UK Heads To Ole Miss And Mississippi State
Oct. 14, 1999
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky volleyball team will be looking to stop its third two-match losing streak of the season on Friday when the Cats face the Lady Rebels of Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss. A win at Ole Miss would put the Cats (9-8, 2-4 SEC) in a position to even their SEC record with a victory at Mississippi State on Sunday afternoon.
“This is going to be a big weekend for us,” UK coach Jona Braden said. “We need to play well, but our players have had a good week of practice in preparation for these matches. They should be ready to go.”
Friday night at Ole Miss promises to be a special night for Katie Eiserman who is five kills away from fifth place on the UK all-time kills list. Last week versus Arkansas, the senior moved into second place on the UK all-time dig list and is now only 69 digs away from becoming the school's all-time leader. Also of note from last weekend, senior Terri Crabb recorded her 2,000th career assist against LSU.
UK’s history with Ole Miss and MSU is decidedly one-sided in the favor of the Cats. Against Ole Miss (8-9, 0-5 SEC), UK holds a 20-6 edge going back to the first meeting in 1977. Between 1986 and 1995, the Cats were a perfect 10-0 against the Lady Rebels, but with a 3-1 win last season, UK beat Ole Miss for the first time in four years. The Lady Rebels of 1999 are led by 5-10 sophomore Jaime Burns who leads the team with 226 kills with an average of 3.83 per game. Kira Zschau is the team’s defensive leader with 154 digs.
The Cats have only lost to MSU (8-8, 0-5 SEC) once in 24 meetings, a 3-2 loss in Starkville in 1994, holding a 23-1 series advantage over the Lady Bulldogs. Including last year’s 3-1 win in Lexington, UK has beaten MSU five straight times after winning the first 18 meetings between the two schools. This year’s Lady Bulldogs feature a balanced attack powered by Melanie DiMuzio, Jennifer Shupe and Brianne Smedley who are all averaging better than three kills per game. MSU had a five-match win streak prior to the SEC season and are hungry for its first SEC victory of the season.