No. 22 UK Opens 2015 Season Monday at No. 24 Washington

Jan. 11, 2015

SEATTLE -- The No. 22 Kentucky gymnastics team opens the 2015 season with a rare Monday night matchup at No. 24 Washington on Jan. 12. The Wildcats and Huskies will square off at 9 p.m. ET in UK’s first visit to Seattle in program history.

MEET CENTER
#22 Kentucky at #24 Washington
Monday, Jan. 12 - 9 p.m. ET
Alaska Airlines Arena | Seattle

Meet Info:
Meet Notes (PDF)
COVERAGE
TV: Pac 12 Network Washington
Live Results: HuskyStats.com
Text Updates: Subscribe

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The top-25 season-opener will be broadcast live regionally on the Pac 12 Network Washington. Live results will be available on huskystats.com, while behind-the-scenes updates and notes from UK’s trip to the Emerald City can be found on Twitter at @UKGymnastics.

Kentucky, coming off a program-record 10th consecutive NCAA Regional appearance, is ranked 22nd in the GymInfo Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Washington enters the season ranked 24th nationally after UW earned an eighth consecutive Regional berth.

Both the Wildcats and Huskies finished fourth at their respective NCAA Regionals in 2014. UK posted a 195.925 at the regional in State College, Pa., setting a program-record regional score in back-to-back seasons. UW notched a 195.550 while hosting one of six regionals

SERIES HISTORY VS. WASHINGTON
Kentucky is 1-0 vs. Washington, with a win in the series’ lone meeting in 2006. In a four-team meet hosted by Oregon State, the Wildcats placed second with a 196.100, while the Huskies were third with a 193.675. OSU won with a 196.550 and Seattle Pacific was fourth. UK’s team score of 196.100 was tied for the third-highest in program history at the time and just the fourth score of 196.000 or higher in team history. Kentucky also recorded a floor score of 49.175, then the ninth-best total in the UK record books.

UKVB_Notes
Click image for UK's Meet Notes (PDF)

S COUTING THE HUSKIES
Washington is coming off a 9-17 season in 2014. The Huskies placed eighth at the Pac 12 Championships with a 195.125 before a 195.550 to finish fourth at the NCAA Regional. UW’s season-best score of 196.200 came in a loss to Stanford. Washington finished the 2014 season ranked 26th nationally. Joanne Bowers begins her ninth season as head coach at UW and has guided the Huskies to the NCAA Regionals in each of her first eight years.

UP NEXT: EXCITE NIGHT AT THE KENTUCKY CLASSIC
The Wildcats return home to host the Excite Night at the Kentucky Classic on Friday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. ET. Kentucky welcomes No. 3 LSU and Arizona State to Memorial Coliseum for the annual home-opening event. Last season, in front of a record-setting crowd on Excite Night, UK downed Penn State, West Virginia and Ball State to win the event.

2015 SCHEDULE NOTHING TO LAUGH AT
With eight top-25 teams on Kentucky’s 2015 slate, including each of the top four ranked in the preseason coaches poll, the Wildcats face one of the most grueling schedules in the nation. Among top-25 teams, CollegeGymFans.com has tabbed UK’s schedule as the second-toughest in the country, while RoadtoNationals.com ranks the Blue and White’s schedule as the third-best strength of schedule among all NCAA teams. Seven of the SEC’s eight teams enter the season ranked nationally, with the eighth, Missouri, receiving votes.

RANKED IN THE PRESEASON, AGAIN
Kentucky will begin the 2015 season ranked in the top 25 for the fifth consecutive season, as UK earned a No. 22 ranking in the GymInfo Preseason Coaches Poll. With the second-highest preseason ranking in program history, the Wildcats have been ranked to start the season in each of head coach Tim Garrison’s four seasons in Lexington.

UK is one of seven Southeastern Conference teams ranked in the preseason top 25, headlined by top-ranked Florida, the defending co-national champions. LSU is third while Alabama is fourth and Georgia seventh to round out the league’s place in the top 10.

RETURNING, AND INCOMING, STARPOWER
UK returns nine letterwinners from the record-setting 2014 team and lost four. Among the returners are seniors Kayla Hartley, Shelby Hilton, Shannon Mitchell and Sara Shipley. Hartley and Mitchell were both All-SEC Team honorees in 2014. The Wildcats welcome five newcomers, freshmen Katie Carlisle, Brittany Furuyama, Cori Rechenmacher and Sydney Waltz to the team in 2015 along with junior Khadijah Hudson, a Hebron, Ky., native and transfer from Eastern Michigan.

For complete news and updates on the Kentucky Gymnastics program, go to UKathletics.com. Breaking news, behind-the-scenes updates, photos and more can be found on Twitter at @UKGymnastics and Facebook at Facebook.com/UKGymnastics.