Wildcats Return Home to Face South Carolina
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky volleyball team returns to Memorial Coliseum for its final home regular-season weekend beginning Friday when the Wildcats play host to South Carolina. Opening serve is set for 7 p.m. EST. In conjunction with the match, it is also Junior Wildcat Night, as members receive free admission to the match by showing their 2007 membership card.
The Wildcats (19-8, 10-6 Southeastern Conference) are in search of their first 20-win season since the 1993 campaign. Kentucky is 10-2 at home this season and an impressive 23-4 (.851) within Memorial Coliseum over the past two seasons. UK will be looking to sweep the season series with South Carolina for the third time in four years, as the Cats won a 3-1 decision in Columbia, S.C., earlier this year.
“South Carolina has been playing very well lately and has won two of their last three matches,” UK head coach Craig Skinner said. “They serve tough and have an offense that is very difficult to defend. I think our players are excited and are looking forward to performing for our seniors in their last regular-season home weekend.”
Junior middle blocker Queen Nzenwa (Baltimore, Md.) ranks sixth in the nation in blocks, averaging 1.64 rejections per game. She also leads the team and ranks 25th in the NCAA in hitting percentage with a .376 clip on the year. Senior middle blocker Nicole Britenriker (Cincinnati, Ohio) has recorded a team-leading 18 double-doubles on the season and ranks fifth in the SEC with 3.92 kills per game.
Sophomore setter Sarah Rumely (New Palestine, Ind.), who recorded just the 10th triple-double in the SEC this season on Sunday, is second in the league with 12.29 assists.
South Carolina enters Friday’s match having won two of its last three contests, though the Gamecocks are just 12-13 overall and 5-11 in league play. Sophomore outside hitter Ivana Kujundzick is averaging a squad-best 3.38 kills per game, while freshman middle blocker Megan Laughlin is one of the SEC’s leading servers with 40 aces on the year.
Kentucky and South Carolina meet for the 37th time in school history with the Wildcats holding a slight 19-17 advantage in the all-time series. The Cats have won six of the last seven meetings with the Gamecocks, who are under the direction of first-year coach Ben Somera.
Kentucky closes out its 2007 regular-season home slate on Sunday when it plays host to No. 8 Florida. Opening serve in Memorial Coliseum is set for 1 p.m. EST with live statistics available at ukathletics.com and live streaming video available through Extreme Access.