Volleyball Heads to SEC Tournament
The Kentucky volleyball team returns to the Southeastern Conference Tournament for the first time in two years, earning the No. 5 seed after finishing regular-season league play with a 10-6 record. Itís UKís highest seed in the tournament since 1996. The Wildcats face Arkansas for the second time in five days in the tournamentís quarterfinal round Friday at Noon CT.
This is Kentuckyís 24th appearance in the SEC Tournament. The Wildcats have claimed five SEC Tournament titles all-time, but havenít earned a victory in the tournament since 1999 when the Wildcats advanced to the semifinals before falling to Arkansas.
UKís 17 overall wins and 10 conference victories this season are the most since 1993, a season which saw UK go 29-4 and finish 12-2 in league play.
Kentucky split its final SEC matches last weekend, falling 2-3 in a heartbreaker at LSU before earning its first season sweep of Arkansas since 1994 with a 3-1 win on Sunday. Junior libero Jenni Casper was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this season after totaling 65 digs last weekend. Her 36-dig performance against LSU was a career best.
Arkansas is 19-10 on the season and finished with an 11-5 record in SEC play with the loss to UK last Sunday. Amy Allison leads the way for the Lady Backs with a .283 hitting percentage, while Denitza Koleva is tops on the squad with 3.60 kills per game. Setters Iva Docekalova and Nicole Martin each are averaging nearly six assists per game as part of a 6-2 offense. he Lady Backs are coached by Chris Poole, who has a 286-127 record in 12 seasons leading the Arkansas volleyball program.
This marks the 18th series meeting between Kentucky and Arkansas. The first meeting took place on Sept. 25, 1994, a 3-0 Wildcat win in Lexington. The Wildcats claimed their first victory in the series since Sept. 27, 1996 with a 3-1 win in Lexington on Oct. 7, 2005. With its 3-1 win in Fayetteville last Sunday, Kentucky swept the regular-season series with Arkansas for the first-time since 1994.
Live statistics from this weekendís matches will be available at ukathletics.com.