Kentucky Returns to Action Hosting UK Invitational

Sept. 8, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky volleyball team is set to return to action with the UK Invitational Friday and Saturday. UK will welcome Houston, Loyola Marymount and West Virginia to the tournament field in the squad's final non-conference action.

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Kentucky vs. Houston
Fri., Sept. 9 - 7:00 p.m. ET
Lexington, Ky.
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Memorial Coliseum

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Fri 11 a.m. Match Get Acrobat Reader
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Kentucky begins the tournament facing Houston at 7 p.m. ET Friday evening. The Wildcats are fresh off of a sweep of instate rival Louisville Wednesday evening. Kentucky has captured four consecutive victories by way of a sweep on its home floor.

Sophomore Whitney Billings led the charge for the Wildcats (6-2) in the win over the Cardinals. Billings charted her second consecutive double-double effort with a team-best 11 kills and a season-high 15 digs. She powered her 11 kills down on a career-best .450 hitting percentage while also chipping in with four blocks.

Freshman Lauren O'Conner has notched four straight matches with 10 or more kills and junior libero Stephanie Klefot tallied her third match of the season with 20 or more digs. Sophomore Jessi Greenberg aided the Wildcat cause with a season-high six scoops in the win.

Up first for the Blue and White is Houston, a team that owns a 4-2 record which includes a five-set victory over Tennessee. The Cougars are paced by 3.05 kills per set from Katie Norris. As a unitl the team puts down 11.95 kills per set on a .238 hitting clip. Houston leads the all-time series with UK by a 6-4 mark including a win in the last meeting in 2002.

Loyola Marymount enters the weekend with a 4-2 clip and a staggering 13.30 kills per set on a .238 clip. Jasmie Rankins leads the way with 3.75 kills per set. UK leads the series with Loyola Marymount earning a win in the lone matchup in 1983.

West Virginia rounds out the field with a 2-6 record. The Mountaineers have a 11.21 kill per set average and a 17.14 dig per frame clip. Serinna Russo leads the backline defense with 5.32 scoops per stanza. Kentucky leads the all-time series 1-0 in a 3-0 win in 1990.

For Friday's 11 a.m. match parking for fans is available in Parking Structure #5 located next to Kennedy's Bookstore on South Limestone. The "E" lots surrounding Memorial Coliseum are not allocated for fan parking during this match only.

For all other matches this weekend, parking is available in all surrounding E-Lots (Employee Lots) adjacent to Memorial Coliseum, beginning two and a half hours prior to any home UK Volleyball match.

Kentucky's Memorial Coliseum will play host to the NCAA Regionals Dec. 9-10. UK is one of four sites selected for Sweet 16 and Elite Eight matchups with one team advancing to the Final Four in San Antonio, Texas, from the Lexington Region. Tickets are on sale now through the UK Ticket Office.

Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the UK volleyball team and all of Kentucky's 22 teams.

UK Invitational Schedule

Friday, Sept. 9

Houston vs. West Virginia - 11 a.m.
West Virginia vs. Loyola Marymount - 5 p.m.
Kentucky vs. Houston - 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 10

Kentucky vs. Loyola Marymount - 11 a.m.
Loyola Marymount vs. Houston - 5 p.m.
Kentucky vs. West Virginia - 7 p.m.