No. 10 Wildcats Entertain South Carolina Friday
Nov. 19, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. - With just two remaining home matches of the season the 10th-ranked Kentucky volleyball team is set to host South Carolina on Friday night at Memorial Coliseum. Match time is slated for a 7 p.m. start.
Kentucky (26-2, 16-1) is in search of its 27th win of the season - an unprecedented mark. One more victory would give head coach Craig Skinner his fifth consecutive season with more victories than the last. Skinner led the Wildcats to 17 wins in 2005, 19 wins in 2006, 22 wins in 2007 and 26 a season ago.
The Blue and White put on a masterful blocking display in its last win over Auburn. UK racked up a season high 15 rejections in that victory led by sophomore Gretchen Giesler's 10 blocks. Giesler became the first Kentucky player to put-back 10 attacks in a match since classmate Becky Pavan rejected 10 attempts at Tennessee in 2008. Giesler ranks among the league's leaders in blocks per set as she averages a team-high 1.10 rejections a stanza. She had previously stuck back seven shots in a match on four occasions.
Junior Blaire Hiler was also exceptional for the Wildcats in their 3-1 win over the Tigers Sunday. Hiler matched her career-high with 14 kills to pace the squad in the win. She did that on an even more impressive above .500 hitting clip.
South Carolina enters the matchup with the Blue and White possessing a 14-13 overall record and a 5-12 mark in SEC action. The Gamecocks have been playing without their major offensive threat in Ivana Kujundzic. Hannah Lawing though has been a factor for South Carolina averaging 3.12 kills per set and 3.24 digs per frame. Sarah Cline leads the back row effort with a 4.62 dig per stanza average as South Carolina averages 16.49 digs per set.
The then 15th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats needed five sets to overcome a feisty South Carolina team (25-20, 25-21, 23-25, 19-25, 15-13) in Columbia in early October in the first meeting of the season. Three Wildcats posted 10 or more kills in the win and Pavan totaled a career-high 16 kills in the victory. Kentucky's 14 blocks were also a big factor in the Wildcats' victory.
For the most up-to-date news, highlights and features about the Kentucky volleyball team please visit UKathletics.com.