Blue/White Scrimmage Full of Positives for Wildcats
UK can now look towards its regular season opener on Sept. 1
Looking to start off the 2000 season on the right foot, the University of Kentucky volleyball team took a step in that direction with a positive showing in the annual Blue and White inter-squad scrimmage on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Coliseum.
With players changing teams from game-to-game, the 3-2 win by the White squad was overshadowed by the fact that all 14 Wildcat players competed hard and showed signs of excellence in preparation for the start of the regular season next weekend in Charlottesville, Va. at the University of Virginia Invitational.
"Today was a revealing day for us," head coach Jona Braden said. "We saw that many parts of our game were working well, but that we generally just need to work towards growing our consistency on the court. We had a lot of success pursuing the ball, but had trouble finishing sometimes."
Kentuckys best finisher on the afternoon was sophomore sensation Kristen Batt who totaled a match-high 19 kills. Four other Wildcats reached double-figures in kills as well with freshmen Brooke Dodson and Sissy Canfield posting 12 each, senior Megan Weiskircher notching 11 while fellow middle blocker April Barnhorst had 10. However, the teams did struggle some offensively as they combined for 65 hitting errors.
"Our blockers did well to make some pretty good touches on a lot of balls and I think it made our hitters lose a little aggression," Braden added. "Id like to see them display a little more independent leadership to fight through those blocks for some kills." The Wildcat middles played tall at the net throughout the match as Weiskircher led the blocking effort as UKs block leader from last year put the roof up eight times. In her first of many appearances in front of a Memorial Coliseum crowd, Canfield also recorded eight blocks while Barnhorst added seven.
In addition to the solid rookie efforts put in by Canfield and Dodson, freshmen Candace Cogan and Julie Davis should have fond memories of their first game action on the newly-refinished Memorial Coliseum court. Cogan, a defensive specialist out of Louisvilles Assumption High School who won four Kentucky state volleyball championships, showed that she is ready to go after some more titles as she corralled 14 digs. Davis, a redshirt freshman who was not expected to play on Saturday because of a knee injury, entered the match for several serving situations although she did not take a place in the regular rotation.
"Overall, it was a real positive day for us offensively and defensively," Braden said. We had real solid
passing among certain individuals and that is something you love to see early in the year. Were
really excited about where we are at right now and anxious to start the season against a tough
Georgetown (Univ.) team."