No. 20 Kentucky to Battle No. 22 Arkansas for Top Spot in SEC

No. 20 Kentucky to Battle No. 22 Arkansas for Top Spot in SEC

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Coming off of seven-straight victories, the No. 20 Kentucky Wildcats will host the No. 22 Arkansas Razorbacks on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. in Memorial Coliseum. While it’s still early in the conference season, the match could have major implications as both teams are vying for the top spot in the league and are both undefeated so far in Southeastern Conference play. 

Tomorrow’s bout is one of nine nationally broadcast regular season matches and will air on the SEC Network, with Tiffany Greene and Missy Whittemoore on the call.

The Wildcats extended their winning streak to seven straight including a perfect 4-0 record in SEC play, blanking Mississippi State 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-20) on Friday, Oct. 2, before defeating Alabama in four on Oct. 4, 3-1 (25-19, 27-25, 24-26, 25-20).

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#20 Kentucky vs. #22 Arkansas
Wed., Oct. 7 – 8 p.m.
Memorial Coliseum
Lexington, Ky.
Match Notes: UK
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TV: SEC Network
Radio: UKAthletics.com
Live Video via Watch ESPN
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Live Updates @KentuckyVB on Twitter

Senior setter Morgan Bergren led the Kentucky offense to a pair of sets in which the Cats utilized a hitting clip of .394 or better in the win over Mississippi State. The sophomore duo of Kaz Brown and Darian Mack benefited from Bergren’s distribution, as Brown notched 12 kills on a blazing .429 hitting clip with Mack contributing 11 kills on .333 hitting.
In the win over Alabama, the Wildcats had to fend off a late charge by the visiting Tide who rallied to take set three and prolong the match. Kentucky benefited from 13 total blocks on the night – nine of which Brown was involved. Junior Anni Thomasson registered her fourth double-double of the season to aid the Wildcat cause with 13 digs and 11 kills.
Arkansas comes into Wednesday’s match unscathed in league play at 3-0 in the conference. Most recently, the Razorbacks upset then-No. 9 Florida in five sets, 3-2. Arkansas is led by former SEC Players of the Week Pilar Victoria and Okiana Valle. Victoria ranks second in the conference in kills per set averaging 4.47 a frame, while Valle anchors the defense averaging 3.27 digs a set.
The matchup marks UK’s fifth top-25 showdown this season, with Kentucky 2-2 in such matchups so far.
For more information on the midweek match, check out the information below:

WINsday Promotions:

Wednesday’s match provides some extra ways in which Cats fans can win big! All students in attendance will receive free pizza.

DOUBLE POINTS NIGHT For Your Chance to Win a FREE Moped:

Upon arrival, fans should head to the marketing gazebo upon entry to Memorial Coliseum and fill out a form for a chance to win a free moped. Anyone can enter to win the moped and additional prizes throughout the match. Fans must register the barcode located on the back of the key tags given away at the marketing gazebo. In order to be placed in the drawing, fans must attend at least seven matches. For each additional match attended, that fan will earn one extra entry into the drawing. Attendance at the UK vs. Arkansas’ match will result in double points. The match with Arkansas also marks the last chance to sign up to enter the moped giveaway. The moped winner will be selected at the Auburn match on Nov. 27. 

Gameday Parking:

We are pleased to offer new parking opportunities this season. In addition to the E lots around the Craft Center and Coal Lodge, fans have the option of parking in the Linden Walk E lots which are across Rose Street from the Singletary Center for the Arts, the E/CS-7 lots near the College of Education off of S. Upper Street, and the Rose Street Garage (PS-2) located on Rose Street, south of the Coliseum with an entrance on Hilltop Avenue near W.T. Young Library. These lots are available for all matches starting three hours before first serve. Fans are reminded to never park in lots or spaces designated R for residential and that the Student Center lot is no longer an option due to construction. Parking is limited and fans are encouraged to arrive early


Bergren Moves to Sixth All-Time in Assists:

In the Oct. 2 win over Mississippi State, Bergren guided the Cats to .306 hitting with 32 assists. With the 32 assists, Bergren climbed to sixth all-time on Kentucky’s career assists leaderboard, passing Irene Smyth (1993-1996), who recorded 3,195 in her time with the Wildcats. Bergren has 3,256 assists to date and looks to continue to climb the leaderboard, with Christine Hartmann’s 3,497 the next milestone to reach at fifth all time.

Win over Alabama Marks Program’s 400th in Memorial:

The Kentucky program hit another milestone on Oct. 4, when the Wildcats logged their 400th program win inside the confines of Memorial Coliseum. The Wildcats have thrived historically inside Memorial, with a 400-153 record in 39 seasons, with Skinner recording a 138-32 mark during his time in the Cats’ home venue. 

Wildcats Excel on the National Stage:

The Wildcats have found a way to win this season while playing on a bigger stage, as the team is undefeated so far while on nationally televised outings. The match with Arkansas will mark the fourth time Kentucky will be on a national broadcast, with 3-0 wins over South Carolina and Mississippi State and the 3-1 upset of then-No. 5 Florida all being shown nationwide. UK is slated for nine regular-season national television broadcasts, each airing on the SEC Network. 

Brown in National Top 25

Following another solid week of play, Brown finds herself among the national leaders in blocks per set. The Waterloo, Iowa, native is averaging 1.45 blocks per set, ranking No. 16 in the nation. Brown also ranks in the top 25 in total blocks, coming in at No. 13 with 84 during the 2015 campaign. Brown ranks second the SEC in total blocks and third in the conference in blocks per set, with Florida’s Rhamat Alhassan leading the conference, and nation, in both categories. 

Dusek’s Digs Lead Conference

Sophomore libero Ashley Dusek leads the Southeastern Conference with a staggering 4.81 digs per set. Dusek ranks 43rd in the nation in digs per set, with her 279 total digs just outside the top 75 in the country.

Kentucky’s Memorial Coliseum will play host to the NCAA Regionals Dec. 11-12. UK is one of four sites selected for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight matchups with one team advancing to the Final Four in Omaha, Neb., from the Lexington Region. This marks the third time in five seasons Memorial Coliseum will host this premier volleyball event.
For the latest on the Kentucky volleyball team, follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and on the web at UKathletics.com

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