No. 15 Volleyball Hosts Lipscomb, Xavier
LEXINGTON, Ky. - After a record-setting 3-1 roadtrip, the No. 15 Kentucky volleyball team returns home to Memorial Coliseum to host Lipscomb Sept. 18 and Xavier Sept. 20, both at 7 p.m. ET. The pair of contests marks the final nonconference matches before the Southeastern Conference slate begins.
The matches will air on the SEC Network +, available on SECNetwork.com and Watch ESPN to SEC Network subscribers. Both contests will also air on the radio on 1580 AM. Dick Gabriel and Mandy Robbe will have the call on both the SEC Network + and 1580. Additionally, live stats can be found on UKathletics.com.
Thursday, Sept. 18: #15 UK vs. Lipscomb, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 20: #15 UK vs. Xavier, 7 p.m.
Where: Memorial Coliseum, Lexington, Ky.
Tickets: UKathletics.com/tickets | 800-928-2287
SEC Network +: vs. Lipscomb | vs. Xavier
Radio: Fox Sports 1580 AM
Live Stats: vs. Lipscomb | vs. Xavier
Match Info: Match Notes (PDF)
All fans will be admitted free of charge to Thursday's match vs. Lipscomb. Tickets to Saturday's match are available at the UK Athletics Ticket Office at the Joe Craft Center. Students receive free admission to all home matches with a valid student ID.
In their first road match of the season on Sept. 9, the Wildcats beat in-state rival Louisville, 3-1. The first win for UK at UofL since 1993, Kentucky was led by Shelby Workman's career-high 21 kills, including a 13-kill third set, a program-record in the 25-point rally scoring era. After a 3-2 loss to North Carolina Sept. 12 at the Carolina Classic, UK posted wins over VCU and Georgia Southern. The Wildcats' 3-1 win over GSU marked Craig Skinner's 210th victory, making him the program's all-time winningest head coach.
Senior libero Jackie Napper, who averaged 5.00 digs per set with 80 digs on UK's roadtrip, was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 15. The Louisville, Ky., native notched a career-best 26 digs in back-to-back matches, at Louisville and again three nights later at North Carolina. Napper also contributed 15 assists to aid the offensive effort in the Wildcats' four matches.
SKINNER ATOP THE RECORD BOOKS
With UK's win over Georgia Southern on Sept. 13, tenth-year head coach Craig Skinner won his 201th match at Kentucky to become the program's all-time winningest coach. With a 210-87 record, he has passed Kathy DeBoer, who went 209-92 in nine seasons from 1984-92.
- Skinner won his 200th career match in a 3-0 win at Ole Miss on Nov. 17, 2013
- UK's 20th win of the 2013 campaign marked the third consecutive 20-win season and sixth in the past seven years, all under Skinner
- Kentucky has totaled 17 or more victories in all nine seasons of Skinner's tenure, setting a program record for consecutive 17-win seasons, previously set from 1977-84 and again from 1987-93
|Click image for UK's Match Notes (PDF)|
Lipscomb comes to Lexington with a 6-4 record after a 1-2 showing at the Lipscomb Invitational. The Bisons downed ETSU 3-1 after a 3-2 loss to Georgia Tech and before a 3-1 defeat to Utah. LU opened the year with a 3-1 loss to then-No. 23 Creighton, who UK beat 3-0, and a 3-2 upset win at No. 22 Kansas.
Lauren Ford leads Lipscomb with 160 kills for a 3.90 kills per set rate with a .263 hitting percentage, 19 service aces and 19 blocks. Molly Spitznagle has posted a team-best 36 blocks along with 82 kills on .276 hitting, while Bri McCombs' 163 digs leads the team. Kayla Ostrom has dished out 436 assists to go along with 93 digs and 11 blocks.
The Bisons are coached by Brandon Rosenthal, in his 12th season. With a 204-147 record, Rosenthal notched his 200th career win vs. Utah Valley on Aug. 30.
UK leads the all-time series vs. Lipscomb, 2-0 after a 3-0 road victory last season. The Wildcats hit .522 with 40 kills in the victory and only committed five hitting errors. Seven different players, led by Sara Schwarzwalder with eight, had three or more kills.
