No. 15 Volleyball Hosts No. 7 Florida Sunday at Noon
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After a 3-1 win at Ole Miss to open the weekend, the No. 15 Kentucky volleyball team returns home for a top-15 matchup with No. 7 Florida on Sunday. First serve of Sunday’s “Pack the House” match between the Southeastern Conference’s top two teams is set for Noon ET in Memorial Coliseum.
#15 Kentucky vs. #7 Florida
Sunday, Nov. 16 - Noon ET
Memorial Coliseum, Lexington, Ky.
Match Info: Match Notes (PDF)
TV: SEC Network
Radio: Fox Sports 1580 AM
Live Stats: UKathletics.com
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Kentucky (23-4, 12-2 Southeastern Conference) has won five in a row after a perfect 4-0 homestand and Friday’s win at Ole Miss. Thanks to near record-setting performances in a 3-1 win over Georgia on Nov. 7, seniors Lauren O’Conner and Jackie Napper were named SEC Players of the week on Nov. 10.
Seventh-ranked Florida (20-3, 14-0) has won 15 consecutive matches after a 3-0 win vs. Auburn on Wednesday. The Gators are 3-2 vs. ranked foes, with wins over No. 6 USC, No. 13 San Diego and No. 19 Texas A&M.
The first 1,000 fans in attendance at Sunday’s “Pack the House” match vs. No. 7 Florida will receive a free rally towel. Fans who follow the Wildcats on social media - on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram - can get a coupon for free admission to the match. Additionally, groups of 10 or more can get tickets for $2.
|Click image for UK's Match Notes (PDF)|
Florida comes to Lexington with a 20-3 record, 14-0 in league action. The Gators have won 15 in a row and have recorded three wins over top-25 opponents. After back-to-back losses at No. 8 Florida State and to No. 3 Texas, UF turned around to post consecutive wins over No. 13 San Diego and at No. 6 USC. In conference play, Florida swept No. 19 Texas A&M.
The Gators are led by Alex Holston’s 285 kills on .361 hitting, while Rhammat Alhassan has recorded 212 kills on .467 hitting with a team-best 102 blocks. Holly Pole’s 277 digs leads UF and Mackenzie Dagostina has dished out 887 assists and recorded 41 service aces, both team-highs with 46 blocks and 144 digs.
UF is coached by Mary Wise, in her 24th season in Gainesville. An assistant coach at Kentucky from 1986-89 and associate head coach in 1989-90, Wise was named AVCA National Head Coach of the Year in 1992 and ‘96 has earned SEC Coach of the Year honors 13 times.
SERIES HISTORY VS. THE GATORS
The Wildcats are 12-48 all-time vs. Florida. The only SEC opponent that Kentucky does not own a winning record against, UK’s last win vs. UF came in 2011 a 3-2 victory in Memorial Coliseum. After a narrow 3-2 defeat last season, the Wildcats are 5-20 against the Gators at home.
After a 3-0 loss in Gainesville last season, UK hosted UF in the regular season finale. Kentucky rallied from a 2-0 deficit to force a decisive fifth frame against the sixth-ranked Gators, but fell just shy of the upset in a 3-2 (25-11, 28-26, 22-25, 18-25, 15-10) loss. Whitney Billings led the Wildcats with 20 kills and added 18 digs while Anni Thomasson totaled 16 kills and picked up nine digs. Setter Morgan Bergren also registered a double-double with 50 assists and a career-high 13 digs. Libero Jackie Napper had 20 digs to lead the way defensively.
UP NEXT: AT MISSISSIPPI STATE, AUBURN
Kentucky travels to Mississippi State on Nov. 23 and Auburn on Nov. 26. The Wildcats return home for the regular season finale, a Senior Night contest vs. Arkansas on Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. ET.
LAST TIME OUT: DOMINANT RUNS FUEL 3-1 WIN AT OLE MISS
Fueled by dominate runs to close the second and third sets and a season-high-tying 18 kills by Anni Thomasson, Kentucky defeated Ole Miss 3-1 (20-25, 25-18, 25-15, 25-23) Friday in Oxford, Miss., to open the weekend. The Wildcats recovered from a first-set loss with a balanced offensive attack and 12 blocks after the Rebels out-hit UK .241 to .071 in the first set. Kentucky recorded a .520 hitting percentage with at least 15 kills in the second and third set before hitting .353 with 16 kills in the final frame.
UK totaled 12 blocks in the match, tied for the most in a four-set match and the third-highest total by Kentucky this season. Morgan Bergren led Kentucky with six blocks, while Brown and Franklin each assisted on five. After one kill on -.600 hitting in the first set, Thomasson recovered in a big way to record a season-high-tying 18 kills on .406 hitting. The sophomore added five digs and two block assists.
Memorial Coliseum has been the home of the Wildcats for all 38 volleyball seasons, and the historic venue has provided the Wildcats with a home court advantage unlike any other. UK is 14-2 at home in 2014, including a 4-1 mark in SEC play. Highlighted by a six match winning streak at home, UK also swept No. 21 Texas A&M in Memorial Coliseum on Oct. 5.
Overall: 392-150 (38th season) .723
Skinner Era: 130-29 (10th season) .818
Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the Kentucky volleyball team and all 22 varsity sports. For additional info on the volleyball team like Kentucky Volleyball on Facebook or follow the team on Twitter at @KentuckyVB.