Edmond, Curry Make U.S. Training Team for 2017 FIVB Volleyball Women’s U20 World Championship

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The University of Kentucky volleyball program will be represented in the 16-player U.S. Women’s Junior National Training Team by newcomer Gabby Curry and Leah Edmond for which the final 12-player roster will be selected for the 2017 FIVB Volleyball Women’s U20 World Championship.

The WJNTT will train July 2-12 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The 12-player team will be announced at a later time.

“Both Leah and Gabby had a great tryout and they both earned their way onto this training team,” head coach Craig Skinner said. “It’s a great opportunity for them and we’re excited for their chance to train at the Olympic Training Center.”

Top 2018 kicker commits to UK

By LARRY VAUGHT

One of the nation’s top kickers in the 2018 recruiting class — Chance Poore of Anderson, S.C. — gave his verbal commitment to Kentucky Monday.

The 6-3, 200-pound Poore not only is a superb kicker, but he’s also an exceptional punter. One high school coach who has seen him said, “He’s a great kicker and could kick for any college in the nation. His kickoffs now are as good as some NFL guys and he can really launch both kickoffs and punts.

Kentucky special teams coordinator Dean Hood was Poore’s primary recruiter.

UK Unveils 2017-18 Challenging Nonconference Schedule

John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – If one of the goals of a schedule is to prepare a team for postseason play – a high priority on John Calipari’s check list when his staff pieces the slate together each year – the 2017-18 Kentucky men’s basketball schedule, which was unveiled Tuesday, checks off that key box.

Twelve of UK’s 13 nonconference opponents in the upcoming season made a postseason tournament in 2017, including eight of which made the NCAA Tournament. Three of those advanced to the Sweet 16 or better.

UK Baseball vs NC State Photo Gallery

Photos by Vicky Graff

What UK players said about Monday’s win

Sean Hjelle (Vicky Graff Photo)

Here’s what three of Kentucky’s players had to say after Monday’s regional title win that sends UK to the Super Regional for the first time:

Mingione: Atmosphere was ‘incredible’

UK Athletics Photo

Here’s some of what Kentucky coach Nick Mingione had to say after Monday’s win:

Kentucky advances to Super Regional for first time, plays at Louisville Friday

Kentucky players celebrate going to Super Regional. (UK Athletics Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky Baseball team had waited 121 years for this moment, so a couple extra hours didn’t seem to matter all that much.

The top-seeded Wildcats roared from behind to defeat NC State, 10-5, and advance to the first Super Regional in program history. The victory was extra sweet, as the Cats won three consecutive elimination games, including back-to-back nights over the third-seeded Wolfpack.

PJ Washington day to day about Team USA

PJ Washington (Larry Vaught Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

USA Basketball hopes to still release the list of players invited to the under 19 tryouts in the next few days to determine the USA team that will go to Egypt.

Kentucky’s John Calipari is scheduled to coach the team, which will be chosen at tryouts in Colorado later this month.

However, terrorist attacks, including on in Egypt, have made some question the safety of players and coaches if team USA makes the trip. USA Basketball sources have said they continue to monitor the situation overseas.

What UK players had to say after win over NC State

Vicky Graff Photo

#2, Riley Mahan, INF
On if the day UK had was a long time coming …
“Yeah, I mean, I think if you look at today as a whole, if it doesn’t define Kentucky baseball to you then you need to take another look at our team. Today was awesome for many reasons and we had a lot guys do a lot of great things. Our offense all year has been relentless. I’m just so proud of the way they battled and you know they put really good at bats together and we grinded pitchers out. We did what we always do and we came out with two Ws today.”

UK Football: Time To Break The Streak

By KEITH PEEL, Contributing Writer

Forty years. That’s a long time.  The average life expectancy today for Americans is about 80 years. Forty years is half a lifetime of watching UK Football not achieve a winning record in the Southeastern Conference. It is the longest streak in the nation. Even other schools that have been perennially weak at football like Duke and Indiana have had winning conference records in the last few years. 

Unfortunately not Kentucky. The best they could do is to play break even football as recently as last season. UK finished 4-4 and tied for second in the Eastern Division of the conference. A couple of plays away from having a winning record in the conference, breaking the streak and maybe even finishing in first place in the East. 
One would think that with a daunting streak like that it would be difficult to get fans to the stadium. That is what makes the Big Blue Nation so unique. The fans continue to come and support the team – year after year – even when the results aren’t that exciting. 
Most outsiders believe that UK is a basketball school. Rupp Arena holds 23,000 plus and it is generally filled for every game. The team averages winning 90% of their games played there. It would be natural to think that fans would show up to watch a winner. 
But what about UK Football. They average winning 47% of their games over the history of the program. Not a very impressive record and yet fan attendance for home games historically ranks in the top 30 teams in the country – year in and year out. 
Why do they do it? Why do fans continue to lay out large sums of money – season tickets are $310 each not including the required K Fund donation- knowing that the likelihood of UK winning is below 50%. 
Here’s what Tom Leach, the Voice of The Kentucky Wildcats, said about what he thinks is most telling about UK Football fans, ” The passion of the Kentucky fans. They want it so badly for this program and when there’s been just the least bit of promise of a brighter day in the future, they have jumped in to help push the Cats forward with full force.”
 
The passion of the fans is what makes UK Football great. From the top of the heap in 1977 when UK finished 10-1, No. 6 in the AP Poll and tied for the SEC Championship with Alabama (technically UK was ineligible for the championship that year due to NCAA sanctions) to some of the dismal years like the 1994 season when UK finished 1-10 under Bill Curry, the fans of the Big Blue Nation stay true to form. 
 
Former All-American punter Glenn Pakulak said about UK Fans ” I have lived all over the world. City to city playing in the NFL, NFL Europe, etc. and Lexington is right at the very top of this list, if not #1.  I will cherish the people and fans of Lexington and Kentucky the rest of my life. The kindest people that my family and I have ever met.  I’d like to eventually have a place in Lexington to spend parts of the year living there. Fans on gameday are so very loyal and caring about their Wildcats, it’s like nothing I have ever experienced and never will again. Week in and week out  they were there yelling and cheering us on, whether we were 2-9 or 9-2.   I’ll hold Commonwealth Stadium and Lexington very close to my heart for as long as I live.”
 
It seems that UK fans have a love affair with football that stays true no matter the situation or circumstances. So in this upcoming  season – no matter how the players perform – the Big Blue Nation will be out in force filling the stadium to watch and cheer for the Cats. And just maybe 2017 will be the year to break the streak. Forty years is a long time.