Wildcats Return Home for Kentucky Conference Challenge
The Kentucky volleyball team returns home Friday, Sept. 10, for the 2004 Kentucky Conference Challenge, featuring Hofstra, Indiana State and Valparaiso. The six-match, two-day tournament features round-robin play and begins with Indiana State taking on Hofstra at 4:30 p.m. Friday. The Wildcats then face Valpo in the evening match at 7 p.m. Play resumes Saturday at 10 a.m. and concludes with a 7 p.m. contest featuring the Wildcats and the Hofstra Pride.
The Cats brought home a 3-2 record from last weekend’s T.J. Sales Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Invitational in Springfield, Mo., after posting a 2-2 record in the event. Danielle Wallace earned all-tournament team honors while leading UK to victories over Western Illinois and Middle Tennessee State. Kentucky was handed its first loss of the season as tourney host Southwest Missouri State took a 3-0 sweep of the Cats. UK’s other loss came at the hands of Fresno State, 3-1.
Wallace currently leads the Cats in hitting percentage (.269) and ranks second in kills per game (3.94) and blocks per game (1.12). Senior Sarah Spinner ranks first on the team in kills with 4.00 pg, while Amy Kaplan and Kristen Cunningham share the lead in blocks (1.24 pg). Libero Jenni Casper is the Cats’ top back-row player, averaging 4.71 digs per game.
Overall, the Cats are hitting just .196 on the season, while recording 15.6 kills per game. The opponent is hitting .187 and averaging 13.7 kpg.
The Wildcats began hosting the Kentucky Conference Challenge during the 1992 season. The first event featured Maryland, Miami (Ohio) and Michigan. The Wildcats took first place in the inaugural event after going undefeated.
UK has hosted the event eight times since 1992 and every year in Jona Braden’s tenure besides 2001, when the event was canceled in the aftermath of the attacks of Sept. 11.
The Wildcats finished second in last year’s event after falling to Virginia in the final match, a loss which snapped a seven-match win streak for the Cats.
The Wildcats last won the event in 1998 after defeating Arkansas State, Southern Methodist and Clemson. Kentucky is 60-25 overall in regular-season home tournament action. Kentucky holds a 13-12 overall record in the Kentucky Conference Challenge. The Wildcats and Hofstra have met once in Kentucky Conference Challenge action—a 3-2 Hofstra win on Sept. 18, 1999.
Live statistics from all six Kentucky Conference Challenge matches will be available at UKathletics.com.