No. 18 Volleyball Hosts DanceBlue Match against Rival Tennessee
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The No. 18 Kentucky volleyball team returns home to host rival Tennessee on Oct. 28 at 8 p.m. ET in a nationally-televised contest on ESPNU. The match is the annual DanceBlue Match, where support of the on-campus organization DanceBlue, the team will raise awareness and money to benefit children with cancer who are treated at UK’s Pediatric Oncology Hematology Clinic.
#18 Kentucky vs. Tennessee
Wednesday, Oct. 29 - 8 p.m. ET
Memorial Coliseum, Lexington, Ky.
DanceBlue Match: More Info
Match Info: Match Notes (PDF)
Radio: Fox Sports 1580 AM
Live Stats: UKathletics.com
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Kentucky (18-4, 8-2 SEC) is coming off a sweep at Arkansas on Oct. 24 and a 3-1 loss at No. 24 Texas A&M on Oct. 24. Sophomore Anni Thomasson had a double-double in both contests and has recorded double-doubles in three consecutive matches, the longest streak by a Wildcat since Whitney Billings opened the 2013 season with four double-doubles in a row.
Tennessee (8-15, 1-8 SEC) posted its first league win of the year on Oct. 26 with a 3-0 victory over Ole Miss. On Oct. 10 in Knoxville, Tenn., UK recorded a 3-0 win, its fourth consecutive win over the Lady Vols. Tennessee is 1-7 away from home, with a win at Evansville on Sept. 9.
DANCEBLUE MATCH: HOW TO GET INVOLVED
To support DanceBlue, fans can pledge money for each of UK’s kills, digs or assists. Fans can pledge money both in attendance at Wednesday’s match or while watching the contest live on ESPNU.
The team will also wear blue warm-up tops with gold lettering and head coach Craig Skinner will wear a gold tie, which will be auctioned off on UKathletics.com following the match. A special gold ball will be auctioned off as well. Additionally, flowers and ribbons will be sold at the Marketing Gazebo to support DanceBlue. Fans are also encouraged to participate in a special post-match ceremony.
More information about the DanceBlue Match and DanceBlue can be found here.
|Click image for UK's Match Notes (PDF)|
Tennessee is 8-15 in 2014 and 1-8 in conference play. The Lady Vols, who are 1-7 away from home, earned their first SEC win Sunday with a sweep of Ole Miss. Along with a loss to then-No. 13 Kentucky, UT also lost to No. 21 Texas A&M, Tennessee’s only other top-25 opponent so far in 2014.
The Lady Vols are led by Jamie Lea, who has 177 kills for a 2.72 kills per set rate. Lexi Dempsey has dished out 625 assists to go along with 25 kills and 139 digs. Bridgette Villano leads the team with 257 digs, while Iesha Bryant has a team-high 65 blocks.
UT is coached by Rob Patrick, in his 18th season, has amassed a 359-200 record in Knoxville. Patrick has led the Volunteers to two SEC titles and nine NCAA Tournament appearances, included eight of nine seasons from 2004-12.
SERIES HISTORY VS. THE VOLUNTEERS
Kentucky leads the all-time series vs. Tennessee, 45-29 after a 3-0 sweep in Knoxville on Oct. 10. UK, who has won four in a row and five of the last six in the series, is 21-9 at home and 13-15 all-time in Knoxville. Under 10th-year head coach Craig Skinner, Kentucky is 10-8 vs. the Lady Vols.
On Oct. 10 at Tennessee, Kentucky notched a 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-13) victory, led by sophomore Anni Thomasson’s 15 kills on .452 hitting. UK hit .317 with 44 kills in the sweep with five aces. The defensive effort included 35 digs and nine blocks, six in the final set. UK held UT to .184 hitting and 30 kills, led by freshman Kaz Brown’s career-high eight blocks and senior Jackie Napper’s eight digs.
