Volleyball Looks to Sweep Tennessee for Second Consecutive Season
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Kentucky volleyball team looks to sweep the season series with Tennessee for the second consecutive year when it travels to Knoxville, Tenn., Wednesday to face the Lady Vols. Opening serve in Stokely Athletics Center is slated for 7 p.m. EST and will be available at ukathletics.com.
The Wildcats (20-9, 11-7 Southeastern Conference) have eclipsed the 20-win plateau for the first time since the 1993 campaign. Kentucky has the second-most potent offense in the league, averaging 15.71 kills per game on .252 hitting. The Cats rank in the top three in the conference in four different statistical categories.
Junior middle blocker Queen Nzenwa (Baltimore, Md.) leads the SEC in both hitting percentage (.374) and blocks per game (1.59/gm). Senior middle blocker Nicole Britenriker (Cincinnati, Ohio) is tops on the squad and fifth in the conference with 3.96 kills per game and has recorded double-digit put-downs in each of the team’s 29 matches this season. She also has recorded a team-leading 18 double-doubles.
Sophomore setter Sarah Rumely (New Palestine, Ind.) ranks second in the league in assists with an average of 12.38 dishes per game. Rumely has 2,862 career assists and needs 17 more to move into the school’s all-time top five in career assists.
Kentucky and Tennessee meet for the 62nd time in school history on Wednesday. The Wildcats lead the all-time series 38-23. UK swept the season series with the Lady Vols last season, including a 3-2 victory in Memorial Coliseum against then-No. 18 Tennessee that marked the Cats’ first win over a ranked opponents since the 1993 campaign. Prior to last year, Tennessee had taken four of the previous five match-ups with Kentucky.
Tennessee enters Wednesday’s match at 10-16 and 5-13 in league play. The Lady Vols won a five-game thriller against South Carolina on Sunday to snap a four-match losing streak. Tennessee has lost eight of its last 10 matches and fell to Kentucky, 3-1, on Sept. 26 in Lexington. The Lady Vols rank last in four of the league’s seven statistical categories.
Chloe Goodman leads a strong defensive effort for the Lady Vols, as she ranks second in the conference with an average of 5.53 digs per game. Freshman Nikki Fowler is the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week, finishing the weekend as the team’s top performer in kills (38), kills per game (4.75), attacks (107), hitting percentage (.299), points (39.5) and points per game (4.94).
Following Wednesday’s match, the Wildcats travel to Fayetteville, Ark., to close out the regular season at Arkansas. Opening serve is set for 2 p.m. EST and live statistics will be available at ukathletics.com.