No. 24 Kentucky Travels to Arkansas for Midweek Tilt
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 24 Kentucky volleyball team (18-6, 11-2 SEC) will head west to take on Arkansas (5-19, 3-9 SEC) on Wednesday at 8 p.m. The match with the Razorbacks will be nationally televised on the SEC Network with Tiffany Greene and Dain Blanton on the call.
Kentucky has already faced Arkansas once this season, and UK picked up a 3-0 win over the Razorbacks in Memorial Coliseum. The Wildcats held the Razorbacks to a .034 attacking clip, which was the second lowest of the season. UK held Virginia to a -.010 hitting percentage on Sep. 10. Junior Kaz Brown led the way with nine kills in that match while hitting .529. Brown also paced UK on the defensive side when she recorded seven blocks, including one solo rejection.
The Wildcats went 1-1 last weekend, which included a comeback 3-2 win at Auburn. During that match, junior Ashley Dusek produced a season-best 27 digs and surpassed the 1,000 career scoop mark. Dusek sits in fifth in school history during the 25-point rally era for career digs in just her third season. On Sunday against Missouri, senior Anni Thomasson joined Dusek when she vaulted over the milestone number in the first set. Thomasson has 1,007 career digs and sits just behind Dusek at sixth in school history during the 25-point rally era.
After Wednesday, Kentucky will stay on the road to take on Ole Miss on Sunday. First serve is set for 1:30 p.m. ET and can be seen live on SEC Network+ and the WatchESPN App.
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Scouting the Opponents
Arkansas (5-19, 3-9): Kentucky has already faced Arkansas this season, and UK picked up a 3-0 win at Memorial Coliseum. Junior Kaz Brown led the way with nine kills in the win, and the squad held the Razorbacks to a .034 hitting percentage. Arkansas is led by Danielle Harbin at 4.25 kills per set. Ana Sofia Jusino has the highest attacking clip on the team at .259, and also paces the squad at 0.95 blocks per set.
Ole Miss (14-11, 3-9 SEC): Ole Miss came to Memorial Coliseum last month and were swept by the Wildcats. The team hit .352, with Olivia Dailey facilitating the offense with 46 assists. The Wildcats are led by Kate Gibson, who averages 3.56 kills per set. Lexi Thompson is an all-around player for the Rebels as she leads the team in digs per set at 3.03 and aces per set at 0.21.
1,000 Dig Club
Two Wildcats joined the 1,000 dig club last weekend. Junior libero Ashley Dusek joined during the five-set thriller against Auburn. Dusek racked up 27 digs, tying her season best during the win, and sits at fifth in the 25-point rally era school history with 1,039 digs. Senior Anni Thomassson joined Dusek on Sunday in the match against Missouri. Thomasson picked up 11 digs, vaulting her over the mark. The Newark, Ohio native sits at 1,007 career digs, just behind Dusek for sixth in the school 25-point rally era.
Comeback at Auburn
The Wildcats were pushed to the limit against Auburn on Friday, but were able to survive in the five-set match. No set was won by more than three, and there were 57 lead changes and 24 tie scores during the contest. Freshman Leah Edmond led the way with 20 kills, and picked up her seventh double-double of the season when she added 12 digs.
Aces Record Tied
Senior Anni Thomasson tied the 25-point rally scoring era service ace record of 98 when she recorded a service ace against Alabama. Thomasson tied three-time AVCA All-American Whitney Billings.
Brown Rewriting the Record Books
Junior Kaz Brown sits in the top 10 of the 25-point rally era career record book in seven different categories. On defense, Brown is second in block assists (351), fifth in block solos (37) and second in total blocks (388). On offense, Brown currently sits in eighth in total kills (658), 10th in attack attempts (1376), fourth in attack percentage (.333), and eighth in points (870.5).
Dailey Sixth in Country in Assists
Sophomore setter Olivia Dailey sits at No. 6 in the nation in assists per set at 11.58, which is good enough for second in the SEC. The three-time SEC setter of the week had 45 assists in the win over Auburn.
Dusek Named Academic All-District
Junior Ashley Dusek was named CoSIDA Academic All-District for her performance on the floor and in the classroom. Dusek is an integrated strategic communications major and currently holds a 3.50 GPA. On the court, Dusek is leading the team in digs at 4.65 per set.