Wildcats Return Home to Host Crimson Tide

Oct. 14, 2010

Match Notes Get Acrobat Reader  | Cat Scratches: Volleyball aims to keep NCAA Tournament streak alive

LEXINGTON, Ky. - After spending five of its first eight conference matches on the road, the Kentucky volleyball team will return to the friendly confines of Memorial Coliseum for a two-match homestand. UK will first welcome Alabama on Friday, Oct. 15 for a 7 p.m. ET start.

Kentucky (9-9, 3-5) is coming off its most complete performance of the season. Junior Becky Pavan totaled a career-best 19-kill effort to lead the Blue and White to a 3-1 win at Arkansas on Sunday. Pavan charted the 19 kills on a near-perfect .792 hitting percentage. Setter Christine Hartmann dished out a career-high 50 assists and found five different players for seven or more hammers as UK hit a season-high .379 for the match.

Stephanie Klefot matched a career high with 22 digs to lead the defensive back row while junior Gretchen Giesler paved the way at the net with a match-high five blocks. Giesler also contributed a season-high 10 kills for the Wildcats.

Alabama owns a 9-8 overall record and a 1-6 mark in Southeastern Conference action. The Tide is led by Kayla Fitterer's 3.46 kills per set with Alyssa Meuth contributing 3.09. Kayla Schmidt leads the 6-2 offense with 358 assists on the season and Kelsey Anderson paces the back-row defense with 4.75 digs per stanza. Alabama is tossing down 13.07 kills per set while yielding 12.16 to its opponents.

Kentucky leads the series with the Crimson Tide with a 21-12 overall record. Kentucky has also claimed the last four meetings between the two squads including a 3-1 victory on Nov. 6, 2009. Behind the inspired play of middle blocker Gretchen Giesler, the 11th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats earned a 3-1 (25-11, 22-25, 25-12, 25-15) victory over visiting Alabama in the last meeting between the two schools. Giesler posted a career-high 13 kills on a sizzling .619 attack percentage while adding four blocks from her middle blocker position.

Kentucky combined for 57 kills on the night on a remarkable .336 attack percentage. Giesler was the spark to the UK attack. Lauren Rapp struck for eight kills, while Blaire Hiler and Becky Pavan each added seven hammers. Giesler led the blocking defense with four blocks, but five Wildcats recorded at least one rejection.

Follow along all season long with the Wildcats at UKathletics.com.