UK Concludes Road Trip at Arkansas on Sunday
Oct. 9, 2010
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky volleyball team will wrap up action away from home after enduring five of its first eight matches in Southeastern Conference action on the road. Kentucky plays at Arkansas on Sunday for a match slated to begin at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Kentucky (8-9, 2-5) suffered a tough loss to No. 15 LSU Friday evening Baton Rouge, La., but the Blue and White had one of their better performances in recent contests. Senior Lauren Rapp continued to dominate opponents with 16 kills on a blazing .455 hitting percentage. Freshman Whitney Billings charted a career high performance with 17 digs. Sophomore Stephanie Klefot continued her streak of 10 or more digs in a match with 11 scoops against the Tigers on Friday.
The Wildcats' offense was at its best in the final set against the Tigers. UK totaled 14 kills in the final set and Rapp had nine of her 16 hammers in the frame. Kentucky also limited the hot-hitting Tigers to just a .200 hitting clip in the stanza.
Arkansas holds a 9-9 overall record and a 3-4 mark in SEC play. The Razorbacks dropped a competitive five-set loss to No. 22 Tennessee on Friday in their last action.
The Razorbacks are coached by former UK assistant Robert Pulliza. Arkansas is led by the reigning SEC Freshman of the Year in Jasmine Norton. Norton totals 3.82 kills per set to lead the team and does so on a .253 hitting percentage.
"Arkansas is a building program," UK coach Craig Skinner said. "They've had some good wins this year, and we've had some good wins. We've also had some losses that we want to forget. Arkansas is always a tough place to play. They play very hard and they're a very competitive team. They have a great player in Jasmine Norton, who takes a lot of attention from defenses. We will have to do our job in trying to neutralize her."
The series is tied between Arkansas and Kentucky with both teams taking 13 matches in the series. UK has won the last six meetings and nine of the last 11 overall. Kentucky earned a 3-1 victory over the Razorbacks in October last season.
For the first time in nearly a year, four Kentucky players reached double-figures in kills as the then 12th-ranked Wildcats scored a 3-1 (25-18, 17-25, 25-22, 25-15) victory at Arkansas in late October 2009. Previously, the last time UK had four players with 10 or more kills was on Nov. 28, 2008. Becky Pavan had 13 and Lauren Rapp and sophomore Gretchen Giesler each totaled 10. Blaire Hiler narrowly missed adding another double-digit effort when she posted eight kills.
Follow along all season long with the Wildcats at UKathletics.com.