#23 Kentucky Returns Home for Two Matches
Oct. 16, 2008
LEXINGTON, Ky. -
After wrapping up five of six matches on the road, Kentucky happily returns home to play at Memorial Coliseum in the midst of Homecoming festivities this weekend. The 23rd-ranked Wildcats will welcome Arkansas on Friday (7 p.m.) and Ole Miss on Sunday (1:30 p.m.). The match against the Lady Rebels will serve as UK's "Dig for the Cure."
This week the Wildcats advanced in the AVCA national rankings, moving from the 25th position to 23rd in the country. This is the highest national rating for the Blue and White since 1993.
UK wrapped up its road swing with a 4-1 mark, with its lone loss coming at the hands of then-No. 9 Florida in five sets. Kentucky has claimed 13 of its last 14 matches, with nine of those victories coming in the form of sweeps. Sophomore Sarah Mendoza was named the SEC's Offensive Player of the Week after posting back-to-back double-double efforts against Florida and South Carolina.
Arkansas comes to town with their first-year head coach Robert Pulliza, Kentucky's former assistant coach. Pulliza coached the Wildcats under Craig Skinner for three seasons. Arkansas enters Friday night's match with Kentucky holding a 5-12 overall record, and a 2-5 clip in the SEC. The Razorbacks' are led by Kelli Stipanovich who paces the attack with 3.25 kills per set. Caira Dortech dishes out 9.13 assists per frame, as the team hits at a .191 percentage. On defense, three players average more than two digs per set, while Yun Tang turns back 1.20 attacks per set.
Arkansas leads the series with Kentucky 13-9 overall. However, Kentucky claimed both meetings a season-ago. Additionally, the Wildcats have won five of the two teams last seven meetings. Ole Miss ranks as the top team in the SEC West.
Ole Miss holds a .500 record at 8-8 for the season, and a 4-3 conference record. The Rebels have two players who average over two kills per frame in Regina Thomas (2.65) and Katie Norris (2.68). Rachel Kieckhaefer averages 9.04 assists in each stanza. Allison Weber (4.07) leads four players who average over two digs a set. The Wildcats hold a 27-10 overall edge in the series history. The Rebels earned two victories over the Blue and White in 2007, but Kentucky has won eight of the last 11 meetings however.
In an effort to raise awareness and money for the world's most common cause of cancer death in women, the Kentucky volleyball team will take part in the "Dig for the Cure" campaign Sunday.
When: Sunday, October 19 - 1:30 pm
The "Dig for the Cure" campaign was originally started in 2003 by Charlotte head coach Lisa Marston, whose mother was a breast cancer survivor, and has spread to volleyball programs across the country in recent years. Last year, the campaign raised over $72,000 nationally.
Parking is available in the E lots on each side of Memorial Coliseum. The ticket entrance is located on Lexington Avenue side of Memorial.
Complete coverage of this weekend's matches, including live stats and free video streaming can be found at UKathletics.com.