Wildcats Earn Four SEC Volleyball Awards
The University of Kentucky volleyball team earned four Southeastern Conference awards, including the school’s first-ever Freshman of the Year as rookie setter Sarah Rumely took home the honor. Junior Nicole Britenriker and sophomore Queen Nzenwa were each named to the Second Team, while Rumely also received All-Freshman team accolades.
Rumely was a two-time SEC Freshman of the Week selection this season and was named to the Kentucky Classic All-Tournament Team. She leads the team and ranks third in the SEC with 12.41 assists per game and her 1,390 assists this year rank her eighth on the single-season record charts at UK. Rumely also leads the team with 53 service aces and ranks third in the SEC with 0.47 aces per game. The New Palestine, Ind., native recorded six aces in a pair of matches this season and ranks sixth on the UK single-season list. She is one of only three players to start every match this season for the Wildcats and ranks second on the team with a .300 hitting percentage.
Britenriker leads the team with 407 kills for an average of 3.63 kills per game. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native is tops on the team with 14 double-double performances this season, including 10 in SEC play. Britenriker was named the Most Valuable Player of the Kentucky Classic Tournament earlier this year and set a new career-high with 25 kills against San Diego State. Her 17 digs in the regular season finale against Cincinnati were a new season-high and she has had seven blocks on three occasions this year. Britenriker leads the team with a .972 reception percentage and 481.5 points. Her .249 hitting percentage ranks her third on the team, while she is second in both digs per game (2.63) and blocks per game (0.98).
Nzenwa earned All-Freshman team honors and continued to excel in the SEC as a sophomore. The Baltimore, Md., native leads the team and ranks sixth in the SEC with 1.21 blocks per game. Her .335 hitting percentage is also tops on the team and is the ninth-highest total in the league. Nzenwa has 124 block assists this season which ranks her eighth on Kentucky’s single-season record chart. She recorded a career-high with 25 kills against Auburn this season and set a new personal best with 11 blocks against Tennessee and Ole Miss. She ranks third on the team with three double-doubles this season and has had six or more blocks in 10 matches this season. Nzenwa is second on the team with 350 kills for an average of 3.12 per game. She also ranks second with 741 total attacks and 3.78 points per game.
Kentucky opens play in the 2006 NCAA Tournament Thursday at 4:30 p.m. UK faces No. 20 Ohio in the opening round in West Lafayette, Ind. The winner faces the survivor of Purdue-St. Louis on Friday at 7:00 p.m.