Wildcats Begin Conference Slate with Auburn

Sept. 15, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky volleyball team will open Southeastern Conference action at home riding a seven-match winning streak. Auburn will visit Memorial Coliseum for a 7 p.m. ET first serve Friday night to kick off a 20-match conference schedule for the Blue and White.

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Kentucky vs.Auburn
Fri., Sept. 16 - 7:00 p.m. ET
Lexington, Ky.
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To help mark the fifth anniversary of the SEC "Together We CAN Drive", any patron who brings five canned goods or non-perishable food items will receive free admission to the UK-Auburn match Friday night. Across the SEC each school is attempting to reach 500,000 pounds in food and donations. UK's donations will help benefit God's Food Pantry.

Kentucky (9-2) has captured its last seven matches and won 21-of-22 sets in that span. The Blue and White own a 21-9 overall mark in SEC lid-lifters since 1981 and a 4-2 mark in the Craig Skinnerera.

During Kentucky's winning streak, the Wildcats have used a balanced offensive attack and tremendous defense both at the net and in the back line.

Five players are charting 2.35 digs or more in a set in the run led by freshman Lauren O'Conner's 3.36. Setter Christine Hartmannis distributing the ball with 13.90 assists per set as UK is charting 15.20 kills per set on .227 hitting.

On the defensive side of things, UK has notched 3.18 blocks per set in its seven-match run. Seniors Gretchen Giesler (1.52) and Ann Armes (1.17) lead the way at the net. Junior libero Stephanie Klefot is a two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Week in this run and is posting 5.18 scoops per stanza. Sophomore Whitney Billingshas been terrific as UK's second primary passer with 3.41 digs per set.

Kentucky's defense has limited opponents to a mere .128 hitting clip and 11.30 kills per set. UK is rejecting opponent attacks at a 3-to-1 rate compared with its opponents.

Auburn enters SEC action owning a 6-4 overall record. The Tigers have played all but one match on the road to open the season. Four players post two or more kills per set led by 2.46 from the hand of Kelly Fidero. As a team, Auburn turns in 12.09 kills per set and 2.14 blocks per frame.

Kentucky leads the all-time series by a 28-10 margin, although the squads split their matchups a season ago with both home teams earning the win.

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.