No. 21 Kentucky Hosts South Carolina, Heads to Missouri to Continue SEC Play
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Riding a 12-match winning streak, the No. 23 Kentucky (15-4, 8-0 SEC) volleyball team welcomes South Carolina (14-5, 2-5 SEC) on Friday at 7 p.m. in Memorial Coliseum. UK will then hit the road for a matchup at Missouri on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. The match against the Gamecocks will be broadcast live on SEC Network+ with Dick Gabriel and Kathy DeBoer on the call. Sunday’s match against the Tigers can be seen live on the SEC Network with Tyler Denning and Dain Blanton announcing.
The Wildcats picked up two Southeastern Conference sweeps over Ole Miss and Arkansas last weekend. The win over the Rebels was a record-setting performance. UK produced 55 kills in the three-set match, the most in the 25-point rally-scoring era. Sophomore Olivia Dailey also rewrote the record books after facilitating the offense with 46 assists, marking a new 25-point era record for a three-set match.
For the fifth time in six weeks, freshman Leah Edmond earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors. Edmond won the weekly honor after averaging a team-best 3.50 kills and 3.17 digs per frame during sweeps of Arkansas and Ole Miss.
Kentucky has already faced South Carolina once this season. After going down 21-16 in the third set, Kentucky fought back to win the crucial set, 32-30. UK tied the frame at 24-24 with a kill by Emily Franklin, the set went back-and-forth until it was tied at 30-30. Kills by Anni Thomasson and Brooke Morgan, both assisted by Dailey, allowed the Wildcats to win the set. UK won the match 3-1 (25-22, 17-25, 32-30, 25-19). Four Wildcats – Kaz Brown, Franklin, Edmond and Brooke Morgan – all hit double-digit kill totals in the win.
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The match on Friday is Superhero Day. Any child in costume will receive free admission and there will be a youth cape giveaway at the door.
All surrounding E-lots around Memorial Coliseum including the North Craft lot, Rose Street, and Linden Walk employee lots are available for event parking beginning three hours prior to match time. Additionally, the South Limestone Garage (PS#5) and the Rose Street Garage (PS#2) are available two hours prior to first serve. Please see the General Parking Map for more information.
Disability parking is available in the North Craft lot. Spaces are limited and provided on a first come, first served basis with a valid, state-issued disabled parking hangtag.
Please note: Parking is prohibited in any R-lot. Vehicles parking in R-lots without a proper permit, along yellow curbs, grass spaces or other non-specified and unapproved areas may be subject to ticket and/or tow.
For shuttle information and parking maps, head to the volleyball gameday page located here.
Scouting the Opponents
South Carolina (14-5, 2-5 SEC): After starting the season 12-0, South Carolina has picked up two SEC wins this season. USC has swept LSU and defeated Tennessee, 3-2. UK has already faced the the Gamecocks once this season with UK earning a 3-1 win. Four Wildcats - Kaz Brown, Emily Franklin, Leah Edmond and Brooke Morgan - all hit double digit kills during the win. South Carolina is led by Mikayla Shields with 2.91 kills per set.
Missouri (17-3, 8-0 SEC): Missouri is the only team other than Kentucky that enters this weekend’s play undefeated in league action. The Tigers sit on an 11-match winning streak. Melanie Crow leads the way for Mizzou with 3.80 kills per set, a team-best 0.51 service aces per set, 2.27 digs per set and 0.47 blocks per set.
Three-Set 25-Point Rally-Scoring Era Kills’ Record
During the sweep of Ole Miss, Kentucky set a three-set 25-point rally-scoring era record for kills in a match. UK blitzed the Rebels for 55 total kills, which tops a season high total, as Kentucky posted 54 against Mississippi State a few weeks ago. Six players registered six or more kills on the day to pace the attack.
Dailey Sits Top-Five Nationally
Sophomore setter Olivia Dailey sits at No. 5 in the country in assists per set at 11.69, which is good enough for second in the SEC. The three-time SEC setter of the week had 46 assists in the match against Ole Miss, while adding six block assists and six digs. The 46 assists marks a new 25-point rally scoring era record for a three-set match.
Five SEC Freshman of the Week Awards
For the fifth time in six weeks, Kentucky freshman Leah Edmond took home the SEC Freshman of the Week award. Edmond won the weekly honor after averaging a team-best 3.50 kills and 3.17 digs per frame during sweeps of Arkansas and Ole Miss. Edmond has reached double-digit kill totals in all but two matches. In SEC play, she is averaging a team-best 4.46 kills per frame on a .259 percentage.
Dailey Earns Honors in Three Straight Weeks
Sophomore setter Olivia Dailey was named SEC Setter of the Week for the third-consecutive week after producing a combined 81 assists against Mississippi State and Tennessee. Dailey had 41 assists in the win over Mississippi State, three away from the 25-point rally scoring era three-set record. Dailey followed that performance with another 40 assists against Tennessee.
Edmond Named SEC Freshman of the Week (Again)
Freshman Leah Edmond earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors for the fourth time this season after racking up 33 kills in wins over Mississippi State and Tennessee. Edmond accounted for 19 kills, one off her career-high, for the second-time in two weeks in the win over the Bulldogs.
Kentucky is nationally ranked for the third-straight week. After busting back into the AVCA Coaches Poll at No. 25 two weeks ago, the Wildcats picked up 328 points this week and moved up to No. 21. This week marks the 94th week head coach Craig Skinner has led the Wildcats to a national ranking.
Junior libero Ashley Dusek has produced double-digit dig numbers in every contest this season for the Wildcats except one. Dusek has picked up 20 or more in three separate matches (Mississippi State, Marquette and Wyoming). The East Bernard, Texas native’s season-high is 27 against Mississippi State and she averages 4.52 digs per set.
Freshman outside hitter Leah Edmond has contributed double-digit kill totals in 17-of-19 matches this season. The Lexington, Kentucky, native has hit 15+ five times, including 19 in the wins over No. 5 Florida and Mississippi State. Edmond leads the squad in kills per set at 4.10. That total is good for third in the SEC and 41st in the nation.