UK Volleyball Concludes Productive Spring Season

April 19, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. - With continued success as the top goal for the Kentucky volleyball program the 2011 spring season was considered another thriving mark in that quest. The Wildcats embarked on a competitive spring slate and won all but two matches, while attempting to implement a faster-paced offensive system.

UK wrapped up spring competition last weekend in West Lafayette, Ind., where the Blue and White toppled Ball State before falling to the host Purdue Boilermakers, a 2010 Elite Eight squad.

Head coach Craig Skinner considers the spring season another successful run for the Wildcat program that had 11 of its expected 13 roster members for the 2011 fall campaign suited up for all six spring matches.

That roster includes a tremendous mix of seasoned veterans, returning starters and promising freshmen. Seniors Ann Armes, Gretchen Giesler and Becky Pavan enter their final campaigns having helped guide UK to its impressive six-year stint in the NCAA Tournament and six straight 17-win campaigns.

"We made great progress during the spring," Skinner said. "It is important that our seniors and fourth-year player Christine Hartmann take ownership of their leadership roles and continue the progress made into the summer and onto the preseason in August."

Included in the mix this spring season was junior transfer Ashley Frazier who provided an offensive spark for the Wildcats throughout the spring schedule. Freshman Lauren O'Conner enrolled in January after finishing her high school career in December and adjusted admirably to the collegiate court.

The Wildcats spent the majority of the spring practice sessions and matches working on a faster-paced offensive system. UK is also making adjustments to its defensive scheme. The players continued to sharpen their fundamental skills while tweaking the system.

Kentucky returns nine letterwinners from a season ago and will welcome a three-member freshman class to the rotation as well as Frazier for the 2011 fall campaign. UK's season will kick off in Tallahassee, Fla., at the Florida State Tournament in late August.

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