No. 21 Kentucky Begins Season Friday
Aug. 27, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. - After three weeks of practice the No. 21 Kentucky volleyball team is set to open the 2009 campaign this weekend when they host the Kentucky Classic at Memorial Coliseum Friday and Saturday. UK opens the year with Northwestern on Friday at 7 p.m.
Four teams will play in a round-robin tournament starting Friday evening. Florida International and Western Carolina open the tournament Friday at 5 p.m., with the Kentucky playing Northwestern at 7 p.m.
The action continues Saturday morning with UK hosting Western Carolina at 10 a.m. and Northwestern vs. Florida International at noon. The weekend is capped off with Northwestern and Western Carolina at 5 p.m., followed by Kentucky vs. Florida International to wrap up the weekend.
Kentucky begins the year ranked No. 21 in the national polls after finishing with a 26-6 record a season ago. Five starters and the starting libero return in 2009 as well as 11 letterwinners. UK is paced by All-America senior setter Sarah Rumely who has directed the Kentucky offense since her freshman season. In each of her first three seasons she has charted over 1,000 assists and led the offense to an SEC-leading attacking percentage. Under head coach Craig Skinner the Wildcats' defensive performances at the net have been a trademark. UK has led the league in blocking in each of the last two seasons. Sophomore middle blocker Becky Pavan led that effort as a freshman averaging 1.20 blocks per frame.
Northwestern enters the 2009 season with eight returning letterwinners. Among those returnees are five starters and its starting libero. Despite an 8-23 record from a season ago, Northwestern returns the bulk of its lineup including its setter and top defensive and offensive threats.
Western Carolina is the lone opponent of the weekend that was a similar foe for UK in 2008. The Catamounts finished the year with a 6-26 overall record, but return eight letterwinners from that squad including two players that average over two kills per set.
Florida International captured the Sun Belt title in 2008 and returns all six starters to its squad, but will be without its libero from a year ago. FIU charted a 28-7 record last season and brings back its offensive fire-power in Yarimar Rosa who averaged over five kills per set as a junior.
Complete coverage of the Kentucky Classic can be found at UKathletics.com including live stats, video feed and recaps following the day's events.
Kentucky Classic Schedule
Friday, August 28
Saturday, August 29
Friday, Aug. 28 vs. Northwestern - 7:00 pm
Saturday, Aug. 29 vs. Western Carolina/Florida International - 10:00 am / 7:00 pm