No. 16 Kentucky Hosts Louisville Wednesday
Aug. 31, 2010
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The 16th-ranked Kentucky volleyball team will take the floor at home in Memorial Coliseum for the first time in the 2010 season when UK hosts Louisville Wednesday, at 6:30 p.m. ET. This marks the second consecutive season the two squads will meet after a three-year hiatus in the series. The match is set to air live on Fox Sports South and CWKYT (Lexington) with Dick Gabriel on the call and former UK coach Kathy DeBoer offering the color analysis.
Kentucky's freshman Whitney Billings emerged as UK's top option offensively at the Runza/AVCA Showcase. The outside hitter paced the team with 24 kills on the weekend and led the squad in both matches in the kills column. Sophomore Stephanie Klefot has stepped in nicely in the libero role for the Wildcats and ranks third in the conference with 4.14 scoops per stanza. Senior Blaire Hiler was named to the eight-member Runza/AVCA Showcase All-Tournament team after posting 2.29 kills per set against No. 2 Nebraska and No. 9 Iowa State. Hiler notched a season-best 11 kills against the Cyclones.
The Wildcats suffered its first 3-0 loss in 63 matches with its loss to No.2 Nebraska on Saturday. It marked the first such loss since falling 3-0 to then ranked No. 13 Wisconsin in the third match of the 2008 season. Subsequently, in that 63-match span UK captured wins in 30 matches by the same 3-0 score.
Louisville enters the match possessing a 2-0 record after home victories over North Dakota State and Ohio University this weekend. Anastasia Artemeva earned MVP honors for the tournament after leading the squad with 2.67 kills per set. Teammates Emily Juhl and Lola Arslanbekova provide balance to the attack as each averages over 2.00 kills per frame. Amanda Simmons paces the front-line defense with 14 blocks in the early portion of the season for a 1.56 block per frame average. On the back row is Caitlin Welch leading the way with 2.78 scoops per stanza.
A season ago the two squads renewed the in-state rivalry with a match in Louisville. Despite a career-high 26 kill performance from Sarah Mendoza the 16th -ranked Kentucky volleyball team dropped a heartbreaking five-set (25-19, 23-25, 25-18, 22-25, 16-14) loss to Louisville in 2009. Cardinal Arena was a packed environment with a record-breaking crowd of 1,270 fans as the teams renewed the series rivalry after a three-year hiatus.
The two teams displayed a high-energy offensive attack as the squads combined for 138 kills in the match. Mendoza led all scorers with a career-best 26 on the night. Four UK players reached double-figures in the kill column with Lauren Rapp (13), Blaire Hiler (12) and Becky Pavan (10) all reaching double-digits.
The difference in the match came down to the blocking of Louisville which posted an astounding 21 blocks on the night compared to just six from the Wildcats.
Follow along with the Wildcats on UKathletics.com all year long for the most up-to-date information, stats and releases.
Promotions for the UK-Louisville Match
Parking for the UK-Louisville Match
All Employee E-Lots surrounding Memorial Coliseum (see Map) are available to guests beginning 2 hours prior (4:30pm):
• Student Center E-Lot (next to UK Bookstore)
In addition to the E-lots surrounding Memorial Coliseum, Parking Structure 5 located near the Kennedy Bookstore at the intersection of Limestone and Avenue of Champions, will be available to all guests beginning at 5:00pm - free of charge. Please be sure to remove your vehicle from the parking structure within one hour after the match has completed.