UK Volleyball Opens Home Schedule with Kentucky Conference Challenge
Sept. 11, 2003
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky volleyball team will open the 2003 home schedule with the Kentucky Conference Challenge this weekend in Memorial Coliseum. The two-day round-robin event begins with Wright State and Virginia squaring off at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 12, before host Kentucky faces Big East power Syracuse at 7 p.m.
The Wildcats (5-1) enter the tournament with a five-match win streak. Last weekend, the team captured the Iowa State Cyclone Challenge title after defeating Western Illinois, Iowa and the host school. Sophomore setter Leigh Marcum was named most valuable player for the event, while teammates Sissy Canfield and Sarah Spinner joined Marcum on the all-tournament team.
UK has not played a home match since Nov. 7, 2002, a 3-0 sweep of Morehead State. Kentucky is 18-8 all-time in home openers, 3-2 under sixth-year head coach Jona Braden.
Syracuse brings a 7-1 record to Lexington and has won six matches in a row. The Orangewomen won their Big Orange Classic last weekend with victories over Siena, Binghamton and Colgate. Leading the SU charge is sophomore Kristen Conway, who is averaging 4.24 kills per game and a .266 hitting average.
In his ninth season at the helm of the SU program, Jing Pu is 174-102. He's in the 14th season of his career and his record stands at 312-159 overall.
Wright State has opened the season with a 4-2 record, including 3-0 sweeps of three opponents. The Raiders dropped a Tuesday night match to instate rival Cincinnati, 3-1. McKenzie Tiffin is putting down 3.14 kills per game to lead WSU, while Tricia Naseman is close behind with a 3.09 average.
Joylynn Tracy is in her sixth season as head coach of the Raiders and holds a 76-75 overall record.
Rounding out the competition is Virginia, who has jumped out to a perfect 8-0 record with two weeks of the season complete. The Cavaliers were able to secure six wins before they ever lost a game this season. George Mason nearly earned an upset win last Saturday, but UVA was able to pull out the 3-2 decision to keep its record unblemished.
Paige Davis is averaging 3.96 kills per game to lead her squad, while hitting .328 on the year. Melissa Aldrich Shelton is in her ninth season at UVA and holds a 137-127 overall record.
Action continues on Saturday morning with UVA and Syracuse opening action at 10 a.m. UK takes on Wright State at 12:30 p.m., while the Raiders face Syracuse at 4:30 p.m. The Wildcats and Cavaliers close the tournament at 7 p.m.