Volleyball Cats Return Home for Conference Weekend
Sept. 27, 2002
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky volleyball team will play host to its first two Southeastern Conference matches at home this season, when Alabama comes to Memorial Coliseum on Friday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. UK concludes the weekend against Auburn on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 2 p.m.
Kentucky looks to get back on the winning track this weekend, hosting its first two Southeastern Conference matches against Alabama and Auburn in Memorial Coliseum. The Wildcats are on a two-match losing streak, which started with a 3-0 loss to South Carolina it their league opener last weekend. UK then dropped a neutral-site match to Oral Roberts, 3-0.
The Wildcats came out flat against the Gamecocks, losing 3-0, giving USC the last five wins in the series. Against Oral Roberts, UK placed some new faces in the starting lineup as Danielle Wallace, Liz McCaslin and Leigh Marcum got the nod. The group played better against the Golden Eagles, but didn't have enough gas to get past ORU.
UK must now regroup in order to get back on the winning track against Alabama. The Cats haven't beaten UA since 1999, but could move to 2-1 in SEC play with a perfect weekend. Kentucky is currently second in the SEC East as only two teams have begun league action.
Kentucky holds a 15-4 all-time advantage in the series with Alabama, dating back to an Oct. 31, 1980 win over the Tide at the SEC Tournament in Lexington. However, UA has won the last two contests, including a 3-0 sweep in Lexington in 2001. The Cats are 6-1 against Alabama in home matches, earning their last win on Oct. 1, 1999 by a narrow 3-2 advantage.
The Crimson Tide enters their first conference match sporting a 9-5 record and opened the season with a 6-0 start. Last weekend UA went 2-1at the Georgia Tech Invitational with wins over Cornell and Florida International and a loss to the host Yellowjackets.
Erin Heffner leads Bama's offensive attack, averaging 4.1 kills per game while hitting .245. Kory Tull is the team's most accurate hitter entering the weekend, connecting on 25.8% of her attacks. Jennifer Bibber provides solid play as well, averaging 3.8 kills per game while hitting .418. Judy Green is in her seventh year at the helm of the Alabama program, holding a 98-109 record in her time there. While at Alabama, she holds a 4-3 record against UK.
Kentucky holds a 17-5 advantage in a series with Auburn dating back to the 1977 season. While UK owned bragging rights for the first 17 years in the series, the teams have played tug-o-war since 1995, with the Tigers holding a 4-3 edge during that time. The Cats won the match last season, 3-0, in Lexington.
Auburn has struggled to a 1-11 start in 2002, with its only win coming over Marist, 3-1, on Sept. 7. The Tigers haven't taken a game-win since Sept. 14, a 3-1 loss to UNC Greensboro. The teams have one common opponent, Wake Forest, which UK defeated 3-1, while AU fell to the Demon Deacons 3-0 in the season opener. The Tigers are hitting just .140 as a team this season to their opponents' .270.
Grace Boyd leads the team in accuracy, hitting .245 on the year, while Brittney Diaz averages 2.7 kills per game. The Tigers are under the direction of Coach Laura Farina, in her first year at Auburn. She holds a 47-59 career record entering this weekend.