Kentucky Travels North for Purdue Tournament
After convincingly breezing through its three matches in the Kentucky Conference Challenge, the University of Kentucky volleyball team hits the road to compete in the Purdue Mortar Board Tournament in West Lafayette, Ind., Sept. 18-19. The Wildcats hope to continue the recent momentum as they face Central Michigan, East Tennessee State and host Purdue in the two-day event.
Kentucky (6-2) opens tournament play Friday at 6 p.m. EST, when the Wildcats take on East Tennessee State. On Saturday, UK faces Central Michigan at 2 p.m., and host Purdue at 8 p.m.
As a team, Kentucky averaged 3.1 blocks per game and 18.1 digs per game in its home tournament, while hitting .250 in each of its last two matches. The Cats are averaging nearly 16 kills per game this season, while the opposition is averaging only 13.4 put downs per round.
Junior outside hitter Danielle Wallace leads Kentucky into this week’s action after being named the most valuable player of the Kentucky Conference Challenge. Wallace totaled 53 kills on .400 hitting for the weekend. She leads the team with an average of 4.40 kills per game this season and also is UK’s leading blocker, averaging 1.19 per game.
Junior setter Leigh Marcum also was named to the all-tournament team after averaging 12.8 assists last weekend. Outside hitter Sarah Spinner posted two double-doubles in last weekend’s action and has tallied double-digit kills in seven of eight matches this year. She currently ranks in the top 10 in three different career charts at UK, including kills, attack attempts and service aces. Libero Jenni Casper is the team’s top back row player, having led the Wildcats in digs in seven matches this year.
UK holds a 3-0 advantage all-time over East Tennessee State, though the Wildcats and Bucs have not played since the 1978 season. The Cats also lead the all-time series with Central Michigan, 5-2, including winning the last three meetings between the squads.
Purdue leads the all-time series with Kentucky, 8-6, and the Boilermakers are winners of their last three matches with the Wildcats. Purdue last defeated UK, 3-0, in the opening round of the Purdue Invitational in West Lafayette on Sept. 5, 1998.