Xavier, who hosts Lipscomb on Friday, enters the weekend with a 6-4 record after consecutive 3-2 losses to Ohio State and Dayton. The Musketeers, who opened the year with five consecutive victories, own wins over Syracuse and Cincinnati and a 3-2 defeat at Missouri.
The Musketeers are led by Abbey Bessler's 141 kills and 3.53 kills per set rate in addition to 101 digs and 10 service aces and 20 blocks. Alex Blair, who has 101 kills, leads the team with a .391 hitting percentage and 33 blocks. Jesse Earl has notched a team-high 156 digs and 13 aces, while Aubree Smith has dished out a team-best 312 assists along with posting 21 blocks.
Mike Johnson is in his fifth season as Xavier's head coach with an 89-47 record entering the weekend. Johnson has coached six AVCA Honorable Mention All-Americans in his four years at XU.
Saturday marks the first-ever meeting between UK and Xavier.
UP NEXT: AT LSU, SOUTH CAROLINA
UK's Southeastern Conference schedule begins Sept. 24 when the Wildcats face LSU at 9 p.m. in Baton Rouge, La., on ESPNU. Kentucky is back on the road four days later, at South Carolina at 1:30 p.m. UK's next home matches will be Oct. 3 and 5 vs. Alabama and No. 21 Texas A&M.
LAST TIME OUT: UK WINS TWO AT CAROLINA CLASSIC, SKINNER WINS 210
The Wildcats went 2-1 at the Carolina Classic, with a 3-0 win over VCU and a 3-1 win over Georgia Southern after a 3-2 loss at No. 17 North Carolina. UK's win over GSU marked Craig Skinner's 210th career victory to become the program's all-time winningest head coach.
Juniors Morgan Bergren and Sara Schwarzwalder were named to the Carolina Classic All-Tournament team. Bergren passed out 36 or more assists in all three matches and was second on the team with 13 blocks on the weekend, while Schwarzwalder had 24 kills and 12 blocks, including a match-high eight against UNC.
Senior Jackie Napper had a career-high-tying 26 digs vs. the Tar Heels. She moved into sixth place in UK's career record books for digs with 54 in the three matches. Freshman Emily Franklin had a career-high kill total (9) in the win vs. VCU and a career-best and match-high block total vs. Georgia Southern (8).
NAPPER EARNS SEC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
After an 80-dig, 15-assist week, senior libero Jackie Napper earned her first career Southeastern Conference's Defensive Player of the Week honor on Sept. 15. She averaged 5.00 digs per set and posted match-high dig totals in each contest, including a career-best 26 at Louisville and another 26 three days later at No. 17 North Carolina.
With 45 digs in the season's opening weekend, Napper topped the 1,000-dig plateau for her career. Now with 1,163 digs in her career, Napper is the 13th player in school history to amass 1,000 digs and sits sixth in the all-time UK record books and third in the 25-point rally scoring era. She totaled 10 or more digs in all 10 matches and has posted 10 or more in a match on 54 occasions in her career.
- Head Coach Craig Skinner became UK's all-time winningest coach with his 210th victory Sept. 13 vs. Georgia Southern.
- Senior Jackie Napper has 1,163 career digs, third in the UK record books in the rally scoring era and sixth in the all-time top 10, 31 away from the top five.
- Senior Lauren O'Conner , who leads all current SEC players with 916 kills, is 84 shy of becoming the 15th Wildcat to notch 1,000 career kills.
- Junior Morgan Bergren is third all-time in the rally scoring era in UK history with 1,761 career assists.
- O'Conner is tied for fifth in the rally scoring era with 36 solo blocks, eighth with 199 total blocks and eighth with 165 block assists, while junior Sara Schwarzwalder is sixth in the rally scoring era with 214 total blocks and sixth with 199 block assists.
- Schwarzwalder is tied for fifth in the rally scoring era with a .285 attacking percentage.
- O'Conner, with 70 aces, is fourth in the rally scoring era, two shy of breaking into the top three.