LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 16 Kentucky volleyball team will look to extend its eight-match win streak when it hosts Ole Miss on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET inside Memorial Coliseum to close out week seven in the Southeastern Conference.
Sunday’s meeting with the Rebels will be broadcast live on the SEC Network with Sam Gore and Dain Blanton on the call.
UK leads the all-time series with Ole Miss 43-11 and is 18-4 under Craig Skinner, undefeated in the last 12 meetings since 2010. Three of the last four meetings have been sweeps.
Kentucky is one of two undefeated teams in conference play along with Florida, which is 7-0. UK has held its last seven opponents to hitting percentages of .199 or lower and has hit .340 or higher in five of the last seven matches.
The UK attack is stout as the Wildcats are ranked fifth in the country and at the top of the SEC in overall hitting percentage at .299 and first in the conference in kills per set with 13.90. Brooke Morgan is notched first in the SEC and seventh in the nation at a staunch .417 clip, while Leah Edmond leads the UK attack with 4.47 kills per set, good enough for fourth overall in the SEC and first among conference statistics at 4.89. Madison Lilley enters the match ranked second overall in assists per set at 10.78. Kendyl Paris leads the team in blocks per set with 0.93.
SCOUTING OLE MISS
The Rebels will enter Memorial Coliseum having lost five of their last six, most recently being swept at home by Missouri on Friday. Their one conference win came at home in a five-setter against LSU after being defeated by Florida, Georgia, Auburn, and Arkansas. Emily Stroup leads the SEC in kills at 4.56 per set while Nayo Warnell ranks ninth in the conference in hitting percentage at .319.
All E-lots surrounding Memorial Coliseum including the North Craft lot, Rose Street, High Street Lot and Linden Walk employee lots are available for event parking beginning three hours prior to first serve.
Additionally, the South Limestone Garage (PS#5) and the Rose Street Garage (PS#2) are available 2 hours prior to first serve. A shuttle is available free of charge from the South Limestone Garage (Parking Structure #5). The pick-up/drop-off point at the South Limestone Garage is located on Administration Drive. Shuttle services begin 2 hours pre-match and will continue 20 minutes after the first serve and will resume post-match for 1 hour.
Disabled parking is available in the North Craft lot. Spaces are limited and provided on a first come, first served basis with a valid, state-issued disabled parking hangtag.
UK GETS 900TH PROGRAM VICTORY
The Wildcats picked up their 900th win in program history after defeating the Tennessee Volunteers in Memorial Colisuem, 3-1. Four Wildcats recorded double-digit kills in the win: Leah Edmond (17), Caitlyn Cooper (13), Alli Stumler (13) and Brooke Morgan (10). Cooper’s career-high .684 hitting clip became the new team-best percentage. Madison Lilley posted a career-high, team-best four aces in the win and was just one dig shy of a double-double. Gabby curry led the defensive effort with a match-high 17 digs.
UK IN THE RPI
UK has faced a tough slate already this season and has been rewarded with a No. 13 RPI. The Wildcats have already faced two schools with top-10 RPIs – both on the road – in No. 5 Texas and No. 6 Southern California and a trio of others in the top 30 in 16th-ranked Northern Iowa, No. 22 Creighton, and No. 30 Missouri. Three SEC schools UK has left to face also hold a spot in the top 30: No. 20 Florida, No. 23 South Carolina, and No. 29 Alabama.
FASTEST TO 1,000
Leah Edmond became the quickest Wildcat in team history to reach 1,000 kills. She did so in the first match of the season – the loss to No. 13 Creighton. Edmond has now surpassed Lauren O’Conner (2011-14) for second all-time in kills during the 25-point rally scoring era. The junior needs 145 more kills to pass Whitney Billings for first on the list.
WILDCATS SWEEP MISSISSIPPI STATE
UK improved to 4-0 in the conference and got its seventh win in a row after sweeping Mississippi State on the road in its only test of the week. UK posted its best hitting clip of the season (.537), which ranks first in the SEC, and held the Bulldogs to the lowest percentage of any opponent this season (.068). Brooke Morgan led the UK attack by going a perfect 9 for 9, swinging 1.000 for the match. She also added three blocks, two digs and an ace. Sophomore setter Madison Lilley posted a season-best three aces for the second time in UK’s second-best performance from behind the service line to date. Freshman Alli Stumler added eight kills – six in the first set – on 12 total swings to go along with five digs, two assists and a block.
EDMOND, LILLEY PICK UP SEC HONORS
For the third time this season, two Kentucky volleyball players claimed Southeastern Conference weekly awards in the same week after junior outside hitter Leah Edmond was named SEC Player of the Week and sophomore setter Madison Lilley earned setter of the week for their performances in UK’s wins against Arkansas and Missouri.
