No. 6 Kentucky Hosts Tennessee Sunday

Vicky Graff Photo

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 6 Kentucky (16-2, 7-0 SEC) volleyball team continues Southeastern Conference play at Memorial Coliseum on Sunday when UK takes on Tennessee (10-7, 3-5 SEC). First serve is set for 1:30 p.m. on SEC Network+ and the WatchESPN app with Dick Gabriel and Kathy DeBoer on the call.

The Wildcats are coming off an historic win over No. 1 Florida, and is currently riding an 11-match winning streak. Tennessee has won its last two conference matches over Missouri and Georgia.

Fans should arrive early to receive a free Kentucky volleyball headband, while supplies last.

Scouting the Opponent – Tennessee

Tennessee is 10-7 overall this season and 3-5 in the SEC with wins over Georgia, Missouri and Mississippi State. Erica Treiber leads the team in kills and hitting percentage at 2.37 terminations per set and a .342 hitting percentage.  Brooke Schumacher is fifth in the SEC in digs per set at 4.35, while Trieber is third in the SEC in blocks per set at 1.37. Kentucky leads the all-time series with UT at 47-30 and has won eight of the last 10.

First Win Over No. 1

Kentucky was 0-6 against No. 1 teams in the nation heading into a matchup with the top-ranked Florida Gators on Oct. 15 on the road. In Gainesville, that changed. UK took down Florida, 3-1, for its first win over a top-ranked team in program history. Kentucky had four players – Leah Edmond, Darian Mack, Kaz Brown and Avery Skinner – with double-digit kills while Edmond had a match-high 18. Madison Lilley had a double-double with 52 assists and 10 digs, helping the Cats record 64 kills and hit .309.

Highest Ranking in the Craig Skinner Era

The Wildcats are ranked after week eight, moving to No. 6 in the nation. Kentucky head coach Craig Skinner has never had the program ranked higher. UK’s highest ranking ever is No. 5, and the Wildcats haven’t been ranked No. 6 since 1993. The team has been ranked for 107 weeks, and currently has appeared in the poll for 17-consecutive weeks.

 

11-Straight Wins

UK has won 11-straight dating back to Sept. 9 when the run started against Loyola (Chicago). Emily Franklin is on fire, hitting .526 while averaging 2.37 kills per set and 1.29 blocks per frame. Leah Edmond is leading the team with 4.26 terminations per set and has been stellar defensively as well, with 2.21 digs per frame.

 

500 Blocks

During the match at Florida, Kaz Brown recorded her 500th career block. Brown is the  career leader during the 25-point rally scoring era at 501, and also the leader in block assists with 447.

 

Keep the Awards Coming

Kentucky volleyball won multiple SEC weekly awards after their performance against Florida and Texas A&M.

 

Leah Edmond led the Cats on offense to win her second SEC Player and Offensive Player of the Week award as well as ESPNW National Player of the Week. In the win over No. 1 Florida, she posted a match-high 18 kills while hitting .250 on 40 attempts. Edmond was one dig shy of a double-double with nine in the match. The Lexington, Kentucky, native also contributed one block, one assist and one ace in the win. Against Texas A&M, she produced another match high with 13 kills and added five digs and an ace.

 

Madison Lilley garnered her fourth straight SEC Setter award and fifth overall after another stellar week of play. In Kentucky’s win over No. 1 Florida, Lilley tallied 52 assists and helped the team hit .309 with 64 kills. The Overland Park, Kansas, native now has six matches in her career with 50 or more helpers, which is the fourth highest in the 25-point rally scoring era. Lilley recorded her eighth double-double of the season with 10 digs against the Gators.

 

Efficient Terminator

Senior Emily Franklin leads the team in attacking percentage at .435, and has been incredibly efficient this season. She has hit .500 or above nine times this season, and has not hit below .400 since Kentucky began its 11 match winning streak on Sept. 9 against Loyola (Chicago).

 

Kentucky in the National and SEC Rankings

Freshman Madison Lilley is No. 5 in the nation in assists per set at 11.92. She leads the SEC while Rachel Rippee of Arkansas is second.

 

Leah Edmond is currently No. 26 in the nation in kills per set at 4.31 and second in the SEC, behind the national leader, Pilar Victoria of Arkansas.

 

Emily Franklin is No. 7 in that nation in hitting percentage at .435. She’s also the league leader, while Rachael Kramer of Florida is No. 2.

 

As a team, Kentucky is third in the nation in hitting percentage at .328. UK is the highest-rated SEC team in that category.  UK sits at No. 4 in kills per set at 14.94, also the best among the league.

 

Chasing Records

Kaz Brown is climbing the 25-point rally scoring era record book in multiple categories. The Waterloo, Iowa, native is currently in second in solo blocks (54). The senior is also seventh in kills at 871 and ninth in attack attempts at 1,798.

 

Emily Franklin is currently ninth in block solos with 31, third in blocks assists at 316 and third in total blocks at 347. Franklin also has the fifth-highest attacking percentage in the rally scoring era at .330.

 

Darian Mack is moving up the 25-point rally scoring era record book in kills and points. Mack is ninth all-time with 749 kills and seventh in attacks with 1,950. In total points, she is in ninth with 849.5.

 

Ashley Dusek is currently third in the rally scoring era with 1,322 digs and ninth in assists at 206.

Leave a Reply