Kentucky to Travel to Athens for Midweek Match with Georgia

LEXINGTON, Ky. –  The 21st-ranked Kentucky volleyball team returns to action on Thursday, Nov. 5, when they face the Georgia Bulldogs at 7 p.m. in Athens, Ga. The match will be set for broadcast on the SEC Alternate channel and on tape delay on the SEC Network at 9 p.m. and can be viewed live via SEC Network + and the Watch ESPN app. Tiffany Greene and Missy Whittemoore will be on the call. 

The Wildcats split matches during last weekend’s home stand, dropping the match with Texas A&M, 3-1 (28-30, 25-14, 23-25, 24-26), before picking up a 3-1 (25-18, 22-25, 25-12, 25-12) win against the LSU Tigers on Sunday afternoon. 

Despite leading the match in kills, blocks, hitting percentage and serving aces, the Wildcats found themselves on the wrong end of the four-set result against the Aggies. Five Wildcats had double-figure kills in Darian Mack (15), Emily Franklin (13), Brooke Morgan (12), Anni Thomasson (10) and Kaz Brown (10). 

#21 Kentucky at Georgia
Thurs., Nov. 5 - 7 p.m.
Stegeman Coliseum
Athens, Ga.
Game Notes: UK Get Acrobat Reader |UGA Get Acrobat Reader

TV: SEC Network
Talent: Tiffany Greene & Missy Whittemoore
Live Video via Watch ESPN
Live Audio
Live Stats
Text Updates
Live Updates @KentuckyVB on Twitter

Against the Tigers, the two sides split the first two sets before a dominant second half by the Wildcats. Over the final two frames, UK held LSU to a -.070 hitting clip while going over .300 themselves. Brown guided the effort over the final two sets, putting up a gaudy 10 kills and nine blocks over the sets. 

Georgia enters its Thursday night matchup with the Wildcats hungry for its first win in conference play. Bulldogs Desiree McCray and Jasmine Eatmon both pose threats, as the duo both rank in the top 15 in the league in blocks. 

For all the details on the battle in Athens, 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 3,529 career assists, 154 shy of Marcum in fourth. 

Skinner in Pursuit of 11th Straight 17+ Win Season

Head coach Craig Skinner is in pursuit of his 11th straight 17+ win season. A win against Georgia would secure it, making Skinner just the 14th active head coach to do so. Skinner will join 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. 

Brown on Track for Record Season

With Kentucky looking towards the final stretch of the season, Brown has the ability to make the 2015 season one of the greatest individual blocking performances in Kentucky history. Brown averages 1.62 blocks per set, and with a minimum of 21 sets left to play, she is on track to end the season with 170 block assists, which would be the second most single-season block assists for UK all-time. 

Dusek in Arms Reach of Record Season

Much like her classmate Kaz Brown, sophomore Ashley Dusek is also on track for one of the best single-season digging performances in UK history. The sophomore is averaging 5.02 digs per set, and with a minimum 21 sets remaining is on pace to finish the season with at least 527 digs, which would rank fifth all-time. 

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 3.06 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.

For the latest on the Kentucky volleyball team, follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and on the web at