UK Volleyball Prepares to Host Kentucky Classic
After opening the 2007 campaign with four consecutive road matches, the Kentucky volleyball team prepares to host the annual Kentucky Classic in the friendly confines of Memorial Coliseum this weekend. The Wildcats’ home-opener takes place Friday at 7 p.m. when UK squares off with Georgetown University before facing Austin Peay at 10 a.m. Saturday and Cleveland State at 7 p.m. Saturday. Live statistics for all matches will be available at ukathletics.com.
The Wildcats (3-1) are coming off a 3-1 win against intra-state rival Western Kentucky on Wednesday night in Bowling Green. Senior middle blocker Nicole Britenriker (Cincinnati, Ohio) narrowly missed notching a triple-double as she finished with 14 kills, 12 blocks and nine digs. Britenriker has recorded double-doubles in three of her four matches this season and now, in her second season with the Wildcats, has 18 double-dips as a member of the Blue and White. She and fellow middle blocker Queen Nzenwa (Baltimore) teamed up for 28 kills and 17 blocks in the win against the Hilltoppers.
“We are really excited to be playing at home,” said UK head coach Craig Skinner. “We've had a good start on the road, but are looking forward to seeing more Blue in the stands.”
Britenriker leads the team, averaging 3.87 kills per game and 1.87 blocks per game. Nzenwa is hitting a squad-best .345 on the year with 1.33 blocks per game. Junior libero Alisa Pierce (Louisville, Ky.) leads the defensive effort with 4.13 digs per game, while sophomore setter Sarah Rumely (New Palestine, Ind.) is dishing out a team-best 11.40 assists per game.
Austin Peay is 3-2 on the season, having dropped a 3-0 decision at Belmont earlier this week. Senior outside hitter Dodi Szymska leads the way, averaging 4.45 kills per game for the Governors, while hitting .255. Senior defensive specialist Kristen Kirch leads the defense with 5.65 digs per game.
The all-time series between Kentucky and Austin Peay is tied at 1-1. The two teams last met on Sept. 16, 2000, when Austin Peay captured a five-game victory.
Cleveland State is 3-2 on the year heading into the Kentucky Classic after the Vikings dropped a hard-fought 3-2 decision to Kent State on Tuesday. Sophomore outside hitter Liz Fazio has registered a squad-best 3.57 kills per game and is also recording a team-high 1.32 blocks per game.
Kentucky leads 6-1 in the all-time series against Cleveland State and the Cats have won six consecutive meetings. The two teams have not faced one another since the 1984 season.
Georgetown is 0-3 heading into this weekend’s play, having competed in the D.C. Challenge last weekend. Sophomore outside hitter Dana Dumas has recorded a squad-best 3.78 kills per game. Kortney Robinson and Jessica Hardy head the defensive effort with 3.22 digs per game each.
The Wildcats and Hoyas meet for the second time in school history. Georgetown won the only previous meeting, a 3-0 sweep on Sept. 1, 2000.
Kentucky Classic Match Schedule