Wildcats Return Home for Two SEC Matches
Oct. 3, 2003
LEXINGTON, Ky. -
The University of Kentucky volleyball team will look to snap a four-match losing streak when it returns to Memorial Coliseum to play host to its first home Southeastern Conference weekend with Mississippi State and Ole Miss. The Cats take on MSU at 7 p.m. on Friday in Memorial Coliseum before a 2 p.m. matinee with Ole Miss on Sunday.
Kentucky dropped both road matches to Arkansas and LSU last weekend to open SEC play. The Cats haven't won a match since a 3-0 defeat of New Mexico on Sept. 19, after an eight-match win streak early in the year.
Melissa Popp continues to develop on the outside for UK nearing the mid-way point in her freshman campaign. Popp recorded her fifth double-double of the season at LSU Sunday, matching her career high for kills with and adding 13 digs and four blocks. The McCordsville, Ind., native is averaging 3.22 kills per game, which ranks second on the squad, while hitting .204.
This weekend's matches mark UK's second home appearance in 2003. So far this season, UK is 2-1 in Memorial Coliseum after wins over Wright State and Syracuse and a loss to UVA in the Kentucky Conference Challenge, Sept. 12-13.
Mississippi State has struggled early in the 2003 season, tallying just one win overall. The Bulldogs have fallen to a 0-2 start in league play, falling in five games to Ole Miss and four games at Tennessee. The Dogs' only win this year came against Tennessee-Martin on Sept. 5.
Rachel Cooper leads her team with a 3.40 kpg average, while setter Jennifer Hadden is accounting for 12.29 assists per game. Jennifer Rousey leads the team in blocks, averaging 0.85 per game.
Coach Brenda Bowlin is in her sixth season at the helm of the MSU program.
The Wildcats hold a 27-1 all-time series lead over the Bulldogs. State's lone win came on Oct. 16, 1994, a 3-2 victory in Starkville.
Ole Miss visits Lexington with a 2-13 record and a 1-1 start in SEC play. The Rebels defeated in-state rival Mississippi State, 3-2, last week in Oxford. UM's only other victory of the season came by way of a 3-0 sweep of Alcorn State.
Elena Garcia leads her squad with 3.51 kills per game, while Rachel Refenes is the team's top hitter with a .265 percentage.
Head Coach Joe Getzin is in his second season at UM, but is no stranger to the conference after serving as the top assistant at South Carolina for two seasons.
Kentucky owns a 24-6 advantage in its series with Ole Miss and has won the last five matches, dating back to the 1998 season. UM's last victory came on Sept. 26, 1997, a 3-2 road win.