Volleyball Looks to Tie 2006 Win Total vs. UGA
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky volleyball team looks to match last season’s win total of 19 victories on Sunday when the Wildcats play host to Georgia in the “Dig for the Cure” match. Opening serve in Memorial Coliseum is set for 1:30 p.m. EDT. Live statistics will be available at ukathletics.com, while live video will be available through Extreme Access.
The Wildcats (18-6, 9-4 Southeastern Conference), who will look to notch their third consecutive victory on Sunday, are coming off a 3-1 win against Auburn on Friday night. Freshman outside hitter Sarah Mendoza (Orlando, Fla.) recorded a career-high 16 kills, while junior middle blocker Queen Nzenwa (Baltimore, Md.) tied her personal best with 12 blocks.
Nzenwa will seek to break the school’s career block assists record on Sunday. She currently has 395 career block assists and needs six more to best Lisa Bokovoy’s school record of 400 block assists. With six more block assists, she would also simultaneously eclipse her own single-season school record of 137 block assists, which she set last season.
Nzenwa ranks ninth in the nation with 1.65 blocks per game, which leads the SEC. She is also tops in the league in hitting percentage with a .408 clip. Senior middle blocker Nicole Britenriker (Cincinnati, Ohio) is the team’s kill leader, averaging 3.84 put-downs per game.
Kentucky has posted back-to-back 18-win seasons, marking the first time that feat has been accomplished since the 1992-93 campaigns. The Wildcats, who have seven regular-season matches remaining, went 19-12 last year and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Georgia currently enters the match in third place in the SEC Eastern Division, behind the second-place Wildcats. The Bulldogs are 14-9 on the year with a 5-8 mark in league play. They are coming off a 3-0 loss at Tennessee on Friday evening. Junior outside hitter Maria Taylor led the way for Georgia, recording a double-double with 14 kills and 10 digs. Taylor is the SEC’s kill leader, averaging 4.79 put-downs per game, and is third on Georgia’s team in blocking with 1.18 rejections per game, which ranks ninth in the conference.
The Bulldogs began the season with a 9-1 non-conference mark before entering league play. Georgia has since lost two matches in a row and five of its last six contests. Head coach Joel McCartney is in his first season at the helm of the UGA program after coming to Athens from Winthrop University. Entering the 2007 campaign, McCartney ranked 15th among active Division I coaches with a 282-100 (.744) career coaching record.
The Wildcats and Bulldogs meet for the 51st time in school history with Kentucky holding a 26-24 advantage in the all-time series. UK has won five consecutive matches against Georgia and nine of the last 13. The Cats, who defeated the Bulldogs 3-1 in Athens, Ga., on Sept. 21, look to sweep the season series against UGA for the third straight season.
The Dig for the Cure campaign will help to raise money for breast cancer awareness through Susan G. Komen For The Cure, formerly known as the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. All ticket proceeds from Sunday’s match will be donated to the local affiliate of this organization.
Fans are encouraged to donate money for every team dig that the Wildcats make or may also make a flat donation to Dig for the Cure. All fans also are encouraged to wear pink to the match. Kentucky also will be auctioning off autographed balls signed by head football coach Rich Brooks and head men’s basketball coach Billy Gillispie.
If you are interested in making a donation or would like more information about the event, call assistant coach Lauren Sauer at (859) 257-4120 or by e-mail at Lauren.Sauer@uky.edu.
For all of the latest information on Kentucky Volleyball, log on to www.ukathletics.com/volleyball.