Kentucky Preview: Fiesta on Siesta Key

April 17, 2009

SIESTA Key, Fla. - Members of the Kentucky volleyball team will once again compete in the annual SEC Coaches Beach Volleyball Championships hosted in conjunction with the Fiesta on Siesta Key tournaments.

Last season, Kentucky sent Nicole Britenriker and Laura Stokowski to represent the Wildcats in the SEC clash. This season UK will take five competitive squads to the tournament which features all 11 SEC schools.

SEC Player of the Year Sarah Rumely will be joined by UK's kill leader in 2008 in rising junior Sarah Mendoza. Rumely was an All-America honorable mention honoree as a junior, while Mendoza earned second-team All-SEC honors in just her second season.

A pair of seniors in BriAnne Sauer and Brooke Bartek form Kentucky's second tandem. Sauer paced the Blue and White in digs in her sophomore season and has registered over 1,000 for her career. Bartek has averaged over two kills per set in her two seasons with the Wildcats.

Rising sophomore Ann Armes and rising junior Blaire Hiler form a combination of outside hitters in Kentucky's third squad. Hiler posted 11 kills in UK's upset win over Florida during the 2008 season, while Armes totaled three matches with 10 or more hammers in her first collegiate season.

Stokowski will team up with rising junior Lauren Rapp in the 2009 edition of the SEC beach tournament. Stokowski emerged as one of UK's regular back-row players in her sophomore season as she averaged nearly two digs per set and tallied a career-best 17 scoops against Ole Miss. Rapp was a second-team All-SEC member as a sophomore and has totaled 11 career double-double efforts.

Kentucky's final team is comprised of a group of freshman. Christine Hartmann, a redshirt player in the fall, Becky Pavan and Gretchen Giesler form the final squad. Pavan paced the SEC in blocks as a freshman and was a unanimous pick for the All-SEC Freshman team, while Giesler saw action in 18 matches as a true freshman.

The tournament takes place on Sat. April 18 in Siesta Key, Fla. Stay tuned to UKathletics.com for more information on the Kentucky volleyball team.