Four Wildcats Earn All-SEC Recognition
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Southeastern Conference office announced its annual awards on Wednesday morning, with four members of the No. 24 Kentucky Wildcats earning All-SEC recognition. Sophomore Ashley Dusek headlined the award recipients, earning SEC Libero of the Year on top of being named to the All-SEC team. Senior setter Morgan Bergren and sophomore Kaz Brown were both named to the All-SEC team as well, while freshman Brooke Morgan was named to the All-Freshman team.
Dusek’s Libero of the Year and All-SEC team mark her first two annual recognitions. The sophomore from East Bernard, Texas, led the conference in digs from wire-to-wire, averaging 4.98 per set. Her conference season was highlighted by a 40-dig performance at Auburn, breaking a 22-year-old UK record for most digs in a single match. Her 40 digs was also the most in a single match for any player in the SEC this year, and the only 40-dig performance from a Power Five institution. Only four other Division I players able to achieve the feat. Dusek also had only one game during SEC play in which she registered less than 10 digs. Dusek was named SEC Player of the Week once this year, while being named the league’s top defender twice.
With Dusek earning Libero of the Year, the Wildcats’ defensive specialists have won the award five of the past six years.
After being named to the All-SEC team, Brown earns her second annual award following being named to the SEC All-Freshmen team last season. Brown is in the midst of a phenomenal sophomore season, ranking among the top-10 nationally in total blocks (5th, 1.56) and blocks per set (8th, 158). With 141 block assists this season, she ranks second in single-season block assists for Kentucky all-time. She also leads the conference in SEC-only blocks and blocks per set. Brown earned multiple accolades over the season, being named Player of the Week once, twice the SEC Defensive Player of the Week and MVP of the Bluegrass Battle.
Bergren is named to the All-SEC team for the second consecutive season. The Muncie, Ind., native averaged 10.80 assists per set in league play. With 35 assists against LSU on Nov. 1, she eclipsed the 3,500 career assists mark – only the fifth Wildcat to ever do so. She moved into fourth place on the all-time career assists leaderboard following her last outing, as she now has 3,702 assists. Bergren also led all SEC setters in blocks per set with 0.98 in conference play. Bergren has been named SEC Player of the Week and SEC setter of the Week once this season, while also being named a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award and a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection.
After being named SEC Freshman of the Week on three occasions, Morgan earned her first annual award with the All-Freshman team nod. The right side from Dike, Iowa, is coming off an impressive first season playing three rotations for the Wildcats. In conference play, Morgan contributed 2.30 kills per set while adding 0.76 blocks a frame. Morgan has a knack for showing up in big games, notching a career-best 13 kills in the win over then-No. 5 Florida in Gainesville, Fla., and 12 in the sweep of Alabama on the road.
With Morgan’s All-Freshman selection, Kentucky has now registered 11-consecutive All-Freshman team members dating back to the beginning of the Craig Skinner era.
The Wildcats wrap up the season with a pair of home matches, first tonight against Georgia at 7 p.m. before taking on Auburn at Senior Night, Friday at 7 p.m.
Premier Sports Management announced its 10 finalists for the annual Senior CLASS Award on Friday, Oct. 30, with standout setter Morgan Bergren being one of the remaining candidates for the honor. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner, and fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website through Dec. 7. Fans can vote once a day until the Dec. 7 cut off.
Kentucky’s Memorial Coliseum will play host to the NCAA Regionals Dec. 11-12. UK is one of four sites selected for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight matchups with one team advancing to the Final Four in Omaha, Neb., from the Lexington Region. This marks the third time in five seasons Memorial Coliseum will host this premier volleyball event.