No. 8 Kentucky Heads to No. 1 Florida for SEC Network Showdown Sunday

Kaz Brown (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 8 Kentucky volleyball team (15-2, 6-0 SEC) heads to Gainesville for a showdown with No. 1 Florida (14-0, 6-0 SEC) tomorrow at 1 p.m. The match will be shown live on SEC Network with Tiffany Greene and Missy Whittemore on the call.

Kentucky is currently on a 10-match winning streak while Florida is No. 1 in the AVCA poll and No. 2 in the latest RPI. 

Scouting the Opponent – Florida

Florida is undefeated this season and is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation. Rhamat Alhassan leads the conference and is second in the nation in blocks per set at 1.72. Carli Snyder is the league leader in aces per set at 0.57, and sits at No. 5 in the nation. The Gators are led in kills by Snyder at 3.59 kills per set. Caroline Knop is second in the SEC in digs per frame at 4.76.

 

Starting the Match Up 12-0

With Ashley Dusek serving, Kentucky started the match with an impressive 12-0 run. Avery Skinner had four kills during the run, while Franklin had two. Dusek contributed one ace. Kentucky would go on to win the set 25-7 and sweep Texas A&M. 

 

10-Straight Wins

UK has won 10-straight dating back to Sept. 9 when the run started against Loyola (Chicago). Emily Franklin is on fire, hitting .522 while averaging 2.41 kills per set and 1.41 blocks per frame. Leah Edmond is leading the team 4.23 terminations per set and has been stellar defensively as well, with 2.20 digs per frame.

 

Player of the Week

Leah Edmond earned SEC Player and Offensive Player of the week for her performance last weekend against Alabama and Auburn. She had 36 kills including 25 in the four set win over Auburn on Sunday. Her 25 terminations were one shy of her career best and tied her best league performance of her career. Edmond averaged 4.50 kills per frame, higher than her season average of 4.29.

Edmond produced on defense as well. She recorded her fourth double-double of the season and 12th of her career after adding 17 digs to her 11 kills against Alabama.

 

Third-Straight Setter of the Week

Freshman Madison Lilley continued her stellar freshman campaign where she had already won Setter or Co-Setter of the Week three other times this season. The Overland Park, Kansas, native recorded a double-double in both matches and now has seven in her career.

Against Alabama, Lilley posted 54 assists and helped the Cats hit .278 with 64 kills. She added 11 digs and two kills, two blocks and an ace. Against Auburn, She added 50 more helpers and 12 scoops, while directing UK to hit above .300 for the ninth time this season. She was a threat as well, adding four kills on eight attempts.

 

Top Freshman in the Nation

Madison Lilley is the nation’s top freshman in assists per set at 11.85. She is .32 assists per frame higher than No. 2 Sydney Hilley of Wisconsin, who is at 11.58 helpers per set. Lilley’s 11.85 is No. 6 in the nation overall, with only two underclassman in front of her.

 

Fifth-Year Senior Setting Career Highs

Emily Franklin had the most complete match of her career in the victory over Alabama. The senior had 14 kills and six digs, which were both career highs. She had a hitting percentage of .444 in the win and added five blocks.

 

Efficient Terminator

Senior Emily Franklin leads the team in attacking percentage at .427, and has been incredibly efficient this season. She has hit .500 or above eight times this season, and has not hit below .400 since Kentucky began its nine match winning streak on Sept. 9 against Loyola (Chicago).

 

Kentucky in the National and SEC Rankings

Freshman Madison Lilley is No. 6 in the nation in assists per set at 11.85. 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 4.30 and second in the SEC, behind the national leader, Pilar Victoria of Arkansas.

 

Emily Franklin is No. 9 in that nation in hitting percentage at .427. She’s second in the SEC, behind Rachael Kramer of Florida

 

As a team, Kentucky is fourth in the nation in hitting percentage at .329. UK is the highest-rated SEC team in that category.  UK sits at No. 3 in kills per set at 14.87, also the best among the league.

 

Record Holder

Kaz Brown set the 25-point rally scoring era record for total blocks in the match against Loyola earlier in the season. She’ll head into the week with 497 total blocks, and also holds the block assists record with 444.

 

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 (53). The senior is also seventh in kills at 860 and ninth in attack attempts at 1,779.

 

Emily Franklin is currently ninth in block solos with 31, third in blocks assists at 315 and third in total blocks at 346. Franklin also has the fifth-highest attacking percentage in the rally scoring era at .327.

 

Darian Mack is moving up the 25-point rally scoring era record book in kills and points. Mack is ninth all-time with 736 kills and seventh in attacks with 1,950. In total points, she is in ninth with 836.0.

 

Ashley Dusek is currently third in the rally scoring era with 1,295 digs and ninth in assists at 206.

 

Career Leaders

Kaz Brown is currently third in the country among active players in career blocks. Her 497 total blocks trail only Faith Dooley of North Dakota and Rhamat Alhassan of Florida.

 

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