Volleyball Cats Look Strong in Blue/White Scrimmage
Aug. 25, 2002
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky volleyball team gave fans a first look at the 2002 squad with its annual Blue/White scrimmage on Sunday, Aug. 25. While all players traded spots on both teams, the Blue squad took the 4-0 win. The match served as UK's only public performance before opening the season on Friday, Aug. 30 at the Hofstra Asics Invitational in Hempstead, N.Y.
Sophomore Sarah Spinner performed well in the match, recording 12 kills and seven digs, while freshman Danielle Wallace showed promise with nine kills. Junior Sissy Canfield also knocked down nine kills and had her share of five block assists. Senior Kristen Batt had seven kills and seven digs for another dependable performance.
"Our goal today was to see how each group of six players on the floor meshed together," Coach Jona Braden said. "I felt on the whole, the team responded well, in whatever combination of players. Our strengths were in our leadership on the floor and how that presence helped the younger players.
"Offensively, I saw some nice things," Braden continued. "Our goal is to be able to turn our defense into offensive production. I want to see more of what I saw today, but overall, I'm pleased."
It was the Wildcats first opportunity to play with the addition of the libero (prounounced LEE-ber-oh) position. The libero is a designated back-row player intended to be used as a ball control specialist. The person must be designated at the beginning of each game and does not have to be the same person from game-to-game. The libero does not count against the team's substitutions, which have been reduced from 18 to 12 in 2002. UK's primary libero will be senior Aleisha Craven.
The Wildcats, who went 13-15 in 2001 while qualifying for postseason play for the first time in two seasons, will rely on strong leadership to ensure success this season. UK will look to seniors Batt, Craven, Anne Koester and redshirt junior Liz McCaslin for production and guidance in the '02 campaign.
Kentucky will face Hofstra to start the season on Friday at 7 p.m. before taking on Fairfield and Texas Tech on Saturday at HU's Volleyball Venue at the Physical Fitness Center.