UP NEXT: VS. MOREHEAD STATE
UK plays its final nonconference match of the regular season on Nov. 3 vs. Morehead State at 7 p.m. ET. The Wildcats close out their four-match homestand vs. Georgia on Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. and vs. Missouri on Nov. 9 at Noon on the SEC Network.
LAST TIME OUT: UK SWEEPS ARKANSAS, FALLS AT NO. 24 TEXAS A&M
Kentucky recorded a 3-0 win at Arkansas before falling at No. 24 Texas A&M, 3-1 last weekend. Sophomore Anni Thomasson posted a double-double in both contests, with 11 kills and 12 digs at Arkansas and 12 kills and 10 digs at Texas A&M. Thomasson has recorded double-doubles in three consecutive matches, the longest streak by a Wildcat since Whitney Billings opened the 2013 season with four double-doubles in a row.
At Arkansas on Oct. 24, UK’s fifth sweep in its last six matches, the Wildcats had five service aces and held the Razorbacks to .162 hitting with 21 attack errors. Junior Shelby Workman led the Wildcats with 12 kills on .250 hitting and had nine digs. Thomasson and senior Jackie Napper each had 12 digs. Junior setter Morgan Bergren had 33 assists and two kills and directed the UK offense to .248 hitting with 40 kills. Lauren O’Conner added seven kills while freshman Kaz Brown recorded six. Brown, junior Sara Schwarzwalder and O’Conner each had two block assists.
Oct. 26 in a top-25 battle at Texas A&M, O’Conner led UK with 19 kills on .421 hitting while Napper led the defensive effort with 20 digs. Brown had eight kills and two block assists, while junior Shelby Workman recorded seven kills along with 11 digs. Bergren dished out 42 assists and added five kills and tied for the team lead with four blocks in addition to having 10 digs.
WILDCATS IN THE POLLS
Kentucky is ranked 18th in the latest AVCA Coaches’ Poll. The Wildcats have been ranked in each of the last 27 polls, the third-longest streak in school history and the second-longest in head coach Craig Skinner’s 10 years at the helm. From 2008-2010, UK was ranked for a program-record 31 consecutive weeks. The current streak goes back to the final poll of the 2012 season, including every week in 2013, the sixth time in team history the Wildcats have been ranked in every poll in a season. Kentucky is one of three Southeastern Conference teams in the top 25.
UK is No. 10 in the fourth NCAA RPI ranking of the season, announced Oct. 27. Used to rank teams based on record and strength of schedule, UK is one of two conference teams in the top 10.
Head Coach Craig Skinner became UK's all-time winningest coach with his 210th victory Sept. 13 vs. Georgia Southern.
Skinner has coached a 17-win team in all 10 seasons at the helm of the Wildcat program - the longest such streak in program history.
Senior Jackie Napper has 1,336 career digs, second in the UK record books in the rally scoring era and fourth in the all-time top 10. Her 357 through 22 matches in 2014 is eighth in a single season in the rally scoring era. Sophomore Anni Thomasson is 10th in the modern era with 476 career digs.
Senior Lauren O'Conner, who leads all current SEC players with 1,074 kills, became the 15th Wildcat to notch 1,000 career kills on Oct. 5 vs. Texas A&M and is second in program history in the rally scoring era. O'Conner is also second in attack attempts with 2,982 and third with 1,291.5 points.
Junior Morgan Bergren is third all-time in the rally scoring era and 10th in UK history with 2,252 career assists. Napper is sixth in the rally scoring era with 242 career assists. In the single season record books, Bergren's 889 assists in 2014 is seventh in the modern era.
O'Conner is fourth in the rally scoring era with 38 solo blocks, seventh with 231 total blocks and seventh with 193 block assists. Junior Sara Schwarzwalder is sixth in the rally scoring era with 255 total blocks and fifth with 239 block assists. Bergren is 10th with 149 total blocks.
Schwarzwalder is fifth in the rally scoring era with a .289 attacking percentage.
O'Conner is third in the rally scoring era with 83 aces.
Napper is fourth in sets played with 440 and O'Conner fifth with 424 in the rally scoring era.