Kentucky Volleyball Notebook -- Nov. 20
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky volleyball team, which posted its most overall wins (22) since the 1993 campaign, finished fourth in the final Southeastern Conference standings following the league’s final matches on Sunday.
Florida won its 17th consecutive SEC regular season title with a 26-1 record, including a 19-1 mark in league play. The Wildcats finished in second place in the SEC Eastern Division behind the Gators.
LSU clinched the league’s Western Division title for the second consecutive season with a 24-6 record, including a 15-5 tally in conference play. Ole Miss finished third overall in the conference with a 25-7 mark and a 14-6 league record.
Final Southeastern Conference Volleyball Standings
Eastern Division (Overall, SEC)
Western Division (Overall, SEC)
Wildcats Look for School-Record Third NCAA Berth
Kentucky is seeking a school-record third consecutive NCAA appearance. The Wildcats, who have made eight NCAA Tournament appearances in school history, last made three consecutive postseason appearances from 1991-93. Kentucky won the NIVC Championship, volleyball’s now-defunct equivalent of the National Invitation Tournament, in 1991 before making back-to-back NCAA appearances in 1992 and 1993.
Kentucky has made the NCAA Tournament in each of head coach Craig Skinner’s first two seasons at the helm following a 12-year hiatus from volleyball’s version of the “Big Dance.”
Southeastern Conference Success in NCAA Tournament
The 2006 season marked the 17th consecutive year in which the SEC has placed at least two teams in the NCAA Tournament.
Several Career Highs Set Against Arkansas on Sunday
Sophomore libero BriAnne Sauer (Louisville, Ky.) recorded a career-high 29 digs to mark her eighth match this season with 20 or more digs. Since being inserted as the Cats’ libero on Oct. 12 vs. Ole Miss, Sauer is averaging a squad-best 4.67 digs per game.
Sophomore outside hitter Brooke Bartek (Lincoln, Neb.) notched a personal-best five blocks, besting her previous career high of four rejections recorded on Oct. 28 vs. Georgia.
Junior middle blocker Queen Nzenwa (Baltimore, Md.) tied her career high with 12 blocks against the Lady ‘Backs. It marked the fourth time this season that she has recorded 12 rejections and her fifth time this year that she notched double-digit blocks. Nzenwa added 15 kills for her fifth double-double of the 2007 campaign.
Rapp Leads Team in Final Week of Regular-Season Play
Rapp was Kentucky’s top offensive performer in wins against Tennessee and Arkansas, averaging a squad-best 3.22 kills on .345 hitting over the two match span. She was second on the team, averaging 1.22 blocks per game on the week.
Rapp recorded a career-high 16 kills on Wednesday in Knoxville, on .519 hitting – the second-best hitting efficiency mark of her career. She had a team-high 20 points in the match. The rookie followed up that performance with 13 kills and six blocks – two rejections shy of her career high – on Sunday in Fayetteville.
Nzenwa Breaks into SEC Blocking Records
Nzenwa has 171 block assists this year, which ties Arkansas’ Jennifer Haaser (2004) for 10th place all-time. Nzenwa has the potential of quickly advancing up the single-season block assists list, as the all-time leader – LSU’s Stacey Samuels (1985) – finished with 190 block assists. One more block assist would tie Nzenwa for ninth-place all-time, while five more would put her in seventh place.
Nzenwa has crushed UK’s single-season block assists mark. She held that record with 137 last season, but has surpassed that mark by 34 block assists this season.
Nzenwa needs 23 more blocks to break into the SEC’s all-time top 10 for career block assists. She currently has 434 career block assists.
SEC’s Single Season Block Assists List
Rumely Watch List
Rumely needs 227 more assists to tie Irene Smyth (1983-86) for fourth place on the school’s all-time career assists list. Laura Linder (1987-90) holds Kentucky’s school assists record with 5,424 career dishes. Rumely is averaging 1,484 assists over the past two seasons and, if she stays on that same pace, she would be projected to shatter Linder’s career record with 5,936 assists over her four-year career.
UK Career Assists List