Join us on Twitter today as we tweet live from Memorial Coliseum the UK Volleyball Match vs. South Carolina
From the UK Media Relations Team...
Scouting the Opponent – South Carolina
South Carolina comes into the match off a 3-1 win over Tennessee on Friday. SC's other league wins are over Auburn, Mississippi State and UT earlier in the season. The Gamecocks are seventh in the conference in hitting percentage at .224 and seventh in blocks per set at 2.30. Aubrey Ezell is 11th in the nation and second in the conference in aces per set at 0.48, while she also leads the team in digs with 4.49. Mikayla Shields is sixth in the SEC and the team leader in kills per set at 3.52.
When Kentucky hosted Florida on Wednesday, the Big Blue Nation showed up in a big way with 5,236 fans in attendance for the top-ranked matchup. The crowd was the third largest in Memorial Coliseum history, and the largest at Memorial in the Craig Skinner era. The Wildcats have had three other matches in front of 5,000 or more people. Kentucky lost the match, 3-0.
Kentucky found themselves down 2-0 in Baton Rouge on Oct. 27. On the backs of five players - Leah Edmond (14), Kaz Brown (10) Emily Franklin (10), Darian Mack (10) and Avery Skinner (10) - who had double-digit kills, the Cats clawed back to win in five sets. Harper Hempel, making her first appearance in the match, served the match winning ace in the fifth set.
In Front of the Hometown Crowd
Two Texan Wildcats had a homecoming in the three set sweep of Texas A&M on Sunday. Inside Reed Arena, Katy, Texas native Avery Skinner had a team-high 12 kills in the win on 25 swings, and also recorded one block. With what seemed like the entire city of East Bernard, Texas in attendance, senior Ashley Dusek posted a match high 11 digs and also had one ace.
14 Straight Wins
UK won 14 straight from Sept. 9 to Nov. 3 Emily Franklin was on fire, hitting .495 while averaging 2.29 kills per set and 1.22 blocks per frame in the streak. Leah Edmond led the team with 4.20 terminations per set and has been stellar defensively as well, with 2.02 digs per frame. Kentucky as a team has held its opponents to a .182 attacking percentage in that time and just 11.3 kills per set. The winning streak was Craig Skinner's longest as a coach. UK had a 13 match winning streak last season.
Senior Emily Franklin leads the team in attacking percentage at .423, and has been incredibly efficient this season. She has hit .500 or above 10 times, and had an 11-match streak where she hit over .400 from Sept. 9 to Oct. 15.
Kentucky in the National and SEC Rankings
Freshman Madison Lilley is No. 7 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. 20 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. 11 in that nation in hitting percentage at .423. She's second in the league behind Rachael Kramer of Florida.
As a team, Kentucky is fifth in the nation in hitting percentage at .314. UK is the highest-rated SEC team in that category. UK sits at No. 6 in kills per set at 14.73, also the best among the league.
Kaz Brown is climbing the 25-point rally scoring era record book in multiple categories. The Waterloo, Iowa, native is currently in first in solo blocks (56), block assists (464) and total blocks (520). The senior is also seventh in kills at 907 and ninth in attack attempts at 1,884.
Emily Franklin is currently ninth in block solos with 31, third in blocks assists at 328 and third in total blocks at 359. Franklin also has the fifth-highest attacking percentage in the rally scoring era at .332.
Darian Mack is moving up the 25-point rally scoring era record book in kills and points. Mack is 10th all-time with 773 kills and seventh in attacks with 2,040. In total points, she is in 10th with 879.0.
Ashley Dusek is currently third in the rally scoring era with 1,373 digs and ninth in assists at 223.
Leah Edmond is ninth all-time in kills at 790.
Highest Ranking In the Craig Skinner Era
The Wildcats are ranked after week 10, staying at No. 6 in the nation. Kentucky 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 109 weeks, and currently has appeared in the poll for 19-consecutive weeks.