Oct. 24, 2012
- Match Promotions
- After Kentucky claimed a 3-0 win at home exactly one month ago, the Lady Vols and Wildcats will face off in a storied SEC volleyball rivalry on Friday night. With this marking the 72nd meeting between the two sides, UK is Tennessee's most-played opponent. The teams have faced off at least once a year since 1977.
- The Wildcats currently lead the series by a 42-29 margin, but the Lady Vols have won six of the last eight matchups.
- This match marks the 28th meeting in Knoxville, with the Big Orange leading 16-11 at home. Last season, Tennessee topped Kentucky in four sets at Thompson-Boling Arena to capture its first outright SEC title.
- With UT down 31-9 in the series, head coach Rob Patrick entered his first season at Rocky Top in 1997. Since, the 16-year leader of the Lady Vols has posted an impressive 20-11 record against UK.
- Currently in second place in the SEC and winners of five-straight, the Lady Vols enter the match with a 14-5 overall record and a 7-3 mark in league play. Tennessee's last loss was at Kentucky's Memorial Coliseum exactly one month ago on Sept. 26.
- Tennessee, which is currently receiving votes in the AVCA Coaches' Poll, enters the weekend ranked No. 16 in the NCAA's most recent RPI Rankings. Kentucky comes in just four spots behind at No. 20.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
- The five-time SEC Champion Wildcats enter Friday's meeting with a 13-8 overall record and a 7-4 mark in conference play. UK opened the SEC slate with back to back losses, but has won seven of its last nine.
- Last week, Kentucky lost in straight sets at home against Arkansas, but rebounded to shutout the LSU Tigers, 25-19, 25-18, 25-22. The Wildcats used an impressive 16-6 run to close out the match against LSU.
- The strength of the talented Kentucky squad all season has been its defensive play at the net. UK currently ranks second in the conference and 29th in the nation in blocks per set with 2.67.
- Led by junior middle blocker Alexandra Morgan, the Wildcats have four players with 48 or more blocks on the season. Morgan ranks ninth in the SEC with 1.03 blocks per set and is efficient offensively, hitting a blazing .352 on the season. That mark ranks seventh in the league and 65th in the country.
- Kentucky displays a balanced offensive attack. With setter Christine Hartmann dishing 10.71 assists per game, UK is hitting .242 as a team and has five players with 100 or more kills. Junior right side hitter Whitney Billings paces Big Blue with 227 kills for a 2.99 kills per game average, while senior outside hitter Ashley Frazier follows with 221 spikes on the campaign.
- Craig Skinner is in his eighth season at the helm of the Wildcats and has led the squad to seven consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Skinner is 171-73 at UK, including 103-44 in SEC action.