UK Closes Out Regular Season Hosting Tennessee
Nov. 23, 2010
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Riding a three-match winning streak, the Kentucky volleyball team will conclude regular-season action with a final home match against No. 21 Tennessee on Wednesday night. First serve is slated for 7 p.m. ET.
With a 3-1 victory over Ole Miss on Friday night, the Wildcats captured its sixth consecutive season with 17 or more victories under the direction of Craig Skinner. The Blue and White now own a 17-12 mark overall and an 11-8 record in Southeastern Conference action. The last time a Kentucky team charted 17 or more wins in six straight seasons was in the stretch of seasons from 1988-93.
The Wildcats own a 13-3 home record this season and have achieved a 67-12 clip in the friendly confines of Memorial Coliseum over the last five seasons.
Kentucky picked up a hard-fought road victory at Ole Miss in its most recent action. Sophomore Stephanie Klefot paced the Wildcats with 26 digs and has now tallied 25 or more scoops in three of UK's last four matches. Klefot has totaled 493 digs for the season which is the seventh highest total for a single-season in school history. She needs just seven more scoops to become just the fifth player in school allure to notch 500 or more digs for a season.
Junior Becky Pavan led the offense with 12 kills on .417 hitting. She also added five blocks and a pair of aces. Pavan has struck for 10 or more kills in five of Kentucky's last six matches, while hitting above .300 in all of those matches.
Senior Lauren Rapp notched seven blocks, eight digs and 10 kills for a near triple-double. Her six block assists gives her 100 combined rejections for the season marking the third time in her career she has posted 100 or more block assists in a season. She ranks second all-time in school history with 417 career block assists.
No. 21 Tennessee currently sits in second place in the SEC Eastern Division standings with a 23-6 overall record and a 14-5 mark in league play. The Lady Volunteers are led by senior Nikki Fowler who accounts for 3.52 kills per set and 2.92 digs per stanza. Kayla Jeter provides 3.02 kills per stanza, while Leah Hinkey turns back a team-best 1.16 opponent attacks per frame.
Kentucky leads the overall series by a 40-27 margin, but the Lady Vols have claimed the last four meetings between the two teams including a 3-0 win in late September.
Then ranked No. 23 Tennessee used 46 kills to get by Kentucky, 3-0 (25-22, 25-15, 25-22) in Knoxville, Tenn. For the first time in nine meetings between the two schools extra sets were not needed to determine a winner.
The Wildcats began the match sizzling and clicking on all cylinders and earning a four-point lead midway through the opening set. However, Tennessee was able use a 6-0 run to capture a lead and win the opening set.
Senior Blaire Hiler paced the offense for the Wildcats with 12 kills and a pair of blocks. Junior Ann Armes chipped in with eight kills and eight digs, while Rapp had six kills and a team-high three rejections. Setter Christine Hartmann dished out 26 assists and had five kills on .444 hitting.
Freshman Jessi Greenberg matched a career-high with nine digs while Klefot scooped up a match-high 15 digs from the back row. Junior Gretchen Giesler came off the bench to play outside hitter midway through the second set and used her opportunity to shine. Giesler had four kills on .300 hitting.
Follow along all season long with the Wildcats at UKathletics.com.