Wildcats Travel to Louisville on Thursday
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Fresh off of back-to-back sweeps of Virginia and Saint Louis, the Kentucky volleyball team will return to the court at Louisville on Thursday in the KFC Yum! Center. First serve is set for 7 p.m.
|Kentucky at Louisville|
Louisville (7:00 p.m. ET)
Louisville, Ky. (KFC YUM! Center)
Match Notes: UK
Kentucky put together consecutive impressive defensive performances to help earn sweeps of the Cavaliers and Billikens to conclude the Bluegrass Battle tournament in stylish fashion. Kentucky posted 16 blocks in both matches with junior middle Kaz Brown leading the way. Brown entered the weekend owning a 0.95 blocks per set average for the season. With 18 total blocks in the three matches, Brown raised her season average to a 1.27 mark which is good for third in the Southeastern Conference.
Brown wasn’t the only one to get in on the block party. Freshman Leah Edmond amassed 10 over the final two matches, while junior Emily Franklin contributed 13. Sophomore setter Leah Edmond set a career-high mark with five rejections against the Cavaliers.
This marks the eighth consecutive year the Wildcats and Cards will meet. UK owns the all-time series by a 28-25 margin, which includes a 5-3 mark under 12th-year head coach Craig Skinner. Kentucky has posted a win in each of the last three matches and have won five of the last six overall.
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Scouting the Opponent
The Wildcats conclude non-conference action this week with a date at Louisville on Thursday before welcoming Lipscomb to Memorial Coliseum on Saturday.
The Cardinals enter the matchup with the Cats owning a 4-4 overall record, including a 1-2 mark at home. Louisville began the season 3-0 before suffering losses in four of its next five matches, including a five-set loss to SEC member Auburn. Louisville also dropped meetings with No. 5 Minnesota and No. 2 Wisconsin. Melanie McHenry leads the team with 3.45 kills per set, while Janelle Jenkins adds 2.77 per frame. Molly Sauer leads the defensive unit with an average of 4.23 digs per set. Tess Clark has a combined 24 blocks on the year to lead the way up front. Kentucky and Louisville will meet for the eighth consecutive season. UK owns a 28-25 all-time record against the Cards, including a 5-3 mark in the Skinner era. Kentucky has won each of the last three meetings and five of the last six overall.
Block Party at the Bluegrass Battle
Kentucky logged back-to-back matches of 16 or more blocks to conclude the Bluegrass Battle with sweeps of Virginia and Saint Louis. Junior middle blocker Kaz Brown broke out for 10 blocks in the win over the Cavaliers in which UK held the visitors to a negative hitting percentage. UK followed that performance with a 16.5 block party against Saint Louis. Brown had eight rejections, while classmate Emily Franklin joined in with seven.
Edmond Named SEC Freshman of the Week
Leah Edmond enjoyed the most complete weekend of her young career in helping lead UK to a 2-1 mark at the Bluegrass Battle. She once again led the team in kills with a trio of 10+ kill performances, but she also registered a pair of double-doubles for the first time. In a loss to Marquette, Edmond posted 17 kills, just three shy of a career best, and broke out for a career-high 10 digs. Entering the weekend, she had registered just one dig in six combined matches. Against Virginia in a three-set victory she led the team with 11 kills, notched seven digs and then added a career-best seven blocks. Edmond followed that performance with 11 more kills in the win over Saint Louis that evening. She picked up her second career double-double as she added 10 digs and then she also contributed five rejections.
For the weekend, Edmond averaged 3.90 kills per set, 2.70 digs and 1.20 blocks per frame. She logged a team-high 4.60 points per set and utilized an efficient .243 attacking percentage on 107 attempts.
Cats’ Offense Catches Fire Against Creighton
Kentucky’s offense was red-hot in the 3-0 sweep of then-No. 22 Creighton on Sept. 3. UK hit at a blistering .415 clip against the Bluejays. The match marked the first time since Nov. 4, 2014 that Kentucky hit .400 or better, when the Cats hit .449 against Morehead State. The team’s efficiency was incredible as UK committed just five hitting errors the entire match, including a flawless third set. The last time Kentucky made five errors or less in a match was on Oct. 4, 2013, against Ole Miss.