Volleyball Looks for First 20-Win Season Since 1993
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky volleyball team looks to record its first 20-win season since 1993 on Friday when it travels to Baton Rouge, La., to take on the LSU Tigers. Opening serve in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center is slated for 8 p.m. EDT with live statistics available at ukathletics.com.
The Wildcats (19-6, 10-4 Southeastern Conference), who have won three consecutive matches and four of their last five, lead the SEC in blocks with 3.14 rejections per game and rank in the top two in the league in three additional statistical categories as Kentucky is second in the league in hitting percentage, kills and assists.
Junior middle blocker Queen Nzenwa (Baltimore, Md.), who became the school’s all-time career and single-season block assists leader on Sunday, ranks fifth in the nation with an average of 1.68 rejections per contest. Nzenwa is first in the SEC in both blocks per game and hitting percentage (.389).
Freshman outside hitter Sarah Mendoza (Winter Park, Fla.) is the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week after averaging 3.50 kills per game on .375 hitting in last weekend’s two wins against Auburn and Georgia. Mendoza, who has recorded double-digit kills in three consecutive matches, registered a career-high 16 kills vs. Auburn on Friday evening.
Senior middle blocker Nicole Britenriker (Cincinnati, Ohio) is sixth in the league and tops on the squad with 3.88 kills per game. She has recorded a team-leading 16 double-doubles in her career. She is the only player in the SEC to rank in the league’s top 10 in kills, hitting percentage (8th, .326) and blocks (10th, 1.17/gm).
Sophomore setter Sarah Rumely (New Palestine, Ind.) ranks second in the conference with 12.29 assists per game.
LSU enters the match with a 18-6 overall record and a 9-5 mark in the SEC. The Tigers, who are two matches behind Alabama in the Western Division, have lost two consecutive matches and four of their last seven. The Tigers’ Kyna Washington ranks second in the league in service aces with 0.54 per game, while also ranking fourth in kills with 4.11 put downs per game.
LSU and Kentucky meet for the 45th time in school history in a series that dates back to Oct. 28, 1977 – UK’s first year of volleyball. The Wildcats lead the all-time series 24-20, having claimed 14 of the last 21 matches with the Tigers. UK looks to win back-to-back matches against LSU for the first time since winning two in a row during the 2001 and 2002 campaigns.
Following Friday’s match, the Wildcats travel to Oxford, Miss., for a re-match with Ole Miss on Sunday. Opening serve in the Gillom Sports Center is set for 2:30 p.m. EST.
Complete results and a recap will be available at ukathletics.com.