UK Opens Home Slate Against Eastern Illinois
The Kentucky volleyball team opens its 29th season at Memorial Coliseum against Eastern Illinois on Friday at 7 p.m. The Wildcats are coming off a disappointing 3-0 loss at No. 11 Louisville Wednesday and look to get back on track against the Panthers.
The Wildcats have won five of their last seven home openers and own a 20-8 all-time record in Memorial Coliseum debuts. After facing UK Friday, EIU will play Wright State Saturday at 10 a.m., followed by UK vs. Wright State at 3 p.m.
Eastern Illinois has opened the 2005 season with a 2-1 record after falling to Dayton in the season opener and earning wins over Bradley and Indiana State. The Panthers are led by sophomore Kera Griffin, who is hitting a team-high .379 while averaging 2.91 kpg, also a team-best. Her 1.09 blocks per game are tops for EIU as well, while senior libero Heather Redenbo is tallying 5.00 digs per game this year.
Outside hitter Danielle Wallace led UK against the Cardinals this week, totaling 14 kills but hitting just .146. Redshirt freshman Queen Nzenwa continued to play well for UK, totaling 10 kills on a team-best .381 hitting and had four blocks. Nzenwa leads the team in hitting percentage for the season with a .379 mark.
The Wildcats swept through the Big Orange Bash in Clemson, S.C. last weekend, giving UK its best start since the 1999 season. That year, UK went 4-0 to open the schedule. Kentucky travels to Evanston, Ill., next weekend for its final pre-conference tournament, hosted by Northwestern.