Volleyball Announces 2012 Schedule
May 8, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Following its seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and a run to the Sweet 16 in 2011, the Kentucky volleyball team is set to take on 13 NCAA qualifiers from last season as head coach Craig Skinner announced his team’s upcoming 2012 schedule on Tuesday. Kentucky returns six of eight starters and nine letter winners from a team that went 28-6 last year.
In addition to the traditional conference schedule and three preconference tournaments, the Wildcats will face off against instate rival Louisville and welcome NCAA-tournament teams Missouri and Texas A&M to the Southeastern Conference.
“We have been able to put together a great schedule for the fall,” Skinner said. “The preconference schedule challenges us in many ways with really good matches at home and on the road within great volleyball venues. There is no doubt this will prepare us for a strong, new-and-improved SEC with the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M.”
The Wildcats open the 2012 schedule at home hosting the annual Kentucky Classic. The field for the opening weekend of action includes three-time National Champion Long Beach State, Lipscomb and North Carolina as they travel to Lexington. All four schools comprising the field were tournament teams from a season ago. The tournament will be the lone non-conference action of the home schedule for UK and is slated to take place Aug. 24-25.
Following the opening weekend of the season Kentucky will travel west to take on Louisville on Aug. 28. This marks the fourth consecutive season the squads will meet with Kentucky capturing wins in each of the previous two meetings.
Kentucky will then kick off consecutive road weekends with the second non-conference tournament of the season at the Ohio University Tournament beginning Aug. 31. Skinner’s squad will meet NCAA Tournament member Oregon, as well as Western Carolina and the host Bobcats in the two-day tournament.
Concluding non-conference action, Kentucky will venture to Lincoln, Neb., for the Ameritas Players Challenge Sept. 6-8. The three-day tournament on the campus of the University of Nebraska will field Duquesne, Oklahoma and three-time National Champion Nebraska.
The SEC schedule starts off with a bang for the Wildcats, as UK will face traditional SEC powers Florida, LSU and Tennessee in three of the first four matchups of the conference schedule. The fourth match will be against newcomer Texas A&M who UK toppled in the NCAA Tournament in 2011 to advance to its second NCAA Regional in three seasons.
The conference opener will have Florida travel to Lexington on Sept. 16. Kentucky will then hit the road for dates against SEC Western Champion LSU on Sept. 21 and Texas A&M on Sept. 23. UK will then host Tennessee (Sept. 28) and Auburn (Sept. 30) in its first two-match home weekend of the year.
Kentucky will play a 20-game SEC season with 10 matches coming in the friendly confines of Memorial Coliseum and 10 other dates on the road. The conference schedule runs from Sept. 16 until the final night of the regular season on Nov. 23.
The Wildcats will host Georgia on Nov. 18 to conclude action at home for the 2012 season. The Final Four for the 2012 season will be hosted by Louisville at the Yum! Center Dec. 13-15.
Kentucky is one of just 16 institutions in the nation to appear in seven consecutive NCAA Tournaments. Under Skinner's direction, UK has charted 25 or more victories in three of the last four seasons.
Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the UK volleyball team and all of Kentucky’s 22 teams.