Kentucky Heads to Florida for First Road SEC Contest
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – After going 2-0 in the opening weekend of Southeastern Conference play, Kentucky will look to improve to 3-0 in a nationally televised match with No. 5 Florida on Wednesday. First serve is set for 8 p.m. in the Lemerand Athletic Center in Gainesville, Florida, and will air live on the SEC Network with Sam Gore and Missy Whitmore on the call.
UK picked up its sixth-straight win in a 3-1 (25-21, 22-25, 25-14, 26-24) victory over Mississippi State on Sunday. Freshman Leah Edmond led the Wildcats with 14 kills, while junior Kaz Brown had 12 and sophomore Brooke Morgan added 10, matching her season high. Junior Emily Franklin posted nine of her own and added a team-best five blocks. Serving played a major role and for the first time since 2013, UK had 10 service aces. Sophomore setter Olivia Dailey led the way with four. Dailey also had 47 assists in the match, her second-highest total of the season. Dailey added four digs and four block assists in the contest.
For their play during the win over the Bulldogs and Georgia last Wednesday, Dailey and Brown were honored by the SEC. Dailey was tabbed as the conference Player of the Week, while Brown earned co-Offensive Player of the Week. Dailey earned the award for the first time in her career after 87 assists during the week, helping the Wildcats hit at a .268 clip. Brown notched double-digit kills during the same span, including a season-high 13 while hitting .579 against Georgia last Wednesday.
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Scouting the Opponent:
Florida (12-1): Florida will take on Kentucky as the No. 5 team in the country in the AVCA Division I Coaches poll. The Gators one loss this year was against the current No. 1 team in the country, Nebraska, in four sets on a neutral court on opening day in Eugene, Oregon. Florida has only dropped five sets since its loss, and opened the conference season with wins over Ole Miss and Alabama.
Dailey Named SEC Player of the Week
Sophomore setter Olivia Dailey was named SEC player of the week for her performance against Georgia and Mississippi State. Dailey had the best week of her career in two wins over conference rivals. Dailey posted a combined 87 helpers in the two victories, including a season-best 47 in a four-set match this season. She also contributed six digs and had a career-high four aces against the Bulldogs.
Brown Earns SEC Offensive Player of the Week
Brown busted out in a big way offensively for the Cats in wins over Georgia and Mississippi State this week. The Waterloo, Iowa, native notched her first two double-digit kill efforts of the season. She posted a season-best 13 kills on a .579 attacking clip in a sweep of Georgia to begin the week. Brown added a team-best five blocks in the win. Against Mississippi State, she posted 12 kills while hitting .391, and chipped in four blocks.
Dusek Season-High Digs vs. Georgia
Junior defensive specialist Ashley Dusek produced a season-high 27 digs in the win over Mississippi State. Dusek now has 38 career matches with 10-or-more digs, including nine this season. Her previous best was 21 vs. Marquette.
Freshman outside hitter Leah Edmond has produced double-digit kill totals in every contest except one this season. Edmond has produced 12 double-digit performances, including 30 in SEC play during wins over Georgia and Mississippi State. The Lexington, KY native has hit 15+ twice, at Purdue on 8.27, vs. Marquette on 9.9 and vs. Georgia on 9.21.