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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.

Countdown to 2014 UK Volleyball: One Month

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Believe it or not, the 2014 Kentucky volleyball season is just a month away. At 6:30 p.m. on August 29, the Wildcats will face off against Wichita State in the season-opener for both teams. The match will be the second contest of a four-team tournament, the Bluegrass Battle, hosted at Memorial Coliseum. Butler and Virginia Tech will square off at 4 p.m. ET. The tournament continues the following day, when UK faces Butler at 10 a.m., followed by Virginia Tech vs. Wichita State at noon. The Bluegrass Battle concludes that evening, when Butler plays WSU at 6 p.m. and UK plays Virginia Tech at 8 p.m. The full 2014 schedule can be found here.

One last day in China for UK volleyball

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The Kentucky volleyball team's time in China is running short, so the Wildcats navigated a packed schedule on Tuesday.

The morning began with breakfast before UK's final match in China. Facing a Beijing team that featured former AVCA Player of the Year and Oregon outside hitter Alaina Bergsma, the Cats dropped a tough one.


Following the match and a stop for lunch, the team visited the Temple of Heaven, a complex of religious buildings originally constructed in the 15th century. From there, it was time for one last shopping trip at the Silk Market in downtown Beijing.


In the evening, the Cats gathered for a closing dinner at an Italian restaurant to recap the trip and say thank you to the hosts and guides who made it all possible. On Wednesday, it's back to America. UK's flight will leave in the afternoon and, oddly, land in Chicago around the same time.

We should have more on the trip in the coming days and weeks, but this will be the last official entry from an incredible experience for the UK volleyball team. Thank you for following along!

Before we let you go, check out this video from a couple days ago of UK's karaoke night.


Busy first day in Beijing for UK volleyball

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The Kentucky volleyball finally made its way to China's capital city on Sunday and didn't waste any time seeing the sights in Beijing.

The Wildcats toured Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City and shopped at the Silk Market in an informative day for the team. Taking advantage of the more the 1,700 retail vendors, the Cats bought plenty of keepsakes from the trip and gifts for friends and family.

Afterward, it was time for some rest because UK has a big day ahead on Monday. The Cats will tour the Great Wall and visit the Olympic Village from the 2008 games.





UK opened play in the CCLSKI Cup International Women's Volleyball tournament with a pair of defeats. Playing against professional opponents, the Wildcats would have to adjust.

Adjust they did.

It started against Hebei, the same team that downed the Cats on Tuesday, 3-1. On Friday, UK reversed that tally with a 3-1 victory. Sara Schwarzwalder and Shelby Workman led the way, with Workman tallying a team high in kills and hitting over .300.

UK sustained the momentum on Saturday. In spite of falling behind two sets to one, the Cats rallied to victory. Their coach was pleased with the way his team battled in Zhangjiakou, while the players couldn't help but notice a group of fans in attendance.







The Cats managed to sneak in some sightseeing around their matches, going for an evening hike.


UK's cultural exchange trip to China is now about to enter its final leg. The Cats will travel to Beijing for a three-day stop before they head home on June 4.



Recent Comments

  • Dale Sine: Coach Cal at it again. He is the best coach in America and the only coach that could handle coaching read more
  • Mike J.: Cal is the best coach out there. He returned Memphis to national prominence and stayed 9 years, a helluva lot read more
  • Berdj Rassam: Booker will be a key part of whether or not this team will be successful this season. read more
  • Tom Moore: Since Tubby 98 and 2003-2004 team which should've won it all, Kentucky fans ( I am true blue ) have read more
  • John Mylant: Kentucky verses Kansas I am a UK fan but bringing this into perspective, this was just one of those games. read more
  • Catherine: We have the Blue Platoon and the White Platoon, I say we should name the rest team "The Closers"! read more
  • Sandy: Great game. I couldn't take my eyes off in the second half. Proud of all of you. I thought Epps read more
  • Jeff Schrembs: I just wanted to say a heartfelt THANK YOU to the parents, guardians, relatives, etc. of each of the players. read more
  • D.K. West: I am sooooooo ready for the Big Blue. I loved the effort of last years squad, especially in the tournament read more
  • Nah: Please can we run more than 2-4 offensive plays? As a spectator, I'm seeing the team gain more ground in read more