Volleyball Posts Undefeated Spring Weekend

March 30, 2009

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - In their first spring action of the season the Kentucky volleyball team started right where they left off in the fall. Kentucky enjoyed a 3-0 weekend at the Southeast College Junior Invitational this weekend in the opening competition of the spring.

Twelve teams converged in Nashville for the tournament with each team guaranteed three matches and their opponents all pre-determined. The Wildcats faced Norte Dame, Tennessee State and Middle Tennessee State in their three matches. Other schools attending included SEC squads Alabama and Mississippi State.

In addition to their impressive weekend, the Wildcats only dropped one set on the weekend--and that loss came in a "friendly" third set after UK had already captured the match.

Opening the spring tournament UK faced Big East opponent Notre Dame. Kentucky downed the Irish 26-24 in the opening extra-point set. The Blue and White then tallied a convincing 25-18 set two victory to claim the match. In the friendly third set Kentucky did not let up winning 15-7.

Next up, UK handled Tennessee State easily winning the first two sets by margins of 25-15 and 25-13. Kentucky captured the third set with a score of 15-11.

Kentucky faced Middle Tennessee State in the final match of the day--an opponent UK saw on the court in the fall. The Wildcats scored a 25-21 set one victory and then won the second 25-22 for the win. The Blue Raiders escaped with a 16-14 friendly third set win, in UK's lone set defeat of the weekend.

In typical UK fashion the Blue and White was a balanced squad this weekend with eight players registering a kill. Sophomore Sarah Mendoza posted 23 kills and junior Brooke Bartek added 22. Mendoza and Bartek also led the way at the net defensively as the duo rejected 13 combined attempts. Sophomore Lauren Rapp tallied 13 kills and five blocks, while freshman Gretchen Giesler totaled nine hammers and paced the team with five aces.

Junior setter Sarah Rumely dished out 67 assists and added eight kills and two blocks. Freshman Becky Pavan recorded eight kills, five blocks and matched Giesler's ace total. Freshman Christine Hartmann, a red-shirt player in the fall, saw her first collegiate action of her career. Hartmann, a setter, notched 23 assists and converted her only kill attempt into a Wildcat point.

Kentucky will be back in action for their spring season on April 4th when they travel to Louisville.

UK will also host a tournament at Memorial Coliseum on April 11th. The Wildcats will entertain Marshall and Cincinnati in their lone home action of the season.Stay tuned to UKathletics.com for more information on the Kentucky volleyball team.