No. 15 UK Travels to Auburn for Regular Season's Final Roadtrip
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The No. 15 Kentucky volleyball team plays its final road contest of the regular season Wednesday at Auburn at 6 p.m. ET.
#15 Kentucky at Auburn
Wednesday, Nov. 25 - 6 p.m. ET
Auburn Arena, Auburn, Ala.
Match Info: Match Notes (PDF)
Live Stats: UKathletics.com
Text Updates: Subscribe
Kentucky (24-5, 13-3 Southeastern Conference) has won six of its last seven and is second in the SEC standings. The Wildcats are coming off a 3-0 win at Mississippi State Sunday., which began the regular season’s final week that features three matches in seven days. UK closes the regular season Saturday at home for a Senior Night matchup with Arkansas.
Auburn (12-17, 2-10 SEC) returns home from a four-match roadtrip, where the Tigers went 1-3. AU has won two of its last five, with wins over Tennessee and at South Carolina and a 3-0 loss at Florida. The Wildcats and Tigers met on Oct. 12 in Lexington, a 3-0 UK victory.
One of two SEC teams ranked in both the AVCA Coaches’ Poll and the RPI Top 25, Kentucky’s No. 15 ranking in the coaches’ poll marks the 31st consecutive week UK has earned a spot in the top 25. It ties the longest stretch in program history, set from 2008-10.
|Click image for UK's Match Notes (PDF)|
Auburn begins the regular season’s final week with a 12-17 record and a 4-12 mark in SEC play. The Tigers return home from a 1-3 roadtrip, with a 3-2 win at South Carolina and a 3-0 loss to No. 7 Florida. AU is 0-5 vs. ranked opponents this season, including a 3-0 loss at Kentucky on Oct. 12.
The Tigers are led offensively by Courtney Crable, who has notched 303 kills on .128 hitting with a team-best 30 aces. Stephanie Campbell has 274 kills with a team-leading .267 hitting percentage. Alexa Filley has dished out 1,079 assists in addition to notching 309 digs. Defensively, Breanna Barksdale has tallied a team-high 98 blocks and Alyssa Ivey leads the squad with 400 digs.
Rick Nold is in his fourth season as head coach of the Tigers and is 59-60 at Auburn. Nold owns a 231-158 career record, which includes nine seasons at Jacksonville State. He led JSU to three conference titles and three NCAA Tournament appearances in addition to being named the conference Coach of the Year three times.
SERIES HISTORY VS. THE TIGERS
Kentucky owns a 34-10 advantage all-time vs. Auburn, including a 3-0 win earlier this season on Oct. 12. The Wildcats have won seven in a row in the series and are 14-7 all-time in Auburn, Ala. Kentucky has won 14 of the last 15 meetings after dropping four consecutive matches from 2004-06, UK’s longest losing streak in the series. In the Craig Skinner era, the Wildcats are 14-3 against the Tigers, including 6-2 on the road.
On Oct. 12, Kentucky used a record-setting block total to tally a 3-0 (25-15, 25-19, 25-17) win over Auburn. UK notched 13 blocks and 26 block assists, tied for the most in a three-set match in UK history in the 25-point rally scoring era. Sara Schwarzwalder assisted in turning away 11 Tiger attacks, the most in program history in the 25-point rally scoring era. Kentucky held Auburn to 0.12 hitting with 27 kills, both season-lows for a UK opponent. Offensively, junior setter Morgan Bergren had 33 assists to lead the Wildcats to a .229 hitting percentage, led by junior Shelby Workman’s 11 kills and Schwarzwalder’s nine.
UP NEXT: VS. ARKANSAS
Kentucky returns home for its regular season finale on Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. ET. The Wildcats host Arkansas on Senior Night.
LAST TIME OUT: UK SWEEPS MISSISSIPPI STATE
Led by a strong defense, a balanced offense and a double-double from Anni Thomasson, UK recorded a 3-0 (25-10, 25-15, 25-22) win at Mississippi State Sunday. The Wildcats dominated in a 25-10 win in the first set and held the Bulldogs to the fewest points in a set by a UK opponent this season. After a 25-15 win in the second set, UK battled for a 25-22 win in the final frame.
