Volleyball Travels to No. 3 Florida, Georgia for SEC Matches
Oct. 23, 2003
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky volleyball team takes to the road again for the fourth time in the last six weeks when they travel to Gainesville, Fla., on Friday to face the third-ranked Florida Gators in the O'Connell Center. Kentucky then travels to Athens, Ga., to face the 13-7 Georgia Bulldogs on Sunday afternoon.
Kentucky split its home weekend with a comeback win over LSU on Oct. 17 and a 3-1 loss to Western Division leaders Arkansas on Sunday.
With just four weekends remaining in the Southeastern Conference regular season, Kentucky is tied for seventh in the league standings. The top eight teams in the conference will qualify for the SEC Tournament, Nov. 20-23 in Columbia, S.C. The Cats will face the Gators and Bulldogs twice, will visit Auburn and Alabama and play host to Tennessee and South Carolina early in November.
Florida enters the weekend on a 20-match win streak including 3-0 sweeps of the last 19 opponents. The Gators have been ranked third in the AVCA Top 25 for much of the season and have not lost a match except for the season opener against top-ranked Southern Cal. Among the 20 wins, the Gators count four victories over top-20 teams, including a 3-0 win over then-No. 4 Stanford.
Senior Aury Cruz leads the attack for UF, averaging 4.23 kills per game while hitting .316. The two-time SEC Player of the Year and three-time All-SEC selection also averages 3.25 digs per game and 0.66 blocks per game.
Mary Wise, who served as an assistant and associate coach at UK from 1986-1990, is in her 13th season with the Gators and owns a 496-105 record as a head coach including four years at Iowa State.
Kentucky is 9-28 all-time against the Gators and hasn't won a match against UF since Nov. 10, 1990, a 26-match losing streak.
Georgia opens the weekend against South Carolina on Friday night and enters the match with a five-match win streak, including 3-0 sweeps of its last four opponents. The Bulldogs are 13-7 overall and sit tied for third in the league with a 6-2 record.
Julia Petruschke, the reigning SEC Freshman of the Year, is averaging 4.33 kills per game for UGA and 3.07 digs per game. Sophomore Alexandra Oquendo averages 3.46 kills per game as well.
Former Kentucky Wildcat Mary Jones Buczek is in her fourth season as head coach of the Bulldogs. The former All-SEC selection was a team captain for UK and also earned Academic All-SEC honors. She also served as an assistant coach in 1990 for UK.