Wildcats Open NCAA Tourney with Dayton

Nov. 30, 2011

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The 16th-ranked Kentucky volleyball team will hit the floor to being the 2011 NCAA Tournament on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. ET against Dayton in College Station, Texas. This marks the seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance for the Wildcats, and the first NCAA tournament match against the Atlantic 10 Champions in Dayton.

Kentucky (26-5) has won 24 of its last 27 matches heading into the tournament. The Blue and White is a balanced unit that posts efficient numbers both offensively and defensively. The Wildcats led the Southeastern Conference with 2.57 blocks per set with senior Becky Pavan pacing the defensive front with 1.06 rejections per frame.

Junior libero Stephanie Klefot was tabbed the SEC Libero of the Year for the second consecutive season following an SEC-leading 4.75 digs per set average. Klefot has notched a career-high 542 digs this season which is the third highest single-season mark in school history.

Kentucky's offense is led by All-SEC performers Christine Hartmann, Whitney Billings and Ashley Frazier. Hartmann, the team's setter, earned first team accolades after leading one of the most balanced attacks in the country. UK has six players charting between 2.15 and 3.12 kills per set. The team's 14.10 kills per frame and 13.0 assists per set are both rated among the league leaders. UK's .249 hitting percentage is also among the conference's best.

Frazier, a second-team honoree, is the leader with 3.12 kills per stanza. She has notched 22 matches this season with 10 or more kills. Billings is UK's all-around performer excelling from her right-side position. Billings has totaled 2.45 kills per set on a .247 hitting percentage, while also boasting 2.59 digs per set as UK's second primary passer.

Dayton earned an automatic berth into the tournament after capturing the A-10 crown. The Flyers have made five-consecutive appearances into the NCAA Tournament and have advanced to the second round in each of the previous two seasons.

The Flyers (25-6) are led by 4.53 kills per set from Rachel Krabacher and 1.43 blocks per frame from Megan Campbell.

Rounding out the College Station bracket is the host 16th-seed Texas A&M Aggies and the Lady Bisons of Lipscomb.

Texas A&M (22-7) is led by 3.27 kills per set from Kelsey Black and 1.14 blocks per set from Lindsey Miller. Lipscomb (20-10) is paced by a trio of players averaging 3.12 kills per set or more. Stephanie Rex totals a team-best 3.80 digs per stanza.

Live stats and a live video feed can be found at NCAA.com. Complete coverage of the Wildcats in the NCAA Tournament can be found at UKathletics.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.

Practice at Texas A&M