Volleyball Heads to Ohio Looking for Wins
Wildcats will try to end two-match losing skid at Buckeye Invitational
The University of Kentucky volleyball team will attempt to end a two-match losing streak on Saturday, Sept. 9, when it takes on Illinois State in the opening match at the Buckeye Invitational on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus. The match is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. ET at OSU's St. John Arena.
Kentucky (1-3) will then play Toledo or host Ohio State on Sunday, Sept. 10, in a consolation match at noon or in the championship match at 2 p.m. The Wildcats are coming off a 3-0 loss to the Louisville Cardinals in their home opener on Tuesday, Sept. 5, at Memorial Coliseum and earned their lone win of the season over William & Mary on Friday, Sept. 1, at the Jefferson Cup Tournament in Charlottesville, Va.
Despite UK's first 1-4 start since 1996, the Cats appear to be working through some inexperience as the new players get used to playing with the incumbents.
"We're pretty inexperienced as far as playing together," senior middle blocker Megan Weiskircher said after the Louisville match. "They were just ready to play, and we weren't all on the same page."
The Cats will attempt to get on the same page when they face the Illinois State Redbirds on Saturday. ISU (2-1) has been involved in a trio of sweeps, falling on the right side of two of those contests. The Redbirds are led by 6-2 senior Kendra Haselhorst who is averaging 5.33 kills per game thus far in 2000. Junior Becky Weber has provided experience at the setter position, averaging 13.33 assist per game. ISU leads the all-time series against Kentucky, 6-2.
Ohio State (4-0) is coming off a 1999 NCAA Tournament berth that stands as its 11th consecutive and has started quickly out of the gates in 2000. After winning nine of ten games to sweep through the competition at the Temple Volleyball Classic, Sept. 1-2, the Buckeyes swept Marshall at home on Tuesday. OSU features a balanced attack featuring six hitters averaging better than two kills per game. Setter Katie Virtue has been the distributor of many of those points, recording 12.38 assists per game. The Buckeyes have a 6-3 lead in the all-time series with UK.
Toledo (2-1) has won its last two matches, both by 3-0 counts, and is led by Bitsy Mayhle who is averaging 5.10 kills per game while hitting at a .333 clip. The Rockets and Wildcats have never faced each other in volleyball.