Volleyball Goes Dancing; Earns NCAA Tourney Berth
In a season full of accomplishment, the Kentucky volleyball team has added another to the list. The Wildcats earned a bid to the 2005 NCAA Tournament Sunday and will face Atlantic Coast Conference champions Maryland on Friday at 5 p.m. at the Louisville Gardens in Louisville, Ky.
“This is one of the ultimate signs of respect,” Coach Craig Skinner said. “Our team has worked hard all year to receive respect and this is a great reward. We’re elated to represent the University of Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament.”
Kentucky (17-11, 10-6 SEC) earned an at-large bid after tripling its number of conference wins a year ago. The Wildcats were one of a record-breaking six Southeastern Conference teams named to the tournament field. Joining UK were Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama and LSU.
UK hasn’t made it to the NCAA Tournament since 1993. That year the Cats earned a first-round bye and were defeated 0-3 by Duke in the second round at Memorial Coliseum.
This season, UK has done many things for the first time since that 1993 season. The Wildcats 17 wins are the most since the 29-4 record in 1993. UK’s 10 conference victories also are the most since that year.
The Wildcats face Maryland in first-round action. The Terps earned a share of the ACC title and own a 27-4 overall record. They were 18-4 in league play and shared the league title with UNC, who defeated Maryland in the ACC Tournament championship match. This is UM’s third consecutive tournament appearance.