Five of the six Wildcats to get at least 10 attack attempts recorded at least five kills as UK hit .343 with 46 kills in the match, while holding MSU to .071 hitting with 28 kills. Kentucky out-hit the Bulldogs .579 – -.080 in the first set. Defensively, Kentucky had seven blocks and 43 digs. Mississippi State had 21 attack errors in the match.
Thomasson led UK with 10 kills and 10 digs for her 13th double-double of the season. The sophomore, who hit .375, added a pair of block assists. Freshman Kaz Brown had a season-best eight kills on .333 hitting with a team-best five blocks. Senior Jackie Napper led UK defensively with 17 of Kentucky’s 43 digs.
2014 TEAM NOTES AND HIGHLIGHTS
• Now with 226 career wins, head coach Craig Skinner became UK’s all-time winningest coach with his 210th victory Sept. 13.
• Kentucky has recorded 20 or more wins in each of the last four seasons and seven of the last eight. UK has also notched 17 or more victories in all 10 seasons under Skinner - the longest streak in program history. Before Skinner arrived in 2005, Kentucky hadn’t won more than 16 games since 1993.
• UK has been ranked for 31 consecutive weeks, tied for the longest stretch in team history. UK was ranked for 31 weeks from Oct. 6, 2008 - Sept. 20, 2010, also under head coach Craig Skinner.
• Kentucky’s 11-match winning streak from Sept. 13-Oct. 17 was its longest since the Wildcats won 12 in a row in 2008.
• UK players have been named SEC Player of the Week eight times in 2014, the most in a single season in program history. Jackie Napper has earned four defensive accolades, the most by a Wildcat in one season in team history. Lauren O’Conner has been named Player of the Week twice, while Morgan Bergren and Sara Schwarzwalder have each been recognized once.
2014 INDIVIDUAL NOTES AND MILESTONE WATCH
• Senior Lauren O’Conner had 39 kills in 70 attempts but did not commit a single attacking error in nearly 10 consecutive sets over four matches from Oct. 29-Nov. 9. In the four contests, O’Conner totaled 63 kills on 116 swings with just 6 errors and a .491 attacking percentage.
• O’Conner had back-to-back 19-kill matches, including in a 3-0 win vs. Tennessee on Oct. 29, marking a program record for kills in a three-set match in the 25-point rally scoring era.
• Sophomore Anni Thomasson recorded double-doubles in three consecutive matches from Oct. 19-26, the first Wildcat to post more than two double-doubles in a row since Whitney Billings had four to open the 2013 season. Thomasson leads UK with 13 double-doubles in 2014.
• In UK’s win at Louisville, its first at U of L since 1993, junior Shelby Workman exploded for a career-high 21 kills, including 13 in the third set, a program record for kills in a set in the modern era.
• O’Conner, who leads all current SEC players with 1,162 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.
• Senior Jackie Napper joined the 1,000th career dig club on Aug. 30. Now with 1,441 digs, she is second in the UK record books in the rally scoring era and fourth in the all-time top 10. Her 462 through 29 matches in 2014 is sixth in a single season in the rally scoring era.
• Junior Morgan Bergren is third all-time in the rally scoring era and ninth in UK history with 2,518 career assists. In the single season record books, Bergren’s 1,155 assists in 2014 is sixth in the modern era. Her career-high 55 assists at Louisville is a program record in a four-set match.
• Junior Sara Schwarzwalder’s 11 block assists on Oct. 12 were a program record in a three-set match in the 25-point rally scoring era, while her 11 total blocks, and UK’s total of 26 block assists in the match, tie a modern-era record in a three-set match. Schwarzwalder’s 245 career block assists and 261 total blocks are fifth and sixth, respectively in UK history in the 25-point rally scoring era.