Kentucky Closes Out Road Trip with Match Against Tennessee

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Following a sweep in Athens, Ga., on Thursday evening, the 21st-ranked Kentucky Wildcats volleyball team heads to Knoxville, Tenn., for a match with the Volunteers of Tennessee in a 1 p.m. showdown on Sunday.

The match marks the second contest of the weekend to air on the SEC Network, with Melissa Lee and Laura Bush providing the coverage.

#21 Kentucky at Tenessee
Sun., Nov. 8 - 1 p.m.
Thomas-Boling Arena
Knoxville, Tenn.
Game Notes: UK Get Acrobat Reader |UT Get Acrobat Reader

TV: SEC Network
Talent: Melissa Lee & Laura Bush
Live Video via Watch ESPN
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Last time out, the Wildcats made short work of the Georgia Bulldogs in a 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-15) sweep on the road. UK executed on offense, hitting at a .337 clip over the course of the match, highlighted by a red-hot .536 during the second set. 10 Wildcats registered points during the match with five accounting for five or more kills.

For all your need-to-know information on Sunday’s matinee, continue below: 

Bergren Named Senior CLASS Award Finalist

Premier Sports Management announced its 10 finalists for the annual Senior CLASS Award on Friday, Oct. 30, with standout senior setter Morgan Bergren being named a finalist for the honor. 

The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 candidates announced in September. 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. Fan votes will then be combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the winner. The Senior CLASS Award recipient will be announced during the 2015 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship in December. 

Bergren Reaches 3,500 Career Assists

On Nov. 1, Bergren further cemented her spot in Kentucky volleyball history, becoming just the fifth ever Wildcat to reach 3,500 career assists. She joins Leigh Marcum (2002-05), Jane Belanger (1990-93), Laura Linder (1987-90) and Sarah Rumley (2006-09) as the only other UK players to reach the plateau. Additionally, she becomes the 25th active NCAA player to reach 3,500. Bergren now leads all UK players in career assists during the 25-point rally scoring era. She will look to continue climbing the all-time leaderboard, as she has 3,563 career assists, 120 shy of Marcum in fourth. 

Skinner Claims 11th Straight 17+ Win Season

With the win against Georgia, head coach Craig Skinner continued a track record of excellence, coaching his team to its 11th-consecutive season with 17 wins or more. Skinner marks the 14th active coach to have such a streak.. Skinner joins elite company that has a proven track record of success in Jerritt Elliott (Texas), Mary Wise (Florida), Russ Rose (Penn State), John Cook (Nebraska), John Dunning (Stanford), Kelly Sheffield (Wisconsin), Chris Lamb (Wichita State), Barry Goldberg (American), Tom Hilbert (Colorado State), Dave Shoji (Hawaii), Carin Aubrey (Valpraiso), Brian Gimmillaro (Long Beach State) and Mike Jordan (New Mexico State) with another win. 

Cats Lead SEC Play in Blocks Per Set

Defense at the net has played a large role in UK’s success in conference play, as the Kentucky Wildcats rank first in blocks per set in SEC play. The team averages 2.99 blocks per frame in conference play, with Brown, Franklin and Bergren all ranking among the top 11 blockers in league play. Brown leads SEC play with 1.85 blocks per set, while Franklin and Bergren tie for 11th in the conference, each with 1.05 blocks per set. 

Brown in National Top 10

Brown is having a dominant season, finding herself in the top 10 nationally in both total blocks and blocks per set. Brown has logged 136 total blocks, good for fourth in the nation. She averages 1.62 blocks a set - sixth best in the nation. Her total blocks lead the SEC, while she ranks second in blocks per set in the SEC. 

Dusek’s Digs, Brown’s Blocks Lead Conference

Dusek now leads the Southeastern Conference in digs per set, both in all matches (5.02 digs/set) and conference-only statistics (5.15 digs/set). Dusek’s 422 total digs are a team best, with the East Bernard, Texas, native logging 206 in SEC action. Dusek’s 5.02 digs per set is also good for No. 26 in the nation.  Brown leads the SEC in total blocks (74) and blocks per set (1.85) in league play.

Still Streaking

Following the Nov. 1 weekend, the Kentucky Wildcats are ranked yet again in the Nov. 2 AVCA poll, coming in at 21. With the ranking, UK extends its ranking streak to 43 consecutive weeks, dating back to Aug. 18, 2012. The 43-week streak is the longest ranked streak under head coach Craig Skinner and the longest in program history.

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.

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