Volleyball Cats Prepare for First SEC Road Trip
Sept. 27, 2001
LEXINGTON, Ky. -
The University of Kentucky volleyball team will face its first Southeastern Conference road competition this weekend when it takes on No. 9 Florida on Friday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. in Gainesville's Stephen C. O'Connell Center. The trip continues on Sunday, Sept. 30, when the Wildcats travel to Athens, Ga., to take on the Georgia Bulldogs.
UK (5-4, 1-1 SEC) is coming off an SEC opening weekend split. The Cats were swept by Arkansas on Sept. 21 before turning the brooms on LSU, Sunday, Sept. 23. Junior Kristen Batt continues to look strong for Kentucky, posting her third double-double of the season against the Tigers and is hitting .245 on the season.
The Cats will have their work cut out for them as they head to Gainesville on Friday. The Gators are 6-1 on the season and have climbed to ninth in the USA Today-AVCA rankings after opening SEC play with a thrilling come-from-behind 3-2 win at No. 19 South Carolina on Friday. It was Florida's first comeback from a two-game deficit in SEC play since 1986.
On Monday, UF swept 23rd-ranked Texas in Austin after posting 14 service aces to UT's solo ace. Aury Cruz led the Gators with six aces in the contest. The defending SEC regular-season and tournament champion Gators finished the 2000 campaign just shy of the Final Four, dropping its regional semifinal match to Southern Cal, 3-0.
Florida returns five starters from last year's squad, including sophomore Aury Cruz, who played for the Puerto Rican National Team during the summer hiatus. Cruz joined teammate Benavia Jenkins on the SunTrust Invitational All-Tournament team earlier this season. Cruz is averaging 5.36 kills per game early in the season, while Jenkins has totaled 26 block assists this year.
Florida has dominated the series with UK since it began in 1977, holding a 23-9 advantage. Kentucky's last win came on Nov. 10, 1990, a 3-0 sweep in Lexington. Florida head coach Mary Wise served as an assistant coach for the Wildcats under current UK Senior Associate Athletics Director Kathy DeBoer from 1986-90.