No. 8 Volleyball on the Road for a Pair of Matches

Oct. 15, 2009

Match Notes Get Acrobat Reader

LEXINGTON, Ky. - After just a two-match homestand, the No. 8 Kentucky volleyball team returns to the road for a pair of conference matches this weekend. Up first for the Blue and White is a date with Mississippi State on Friday and then Alabama on Sunday.

UK and Mississippi State meet on Friday at 8 p.m. ET. Sunday's match with Alabama is slated for a 2:30 p.m. ET start.

Sophomore Gretchen Giesler earned SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors on Monday after pacing the UK (17-1, 7-0) defensive effort with 1.43 blocks per frame in the team's two wins over Auburn and Georgia. It is the first such honor of the sophomore middle blocker's career.

For the fifth consecutive season the Kentucky volleyball team has charted 17 or more victories - all coming under the direction of head coach Craig Skinner. It is the first time since the 1989-93 seasons the Blue and White has strung together five consecutive years with 17 or more wins.

Mississippi State under new head coach Jenny Hazelwood is 5-14 overall and 1-7 in SEC action. The Bulldogs got their first conference win just last weekend in a 3-2 triumph over Ole Miss in Oxford. Mississippi State is led by do-everything player Ashley Newsome. Newsome leads the team in kills per set (3.03) and hitting percentage (.269). Additionally, Newsome leads the squad with 73 blocks on the year. Kayla Woodard averages 4.07 digs per set to lead the team defensively. UK leads the all-time series by a 36-1 margin.

The Crimson Tide hold a 6-12 overall record and a 4-4 clip in SEC action heading into the weekend series with Tennessee and Kentucky. The Tide has emerged in conference action to pick up four of its last six victories. Although, only one Alabama victory in conference play has come in the form of a sweep. The Crimson Tide is led by Ashley Frazier who averages 2.86 kills per set. The Tide as a team average 12.41 kills per frame. Alabama uses a two-setter rotation with Kayla Schmidt leading the way with 424 assists on the year. Kelsey Anderson leads the defensive effort with an average of 3.11 digs per set. The Wildcats lead the all-time series 19-12.

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