Volleyball Cats Set for Non-Conference Match with Butler
Oct. 17, 2001
LEXINGTON, Ky. -
After splitting its weekend Southeastern Conference series, the University of Kentucky volleyball team is looking to get a mid-week non-conference win under its belt when it faces the Butler Bulldogs on Thursday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m. at Memorial Coliseum.
The Cats (9-7, 3-4 SEC) were swept by Alabama only one day after losing senior setter Whitney Sample to a broken finger. UK was forced to adjust to a new setter, sophomore Kristi Kelley, in an important conference match. The Tide held UK to a season-low .069 hitting percentage.
Kentucky rebounded on Sunday, bringing out the brooms to sweep Auburn, 3-0. The Wildcats seemed more comfortable in the new lineup as Kelley tallied 40 assists and two kills in the match. Junior Anne Koester looked strong as well, knocking down nine kills in 10 attempts for a career-best .900 hitting percentage. UK's .333 percentage on the match was a season high as well.
Butler is off to a similar start as UK, compiling a 7-6 record this season and stands at 3-4 in Horizon League play. The Bulldogs are on a two-match losing streak after falling to Loyola on Oct. 6, before being swept by Wright State on Friday.
Junior middle blocker Keely Norris leads the Butler attack with her .274 hitting percentage. She averages 3.5 kills and 2.3 digs per game. Also looking strong for BU is sophomore setter Amanda Matthews, who averages 9.6 assists per game while hitting .256 on the year.
Kentucky will meet the Bulldogs for the fifth time in UK's 25-year history on Thursday. The Cats hold a 3-1 edge in the series, which dates back to the 1993 season, when UK defeated BU, 3-1, in Indianapolis. The teams' last meeting came on Sept. 12, 1998, also a 3-1 UK win in Indianapolis.
"This match is important for us in respect to the fact that we're still adjusting to changes in the lineup," Coach Jona Braden said. "Every match means something as far as our postseason positioning. We hope to see solid play against a good Butler team on Thursday."
Braden has strong ties to the Butler program after serving as its head coach from 1983-90. She compiled a 160-115 (58.2%) record in her tenure while also serving as Senior Women's Administrator.