UK Selected for Seventh Straight NCAA Tourney
Nov. 27, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Following its fourth 20-win season in the last seven seasons, a top-20 national ranking for six straight weeks and a runner-up finish in the Southeastern Conference the Kentucky volleyball team was selected for a school-record seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance it was announced Sunday evening. UK will travel to the College Station, Texas, Regional for the opening rounds and will face Dayton to begin the tournament at 5:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, Dec. 1.
"We're really excited to be in the tournament," UK coach Craig Skinnersaid. "I think it's a wide open tournament this year and there are a lot of really good teams. I thought we'd be in, and I'm happy about the year to this point. It's a new season, and I'm looking forward to getting started down at A&M."
The host Aggies drew the No. 16 overall seed, and the fourth team in the region is the Atlantic Sun Champion in Lipscomb. Kentucky has never faced any of the squads during NCAA competition and it will mark the first post-season appearance in College Station in school history.
UK is now one of just 16 teams to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament in seven consecutive seasons, and joins Florida as the lone SEC teams to achieve the feat. The SEC received three bids into the tournament with Tennessee joining the Wildcats and Gators.
Kentucky has a balanced offensive attack with six players registering between 2.20 and 3.13 kills per set. Skinner's Wildcats are ranked among the SEC's leaders in every offensive category including kills, assists and hitting percentage. Junior setter Christine Hartmannis the driver of the offensive unit, passing out 11.10 assists per stanza while also laying down 1.10 kills per set.
UK's defensive unit ranks as the leaders in the conference. UK charts more than 2.50 blocks per set, led by 1.08 from senior Becky Pavan. Kentucky also boasts the league's top libero with junior Stephanie Klefotaveraging nearly 4.75 digs per set.
The Wildcats will need to navigate the College Station Region to return to the friendly confines of Memorial Coliseum for the Regionals Dec. 9-10.
Dayton owns a 25-6 overall record and is making its third consecutive appearance into the NCAA Tournament and will be UK's first-round matchup. The Flyers have advanced to the second round in consecutive seasons. Dayton is led by 4.53 kills per set from Rachel Krabacher and 1.43 blocks per set from Megan Campbell.
Texas A&M earned the tournament's No. 16 overall seed and the right to host the opening rounds of action in College Station. The Aggies own a 22-7 overall record and a 10-2 clip at home. Texas A&M have a high octane offensive unit that turns in 14.01 kills per set led by 3.27 from the hand of Kelsey Black.
Lipscomb earned the Atlantic Sun's automatic berth into the tournament after capturing the conference's tournament title. The Lady Bisons have advanced to the NCAA Tournament in three consecutive seasons and four of the last five years. Lipscomb owns a 20-10 overall record for the season and are paced by a trio of players who register 3.10 kills per set or higher led by Kaycee Green's 3.52.
Ticket information, match times and other information about the opening rounds of action in College Station, Texas, can be found at AggieAthletics.com.
Kentucky's Memorial Coliseum will play host to the NCAA Regionals Dec. 9-10. UK is one of four sites selected for Sweet 16 and Elite Eight matchups with one team advancing to the Final Four in San Antonio, Texas, from the Lexington Region. Opening night matches are scheduled for 5 and 7 p.m. ET. Saturday's final is set for a 4:30 p.m. ET first serve.
Tickets are now on sale through the UK Ticket Office. All-Session Tickets are reserved for all ages at $14. General Admission tickets for adults are priced at $12 and students or seniors' general admission is slated for $8.
Single session tickets are priced at $8 for reserved for all ages. General admission for adults is priced at $7, with students and seniors priced at $5. Youth single session tickets are $4.
For tickets or more information feel free to call, 1-800-928-CATS.
Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the UK volleyball team and all of Kentucky's 22 teams.