Volleyball Begins Season Ranked No. 13 in the Nation

Aug. 13, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. - For the third time in four seasons the Kentucky volleyball team will open play among the top-25 ranked teams in the country. The Wildcats begin the 2012 campaign slated as the No. 13 team in the nation it was announced by the American Volleyball Coaches Association Monday. The preseason mark ties a program-best with the 1983 team also achieving a No. 13 ranking. Furthermore, UK is the highest ranked Southeastern Conference team.

With the preseason ranking the Wildcats have now been among the ranked squads in 37 polls under head coach Craig Skinner. This marks the third preseason accolade under Skinner, with UK also earning early season recognition in 2009 and 2010.The Wildcats are coming off another banner year following their second appearance in the Sweet Sixteen in three seasons. UK charted a 28-6 overall record including a 17-3 mark in SEC action.

UK is one of just 16 programs in the country to advance to seven consecutive NCAA Tournaments, a program best for consecutive postseason runs. Kentucky concluded the 2011 season ranked No. 13 after advancing to the Sweet Sixteen and giving No. 1 overall seed Texas all it could handle in front of the largest crowd in Memorial Coliseum in the Skinner era.

In his eighth season at the helm, Skinner returns three All-America selections, six starters and nine letterwinners from a season ago. Seven of those returners appeared in all 34 matches during UK's 2011 run.

Kentucky's schedule includes four teams ranked in the 2012 preseason poll including a date at No. 4 Nebraska on Sept. 8. Three teams in the SEC were ranked among the top 20 with Tennessee coming in at No. 15 and Florida at No. 18. Seven additional teams on UK's schedule are receiving votes including three SEC teams in LSU, Texas A&M and Missouri.

The Wildcats will begin the season with the Kentucky Classic on Aug. 24. UK takes on North Carolina, a squad also receiving votes in the opening poll, at 7 p.m. ET. Long Beach State will also travel to the Classic, with a date vs. UK on Aug. 25 at 8 p.m. ET.

Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the UK volleyball team.

2012 Preseason Top 25
1UCLA (54)3Penn State
4Nebraska (1)
5Southern California
10Iowa State
12Florida State
19San Diego
21Northern Iowa
22Kansas State
24Ohio State
25Colorado State

Receiving votes: Long Beach State 66; North Carolina 57; Dayton 42; St. Mary's (Ca.) 33; Michigan State 30; Louisville 28; Tulsa 25; LSU 24; Western Kentucky 24; Arizona 17; Texas A&M 15; Miami (FL) 13; BYU 12; Missouri 9; Cincinnati 6; Oklahoma 4; Wichita State 3