Edmond hauled in her seventh-career conference player of the week honor and 15th career SEC weekly honor after totaling 41 kills (5.86 per set) on 88 swings for a .330 hitting percentage during UK’s 2-0 home weekend. The junior’s 26 terminations against Missouri matched her career-high total, ranked third in the SEC this season and was the most kills of any individual in the conference in a single match for week five. Edmond’s offensive effort against the Tigers resulted in the most kills in a four-set match in the league and pushed her past Lauren O’Conner for second place on the UK all-time kill list. It marked the fourth time she’s posted 20 or more kills in a match this season. Edmond has now posted at least 15 kills in 11 of the 13 matches this season and has tallied double-digit kill totals in each of her last 32 matches.
Lilley received her 10th SEC weekly honor of her career and third of the season after she totaled 83 assists (11.80 per set), 20 digs (2.86 per set), and five blocks. The sophomore put up her fifth double-double of the season and third in the last four matches after accumulating 45 assists and a career-high 16 digs against Missouri. It was the eighth time this season she’s notched 40+ assists. Her 45 assists on Sunday became the most in a four-set match in the conference while her 38 assists in the win over Arkansas was the second most in a three-set match. Lilley also added two aces to contribute to UK’s record-breaking performance of 11 aces in the win over the Tigers. She ranks second in the conference overall in assists per set with 10.76 and first in conference matches with 11.27.
CATS DOWN ARKANSAS, MISSOURI
The Wildcats picked up wins over Arkansas and Missouri during their SEC home-opening weekend. Brooke Morgan led the Wildcats to a sweep over Arkansas, matching her career-high in kills with 15 and setting a new personal best in hitting percentage (.583) against Arkansas to go along with four digs and two blocks. Leah Edmond added 10 kills, while Caitlyn Cooper added nine on a .500 attacking clip. Madison Lilley dished out 38 assists and added four digs and two blocks while Gabby Curry led the defensive effort from the back row with 13 digs.
UK’s serving and defense led it to a four-set win over Missouri. The Wildcats racked up 11 aces, the most ever for a four-set match in the 25-point rally-scoring era, and had a season-high 15 blocks to prove the difference in a well-played match by both teams. Kendyl Paris, Lauren Tharp and Cooper broke out for career performances defensively. Paris had a career-best 10 blocks, while Tharp had a career-high nine digs. Cooper picked up a career-best six blocks and added eight kills to the offensive effort. Paris is the eighth different Wildcat to register 10 or more blocks in program history during the rally-scoring era.
Sophomore setter Madison Lilley and classmate libero Gabby Curry also contributed to the stellar defensive effort. Lilley had her fifth double-double of the season – third in the last four matches – with 45 assists and a career-high 16 digs. Curry contributed 13 digs, five assists and a pair of aces.
Every Wildcat who plays in the front row boasted at least three blocks in the match.
Junior outside hitter Leah Edmond once again led the way offensively with a career-high tying 26 kills. It matched her own four-set 25-point rally scoring era record for kills in a match. She’s posted 20 or more kills 19 times in her career, more than any other player in the rally-scoring era in UK annals. Alli Stumler added 12 kills and 10 digs for her third double-double of the year and second in three matches. Senior Brooke Morgan contributed seven kills, a career-high and team-best three aces to go along with a trio of blocks. Classmate McKenzie Watson added three digs, one assist and an ace to aid the winning effort.
LILLEY, STUMLER WIN SEC AWARDS
For the second time this season, two different Kentucky volleyball players claimed Southeastern Conference weekly awards in the same week after sophomore setter Madison Lilley earned co-setter of the week honors and outside hitter Alli Stumler earned freshman of the week honors for their performances in UK’s 3-1 conference-opening win at Tennessee.
Lilley pulled in her ninth-career SEC weekly honor and second of the season after she put up her fourth double-double of 2018 – her second in as many matches – with 41 assists and 10 digs. It marked her seventh match this season with at least 40 assists and the fourth time she’s posted 10 or more digs. The sophomore also added a block and an ace.
This is Stumler’s first conference honor of her career. The Floyds Knobs, Indiana, native registered her second career double-double and her sixth match with at least 10 kills when she posted 10 kills and 14 digs in the win over the Vols. Her 14 digs were her career-high total and the fourth time this season she has finished a match with double-digit dig numbers. The freshman also notched a career-high three aces to contribute to UK’s second-best serving effort of six total aces. She also added three blocks, which is the second most she’s posted this season.