LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 14 Kentucky volleyball team enters the weekend atop the Southeastern Conference standings at an undefeated 8-0 and ready for a road test at Georgia on Friday at 7 p.m. ET before coming back to Memorial Coliseum for 1:30 p.m. showdown on Sunday with South Carolina in UK’s annual “Pink Match,” raising awareness for breast cancer during the month of October.
Both matches will be streamed via SEC Network+.
UK is riding an 11-match win streak into the weekend and is coming off a sweep at LSU prior to a five-set comeback at Texas A&M. The Wildcats have swept three of their last five opponents and have held their last ten opposing hitting percentages to .199 or lower. Five of the last seven matches have seen Kentucky hit .300 or higher, which is in large part why the Wildcats boast a .296 hitting clip for the top mark in the conference and fifth in the country. UK also ranks first in kills per set at 13.97 and assists per set at 12.81.
Brooke Morgan leads the SEC in hitting percentage at .437, which is good enough to claim second in the country. The senior has hit .412 or higher in each of the last four matches. Leah Edmond leads the UK attack with 4.46 kills per set on the season, currently third overall in the SEC and 17th in the nation. Madison Lilley is coming off back-to-back double-doubles and is the reigning two-time SEC Setter of the Week. The sophomore heads into Athens, Georgia, guiding the UK offense and ranked second overall in the conference in assists per set at 10.88. Libero Gabby Curry heads up the defense with 4.07 digs per set at sixth in the conference.
Georgia enters the match having lost six of its last seven, most recently coming up short last week in four sets against South Carolina and five sets against Texas A&M. T’ara Ceasar and Rachel Ritchie lead the Bulldog attack as both rank inside the top-10 individuals in the conference in kills per set at 4.26 and 3.52, respectively. Setter Meghan Donovan guides the offense with a conference-leading 11.19 assists per frame. Libero Kendall Glover heads up the defense with 4.16 digs per set, good enough for fifth in the SEC.
UK leads the all-time series with Georgia, 43-25, and is 22-1 under Craig Skinner against the Bulldogs.
SCOUTING SOUTH CAROLINA
USC will head into the weekend ranked fourth in the conference in hitting percentage at .246 and first in service aces with 1.71 per set. The Gamecocks were swept by Tennessee in Knoxville on Wednesday night for their third loss in the last four matches. Courtney Koehler comes in at fourth in the SEC with 9.81 assists per set, while Aubree Ezell leads the conference in aces per set at 0.74. The Gamecocks post an average of 12.74 kills per frame.
UK leads the all-time series with South Carolina, 35-18, and is 20-2 under Skinner.
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.
PROMOTIONS AND GIVEAWAYS
Sunday’s match against the Gamecocks has been designated as the annual “Pink Match” for UK Volleyball, raising awareness for breast cancer during the month of October.
Sunday is also Junior Wildcat Day with all Junior Wildcat Club members being able to admit themselves and one guest to the match. Rally towels will be passed out to fans at the gate upon entry.
MADISON LILLEY NAMED SEC SETTER OF THE WEEK
For the second consecutive week, sophomore setter Madison Lilley was named the Southeastern Conference Setter of the Week for her performances on the road in a sweep of LSU and five-set comeback against Texas A&M. It’s the 14th setter of the week honor of her career.
Lilley picked up back-to-back double-doubles in week eight, reaching seven total for the season. The setter posted career-high digs in both matches with 16 against LSU and bettered the number with 19 against Texas A&M, which led to a 4.38 average per set for the week. Lilley accumulated 51 assists against the Aggies – her fifth match with 50 or more assists – and five blocks, which is just one from her career high. She posted 30 assists, two blocks and an ace in the win over LSU.
Guided by Lilley, UK had four players average 2.00 kills per set or better. The Overland Park, Kansas, native currently ranks second in the SEC overall in assists per set and first among conference matches at 11.24.
UK DEFEATS LSU, TEXAS A&M TO CLAIM FIRST IN SEC STANDINGS
The Wildcats won both matches during their week-eight road swing, sweeping LSU and coming back in five sets against Texas A&M. Madison Lilley posted back-to-back double-doubles, including matching her career-high dig total at LSU then setting a new personal best of 19 against Texas A&M.