Volleyball Closes Regular-Season at Arkansas Sunday
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky volleyball team closes its 2007 regular season on Sunday when it travels to Fayetteville, Ark., to take on the Arkansas Lady ‘Backs. Opening serve in Barnhill Arena is slated for 2 p.m. EST and live statistics will be available at ukathletics.com.
The Wildcats (21-9, 12-7 Southeastern Conference) are looking to close the season strong as they seek their third win in their last four matches against the Razorbacks (12-16, 6-12 SEC). Kentucky is coming off a 3-1 win at Tennessee on Wednesday night as the Cats persevered through a rare weather delay to sweep the season series with the Lady Vols for the second consecutive year.
“We are looking forward to our match against Arkansas,” UK head coach Craig Skinner said. “As hard as we played the last two games against Tennessee, we are anxious to get back on the court and do it again. Our team found something in each other on Wednesday that is motivating them to take our play to the next level.”
Freshman right-side hitter Lauren Rapp (Indianapolis, Ind.), a three-time SEC Freshman of the Week selection, turned in an all-star performance on Wednesday evening, finishing with a career-high 16 kills on .519 hitting, the second-best offensive efficiency mark of her career. She also added five blocks and seven digs.
Senior middle blocker Nicole Britenriker (Cincinnati, Ohio) leads the team and ranks fourth in the SEC with 3.94 kills per game. She has recorded double-digit kills in each of the team’s 30 matches this season and has notched a squad-best 19 double-doubles. Junior middle blocker Queen Nzenwa (Baltimore, Md.) ranks ninth in the nation and first in the SEC in blocks with 1.59 rejections per game. As a team, UK ranks in the top three in four of the league’s seven statistical categories.
Sunday’s match marks the 22nd meeting all-time between Kentucky and Arkansas. The Lady ‘Backs lead the series 13-8, but the Wildcats have won four of the last six meetings between the two squads. Prior to the 2006 campaign, Arkansas had won 11 consecutive matches against the Cats.
The Lady Backs, who face Tennessee on Friday evening, are in fifth place in the SEC’s Western Division enter the weekend with a 12-16 record, including a 6-12 mark in league action. Arkansas defeated Auburn and Georgia this past weekend to snap a six-match losing streak. The Lady ‘Backs hold the distinction of being the only team to beat powerhouse Florida this season.
Jessica Dorrell leads Arkansas with 4.20 kills per game, which ranks third in the SEC, while Ashley Miller is sixth in the league with 4.78 digs per game.
Following Sunday’s match, the Wildcats will have a week without competition before selections for the NCAA Tournament are announced Sunday, Nov. 25 at 8 p.m. EST. The selection show will be broadcast live on ESPNU.