Kentucky Debuts 2004 Volleyball Squad in Blue-White Scrimmage
The University of Kentucky volleyball team held its annual Blue/White Scrimmage on Sunday, Aug. 24 in Memorial Coliseum, giving fans their first glance at a 2004 squad featuring seven newcomers and seven returning players. The Blue team was able to pull out a 2-1 victory over the White squad, though players changed teams throughout the event.
Melissa Popp, who returns for her sophomore year after an off-season shoulder surgery, was solid in the match, tallying 11 kills on .348 hitting and contributed four digs. Junior captain Amy Kaplan also had a solid day on the front line, adding eight kills on .313 hitting with two blocks and five digs. Sarah Spinner, who begins her final season as a Wildcat, had 14 kills on the afternoon, while playing much-needed defense with seven blocks, including two solo acts.
Other returning players featured include Danielle Wallace with eight kills, eight digs and four blocks, and Leigh Marcum with 28 assists, four kills, nine digs and three blocks.
Reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year Jenni Casper tallied double-figure digs with 11, while adding two service aces. The 2004 season marks the first time that the libero (the primary defensive player for a team) will be allowed the option to serve.
While the returning players brought balance and consistency to the court, the new crop of athletes caused quite a bit of excitement as well. Freshman setter Ki Eveland had 27 assists on the afternoon to go with three kills and six digs. Defensive specialist Kathleen Bowler had nine digs while playing the libero role for the opposing team.
Jes Wilkinson and Katie Knytych also got in the action, while fellow newcomers Queen Nzenwa and Alex Montefalco saw limited playing time while dealing with minor injuries.
The Kentucky volleyball team opens regular season play on Wednesday, Sept. 1 when in-state rival Eastern Kentucky visits Memorial Coliseum for a 7 p.m. showdown. Admission is free to all home UK volleyball matches.