No. 13 UK Hosts NCAA First and Second Rounds Friday, Saturday

Dec. 4, 2014

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- For the third consecutive season, the No. 13 Kentucky volleyball team hosts the NCAA Tournament First and Second Rounds this weekend in Memorial Coliseum.

Memorial Coliseum, Lexington, Ky.

Match Info:
Match Notes (PDF)
Tournament Info: Tourney Central
Video: Skinner Press Conference

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#18 Ohio State vs. Lipscomb
Friday, Dec. 5 - 5 p.m. ET

Video: WatchESPN
Live Stats:
#13 Kentucky vs. Oakland
Friday, Dec. 5 - 7:30 p.m. ET

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Fox Sports 1580 AM
Live Stats:
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#13 Kentucky vs. Ohio State
Saturday, Dec. 6 - 7 p.m. ET

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Radio: Fox Sports 1580 AM
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The Wildcats, who earned a program-record 10th consecutive NCAA bid, will make their 16th NCAA appearance in team history and host Oakland at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, December 5. Lipscomb will face Ohio State in the first match at 5 p.m., while the winners will square off in the second round on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.

UK's match on Friday will air on the SEC Network+, with Dick Gabriel and former UK coach and current AVCA President Kathy DeBoer on the call. Additionally, Mandy Robbe and Katie Eiserman will call the action on 1580 AM. Friday's match between LU and OSU can be seen on ESPN3 and WatchESPN. Live stats for all three matches can be found on Should the Wildcats advance to the second round on Saturday, the contest will air on the SEC Network+ and on 1580 AM.

Kentucky (26-5, 14-3 Southeastern Conference) enters the postseason having won three matches in a row and eight of its last nine. UK owns a 15-15 record in NCAA Tournament play after a 3-0 win over Duquesne and a 3-1 loss to Michigan State last season. The Wildcats have advanced to the NCAA Regionals in three of the last five seasons.

UK opens the postseason against Oakland (22-9, 12-2 Horizon League), who has won 10 consecutive matches and won the Horizon League title. No. 18 Ohio State (21-11, 12-8 Big Ten) and Lipscomb (21-8, 13-1 Atlantic Sun) meet in Friday's first match. OSU placed fifth in the Big Ten, while LU, who Kentucky beat 3-1 on Sept. 18, claimed the Atlantic Sun regular season title

Kentucky is making its school-record 10th-consecutive NCAA Tournament and its 16th in program history. The Wildcats are an even 15-15 in NCAA action, with eight Regional appearances and two trips to the Elite Eight. UK's No. 13 seed in the 2014 Tournament marks the highest seed in program history.

UK's 10 NCAA appearances in a row is five-times the second-longest stretch, when the Wildcats made back-to-back postseasons in 1987 and `88 and again in `92 and `93. Head Coach Craig Skinner has led Kentucky to the NCAA Tournament in each season in Lexington, with Regional appearances in three of the last five seasons.


Kentucky is one of just 10 teams in the country to advance to the NCAA tournament in each of the last 10 seasons. UK joins Colorado State, Florida, Hawai'i, Nebraska, Penn State, Southern California, Stanford, Texas and Washington in achieving the feat

When head coach Craig Skinner arrived in Lexington prior to the 2005 season, UK had made six NCAA Tournaments, most recently in 1993 and never in more than two consecutive seasons. Ten years later, the Wildcats have advanced to the postseason in each of Skinner's 10 seasons. Kentucky made its first NCAA Tournament under Skinner in 2005, won its first postseason match since 1992 in 2006 and advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2009. UK's Sweet 16 run in 2009  was UK's first regional appearance since 1993 and the first time the Wildcats had won two NCAA matches in the same season since 1989. Five times under Skinner's leadership, UK has earned a national seed and hosted the first and second rounds.

Click image for UK's Match Notes (PDF)

Historic Memorial Coliseum has become a consistent host for the NCAA Tournament. The 2014 First and Second Rounds mark the fourth consecutive season at least one round of the tournament has been played in Lexington and the 12th time in the arena's history. Memorial Coliseum, one of the nation's best venues for volleyball, has played host to the First and Second Rounds 11 times and the NCAA Regionals twice. Kentucky is also scheduled to host Regionals in 2015. The home court advantage has helped the Wildcats to a 10-4 NCAA record in Lexington

Eight of Kentucky's 2014 opponents made the NCAA Tournament, including four SEC foes. The Wildcats went 5-5 against NCAA teams, with victories over Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, Creighton and Lipscomb.

The Horizon League regular season and tournament champion, Oakland is 22-9 in 2014 and 12-2 in conference play. The Golden Grizzlies, who are making their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, are on a 10-match winning streak. OU owns an 8-2 mark in road matches and is 4-4 on a neutral court in 2014.

The Golden Grizzlies are coached by eighth-year head coach Rob Beam. With a 121-112 record, Beam has guided Oakland to 15 or more wins in six consecutive seasons. The 2014 conference title is the first in program history at the Division I level for OU.

Among common opponents in 2014, OU owns a 3-1 win over Missouri and 3-0 losses to Xavier and Lipscomb. UK swept Missouri and earned 3-1 wins over Lipscomb and Xavier this season.

Friday's contest between the Wildcats and Golden Grizzlies marks the first meeting in the all-time series.

No. 18 Ohio State finished the regular season with a 21-11 record and a 12-8 mark in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes tied for fifth in the conference and have won two in a row and three of their last four entering the postseason. OSU is 29-19 all-time in the NCAA Tournament with 13 Sweet 16 appearances. 2014 is OSU's 10th NCAA appearance since 2001.

