Volleyball here, leading up to the August 29 season-opener. Additional updates throughout preseason practice can be found on Twitter at @KentuckyVB and on Instagram at @KentuckyVolleyball.


Countdown to 2014 UK Volleyball: 22 Days

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On November 10, 2014, freshman Anni Thomasson exploded for 30 kills and 22 digs in UK's five-set victory over LSU. She became what is believed to be the first freshman in program history and just the second in UK history to tally 30 or more kills and 20 or more digs in a single match. Thomasson is the first Wildcat to notch 30 kills since Sarah Spinner's 36 in 2004 and the 30-kill, 20-dig feat hadn't been accomplished by an SEC player since 2010. For her efforts, the Newark, Ohio, native earned SEC Player of the Week honors.

Follow along with the full Countdown to 2014 UK Volleyball here, leading up to the August 29 season-opener. Additional updates throughout preseason practice can be found on Twitter at @KentuckyVB and on Instagram at @KentuckyVolleyball.


Countdown to 2014 UK Volleyball: 23 Days

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Countdown to 2014 UK Volleyball: 24 Days

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Today, we want to hear from you, the fans. What do you love about matchday at Memorial Coliseum? Big Blue Nation, you can share your thoughts in the comments section of this post, on Twitter at @KentuckyVB or comment on Facebook at Facebook.com/KentuckyVolleyball.

Follow along with the full Countdown to 2014 UK Volleyball here, leading up to the August 29 season-opener. Additional updates throughout preseason practice can be found on Twitter at @KentuckyVB and on Instagram at @KentuckyVolleyball.


Countdown to 2014 UK Volleyball: 25 Days

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Twenty-five days remain until the Kentucky volleyball season kicks off with the four-team Bluegrass Battle on August 25 at Memorial Coliseum. Today, we recognize the SEC champion 1983 Wildcats, who won a school-record 25 home matches. The team went 44-7 and claimed the program's third league title in five seasons and what would be the third of five in a nine-season span. In the NCAA Tournament, Kentucky downed North Carolina at home before beating Texas in Austin, Texas in the regional. In the regional final, UK lost to perennial power Hawaii and placed fifth nationally.

UK played 51 matches in 1983, won 44 of them, and went 25-6 at home. Given the fact UK hasn't played 40 matches in a season since, much less 50, it's a feat that may never be topped. Last season, Kentucky played 31 matches, 16 at home, while this year the Wildcats will also play 31 matches and 18 in the friendly confines of Memorial Coliseum.

Follow along with the full Countdown to 2014 UK Volleyball here, leading up to the August 29 season-opener. Additional updates throughout preseason practice can be found on Twitter at @KentuckyVB and on Instagram at @KentuckyVolleyball.


Countdown to 2014 UK Volleyball: 29 Days

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A true sign that the 2014 season is just around the corner is the fact that season tickets are now on sale. Coming off a school-record ninth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament and a 14-4 home record, the 2014 home slate features 18 contests in Memorial Coliseum, including nine against Southeastern Conference foes. More information can be found here. Fans can buy 2014 season tickets, which are available beginning at $35, here.

The Big Blue Nation is a big reason why UK has had so much success at home. The Wildcats went 14-4 in Memorial Coliseum last season and are 116-27 in Lexington in nine seasons under head coach Craig Skinner. The home court advantage helped lift UK to an upset win over No. 4 and then-undefeated Minnesota and a five-set victory over in-state rival Louisville.

Fans may purchase season tickets by calling the UK Ticket Office at 800-928-CATS or online at UKAthletics.com/tickets. Reserved season tickets (sections C-G) are now on sale for $50, while general admission season tickets are available for $35.

Single match tickets will go on sale August 18. Reserved tickets (sections C-G) are $5 each, regardless of age. General admission tickets are $5 for adults, $2 for seniors (65+) and youth (6-18), while children age five and under are admitted free of charge. UK students and faculty/staff are admitted free with a valid UK student/employee ID.  General admission group tickets (20 or more individuals) are $4 for adults and $1 for youth/seniors, if purchased in advance.

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