No. 15 Kentucky Set for Showdown with No. 5 Florida
Oct. 1, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The 15th-ranked Kentucky volleyball team travels to Gainesville, Fla., for an early-season conference clash with the fifth-ranked Florida Gators Friday, in the Stephen F. O'Connell Center beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
Both squads enter the match-up with a single non-conference blemish to their records. Kentucky (13-1, 3-0) dropped a 3-2 heartbreaker to intrastate rival Louisville, while Florida (10-1, 4-0) fell at the hands of No. 4 Washington in three sets. Since those losses both teams have dominated Southeastern Conference action with neither team dropping a set in a combined 7-0 effort.
UK senior libero BriAnne Sauer has been a force from the back row during conference action. Sauer has posted 16 or more digs in all three of Kentucky's SEC matches, including 20 against Arkansas. For her efforts this weekend in UK's two victories, Sauer was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week after averaging 6.00 scoops a set.
The Wildcat offense has continued to soar as it averages nearly 15 kills per set which ranks third in the nation. Five Wildcats average over 2.00 kills per stanza led by junior Sarah Mendoza's 4.18 put-downs per frame. Reigning SEC Player of the Year, Sarah Rumely, is the director of the Blue and White's offense which ranks seventh in the nation behind a .292 hitting percentage. Rumely averages 11.82 assists per stanza which is rated as the seventh best total in the country.
Two Gators Colleen Ward and Kristy Jaeckel, average over three kills per set. The Gator offense runs through the hands of Kelly Murphy who has already tallied two triple-doubles on the year from her setter/right side position. Defensively, Elyse Cusack has been a steady force for the Gators in the back row as the senior libero tallies a league-leading 4.24 digs per set.
A season-ago the two teams split five-set thrillers with Florida claiming a win in Gainesville and Kentucky taking the win at home in Memorial Coliseum. Prior to UK's victory last season, Florida had captured 38 straight matches from the Blue and White. Kentucky has not won in Gainesville since Oct. 1, 1989, nearly 20 years to the day of Friday night's match.
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