The Buckeyes are coached by Geoff Carlston, in his seventh season as head coach. He has led OSU to five NCAA Tournaments and owns a 144-93 record in Columbus. Carlston is in his 15th season as a head coach and owns a 9-9 NCAA record.

Against common foes, OSU owns a 3-0 win over Auburn and a 3-2 win over Xavier. UK posted 3-0 and 3-1 wins over Auburn and a 3-1 win against Xavier.

UK is 5-6 all-time vs. Ohio State and 2-0 under head coach Craig Skinner, both at home. The last meeting gave UK a 3-1 (18-25, 26-24, 25-15, 25-18) win in the Second Round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament in Memorial Coliseum. After dropping the first set, UK saved successive set points in the second set and closed the frame on a 4-0 run to tie the match and steal the momentum. Then-sophomore Lauren O'Conner led UK with 16 kills on .342 hitting.

Lipscomb enters the NCAA Tournament with a 21-8 record, which includes a 3-1 loss at Kentucky The Bisons went 13-1 in the Atlantic Sun to claim the regular season title. In the league tournament, Lipscomb beat Northern Kentucky, 3-2 before a 3-1 loss in the finals to Jacksonville. LU is making its fifth NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2011.

Head coach Brandon Rosenthal is in his 12th season in Nashville and is 205-148 at Lipscomb. Rosenthal has led the Bisons to five NCAA Tournaments, four Atlantic Sun regular season titles and four A-Sun Tournament crowns. Former Wildcat Ann Armes is in her second season as an assistant coach for the Wildcats. Armes earned SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year honors in 2011 and was a three-time SEC Community Service Team member.

LU opened the season with a 3-1 loss to No. 23 Creighton, while the Bisons beat Missouri, 3-1 and Oakland, 3-0 in addition to a 3-1 loss at Xavier. UK swept Creighton and Missouri and beat Xavier 3-1 in 2014.

Kentucky is 3-0 all-time vs. the Bisons, with wins in each of the past three seasons, including 2014. On Sept. 18, UK overcame a first-set loss to beat Lipscomb, 3-1 3-1 (21-25, 25-16, 25-15, 25-17). Junior Shelby Workman and senior Lauren O'Conner led the offensive effort with 15 and 14 kills, respectively and junior setter Morgan Bergren distributed 40 assists. Senior Jackie Napper continued her streak of double-digit digs with a match-high 20.

The winner of Friday's first-round match between Kentucky and Oakland will advance to the NCAA Second Round and face the winner of the No. 18 Ohio State and Lipscomb contest. The second round is set for Saturday at 7 p.m., with the winner advancing to the NCAA Regional in Louisville.

The Wildcats closed the season with a record-setting 3-0 (25-16, 25-18, 25-20) win over Arkansas on Senior Night Saturday. Junior setter Morgan Bergren had a team-high 10 kills on 10 attempts for a perfect 1.000 hitting percentage. Bergren's hitting percentage broke the Memorial Coliseum record and program record in a three-set match in the 25-point rally scoring era, set in 2008 when Queen Nzenwa hit .867, also against Arkansas. The Muncie, Ind., native added a match-high 25 assists for her seventh double-double of the season in addition to a team-high two service aces. Overall, four Wildcats had at least seven kills, two recorded nine or more digs and five had at least two blocks. Kentucky totaled nine blocks and had five service aces with just one error. UK hit .294 with 41 kills while holding Arkansas to .168 hitting with 41 kills, three blocks and no aces.

Memorial Coliseum has been the home of the Wildcats for all 38 volleyball seasons, and the historic venue has provided the Wildcats with a home court advantage unlike any other.

UK is 15-3 at home in 2014, including a 7-2 mark in SEC play. Highlighted by a six-match winning streak at home, UK also swept No. 21 Texas A&M in Memorial Coliseum on Oct. 5.

Overall: 393-151 (38th season) .722
Skinner Era: 131-30 (10th season) .814
NCAA Tournament: 10-4 (10 years) .714


• Kentucky is one of 10 teams to have made 10 consecutive NCAA Tournaments.
• Now with 228 career wins, head coach Craig Skinner became UK's all-time winningest coach with his 210th victory Sept. 13.
• UK's 26 wins are tied for the third-most in head coach Craig Skinner's 10-year tenure. 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.
• Kentucky has been ranked for 32 consecutive weeks, the longest stretch in team history.
• UK's 11-match winning streak from Sept. 13-Oct. 17 was its longest since UK won 12 in a row in 2008.
• Five Wildcats earned All-SEC honors, and Jackie Napper was named the SEC Libero of the Year. Napper, senior Lauren O'Conner , junior Morgan Bergren and sophomore Anni Thomasson were named to the All-SEC Team, while freshman Kaz Brown earned SEC All-Freshman Team accolades. The four All-SEC accolades are tied for the most in program history since 1993.
• UK players have been named SEC Player of the Week nine times in 2014, the most in a single season in program history. Jackie Napper has earned four defensive honors, the most by a Wildcat in one season in team history.

• In UK's regular-season finale, junior setter Morgan Bergren had 10 kills on 10 attempts for a perfect 1.000 hitting percentage, a program and Memorial Coliseum record.
• 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 stretch, O'Conner totaled 63 kills on 116 swings with just 6 errors and a .491 attacking percentage. Her 19 kills in UK's win vs. Tennessee is 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 14 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 1,182 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 1,476 digs, she is second in the UK record books in the rally scoring era and fourth in the all-time top 10. Her 497 through 31 matches in 2014 is tied for fourth in a single season in the rally scoring era.
Bergren is third in the rally scoring era and ninth all-time in UK history with 2,585 career assists. In the single season record books, Bergren's 1,222 assists in 2014 is third in the modern era. Her career-high 55 assists at Louisville is a program record in a four-set match.