Kentucky Travels to Nebraska for Ameritas Players Challenge

LEXINGTON, Ky. – In the final non-conference action of the season for the 19th-ranked Kentucky volleyball team, the Wildcats will travel to Lincoln, Neb., for a round-robin tournament that features Duquesne, Oklahoma and top-ranked Nebraska, beginning Thursday with a showdown against the Dukes.

UK is set to open with Duquesne on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. ET. The Wildcats face Oklahoma on Friday at 7 p.m., before concluding the week against the Huskers Saturday at 5 p.m. ET.

Kentucky (5-2) went 2-2 last week in a four-match week. UK’s senior Ashley Frazier and junior Whitney Billings were named to the Baymont Invitational All-Tournament team after pacing the Wildcat attack and both logging career-high hitting percentages during matches a week ago.

Sophomore Lauren O’Conner continues to lead the Blue and White with an average of 3.15 kills per set. Senior setter Christine Hartmann is passing out 10.60 assists per frame and lead the Wildcats to an above .400 hitting percentage in UK’s last victory over Western Carolina.

The Dukes have raced out to an 8-1 start to begin the season entering the weekend. Duquesne is led by Sara Scheirman’s 3.07 kills per set as the team strikes for 13.52 kills per stanza. Ashley Buse is attacking at a team-best .454 hitting percentage with Patti Abshire leading the back line defense with 3.65 digs per set.

The matchup with Duquesne will mark the first meeting in school history.

Oklahoma enters the weekend owning a 6-2 record following a four-set road victory at Arkansas on Tuesday. The Sooners are utilizing a .240 hitting clip to terminate at a 12.77 kill per set rate. Morgan Reynolds leads the attack with 2.81 kills per set. Sallie McLaurin leads the defensive effort with 1.74 blocks per stanza.

The 2012 meeting will mark just the second time the squads have met in the history of the programs. The only other meeting came in 1988 with the Sooners earning a 3-0 sweep.

The Huskers own an unblemished 5-0 record and the No. 1 national ranking. Nebraska is attacking with a .308 clip and totaling 15.12 kills per set. Three players average 3.00 kills per set or more including Hannah Werth (3.53) who leads the team. Two players post more than one block per stanza with Cecilia Hall leading the way with 1.25.

Nebraska owns a 6-2 all-time record against the Wildcats with the last meeting coming in 2010. The Huskers claimed that match 3-0 in the season lidlifter for both teams.

Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the UK volleyball team. For additional coverage of the volleyball squad be sure and check out CatScratchesBlog.com/volleyball.