No. 17 UK Faces Test at Kansas State Tourney

Sept. 10, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. - After enduring a five-set thriller Tuesday against Cincinnati, the No. 17 Kentucky volleyball team takes its perfect record on the road to face a true test at the Kansas State tournament Friday and Saturday. Kansas State enters the weekend with a No. 21 rating--and home court advantage. Purdue is also receiving votes and had previously been ranked in the top-25 polls, while Portland has faced stiff competition to open the young season.

Kentucky's veterans helped lead the Wildcats to a 3-2 victory over Cincinnati on Tuesday. Sarah Mendoza posted a season-high 22 kills while Blaire Hiler came off the bench to hammer home five crucial kills in the final stanza.

For the season, Mendoza paces UK with 4.12 kills per frame. Senior setter Sarah Rumely has dished out 300 assists and led her team to a .299 hitting percentage for the season. Sophomore Becky Pavan has already totaled 29 blocks on the year and BriAnne Sauer averages 3.64 digs per set.UK will face Kansas State on Friday night in the opening match for the Blue and White. The Wildcats will play Purdue Saturday morning and finish the tournament with Portland later that evening.

The homestanding Kansas State Wildcats enter this weekend's tournament with a national ranking of No. 21. Kansas State is currently on a five-match winning streak after dropping its opening two matches of the season to top-20 foes. JuliAnne Chisholm leads the Wildcats with a 3.83 kill per set average. Soriana Pacheco has totaled 315 assists on the year in helping Kansas State to a 13.31 kill per set average as a squad. Defensivley, Kansas State averages 1.97 blocks per set and 15.07 digs per stanza. Three Kansas State players have totaled 15 or more rejections this season.

The Boilermakers began the season among the nation's top-25 teams and are still receiving votes in the AVCA coaches poll. Purdue has dropped two matches this season--both coming in five-set matches to Dayton and Baylor. The Boilermaker attack is led by Carrie Gurnell's 3.96 kills per set average. Purdue has out-blocked their opponents with a 2.44 to 1.52 average per set. Tiffany Fisher leads the front line with 27 blocks on the year.

Portland enters the weekend with a 2-6 record, but the Pilots have faced some tough competition including No. 14 Oregon on Sept. 6. Portland has three players who average 2.40 kills or more led by Jessica Clemens' 3.44 average. Portland plays with two setters, both of which have totaled over 115 assists for the season. Danielle Dupar leads the back row defense with a 5.25 digs per set average. Portland has also been impressive blocking as they average 2.11 blocks a set.

Complete coverage of the Wildcats at the Kansas State tournament can found at UKathletics.com.