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Kentucky Continues SEC Play With Alabama and Auburn

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Britney Howard - UK Athletics Britney Howard - UK Athletics

The No. 10 Kentucky volleyball team (12-2, 3-0 SEC) returns to Memorial Coliseum this weekend when it plays host to Alabama (12-5, 1-3 SEC) on Friday and Auburn (11-3, 4-1 SEC) on Sunday. First serve against Alabama is set for 7 p.m. and can be watched live on SEC Network+ and the WatchESPN App, while the match with Auburn will start at 2 p.m. and will be shown on ESPNU with Tiffany Greene and Missy Whittemore on the call.

This weekend is the Wildcats’ annual alumni gathering. Former players from all eras of Kentucky volleyball will be honored, including the 1987 and 1988 Southeastern Conference Championship teams. Both squads were coached by Kathy DeBoer and did not lose an SEC match during either season. In 1987, UK went an impressive 31-2 before advancing to the Sweet 16.

On Friday, fans are able to pick up a UK pillowcase before the match begins. Post-match, the team will be signing autographs on the concourse. Tickets for Friday’s match against the Crimson Tide can be purchased here.

Match Day Information

Doors will open one hour prior to first serve. Fans are encouraged to arrive early and travel light for quicker entry.

Kentucky is excited to introduce ticket scanning at Memorial Coliseum this season. Season and single-game volleyball tickets will now be barcoded and scanned for validity at each entrance. By barcoding tickets, fans will soon have access to more ticket management features than ever before.

Bags entering Memorial Coliseum may not exceed 12" x 6" x 12". All bags are subject to visual inspection upon entry. An exception will be made for medically necessary items, after proper inspection. Please note, backpacks are not permitted inside Memorial Coliseum, regardless of size.

Complete match day information can be found at our game day site by clicking here.

Parking Information

All E-lots surrounding Memorial Coliseum including the North Craft, High Street, Rose Street, 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 two 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. We ask that all patrons access this pick-up/drop-off location by the sky bridge, accessible from level three of the parking structure. The shuttle pick-up/drop-off location at Memorial Coliseum is located at the front of the Coliseum on Avenue of Champions.

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.

Scouting the Opponent – Alabama

Alabama heads to Lexington 12-5 overall and 1-3 in league play. The Crimson Tide’s SEC win is a five-set victory over Arkansas. UA has four players - Christine Jarman, Hayley McSparin, Leah Lawrence and Ginger Perinar – who all average more than four kills per set.  Defensively, Quincey Gary averages 4.66 digs per set. Leah Lawrence leads the way in blocks per set at 1.19. Hayley McSparin also averages over a block per frame at 1.08.

Scouting the Opponent – Auburn

Auburn is 10-3 overall and 3-1 in the SEC with wins over Arkansas, Georgia and Ole Miss. Gwyn Jones leads the way with 2.96 kills per set and three other Tigers - Brenna McIlroy, Shania White and Anna Stevenson - all average more than two terminations. Alexa Filley dishes out 10.73 assists per frame. Jesse Earl leads the SEC in digs per stanza at 5.10.

SEC Co-Setter of the Week

For the third time this season, freshman Madison Lilley won an SEC weekly award when she was named SEC Co-Setter of the Week.

Lilley garnered the award after posting 35 assists in the sweep of Mississippi State. The freshman averaged 11.66 assists per set, just below her rate of 11.72 on the season, which is currently No. 7 in the nation. She helped UK hit .341 and record 43 kills in the sweep. Kentucky has now hit above .300 in its last four contests and in eight matches this season. The 43 terminations UK produced is the second highest mark for Kentucky in a sweep. The Wildcats had 49 against LSU last Sunday.

Top Freshman in the Nation

Madison Lilley is the top freshman in the nation in assists per set. At 11.72, Lilley is one of four freshman who average more than 11 per frame. Sydney Hilley of Wisconsin is No. 2 in the nation at 11.68.

Double Digit Digs In Her Return

Since her return from injury against Loyola Chicago, Ashley Dusek has recorded double-digit digs in every match where she has donned the libero jersey. She became the libero in the third set against Marquette, and recorded 17 digs. She has double-digits in six-straight matches, including 17 at MU and at Missouri.

Mack Leads the Way

Darian Mack tied her season high and recorded the match high with 10 kills in the three-set sweep of Mississippi State last Sunday. Mack committed just two errors on 19 swings and hit .421. UK recorded 43 terminations in the win, while hitting .341 as a squad.

Kentucky in the National and League Rankings

Freshman Madison Lilley is No. 7 in the nation in assists per set at 11.72. She leads the SEC while Rachel Rippee of Arkansas is second.

Leah Edmond is currently No. 31 in the nation in kills per set at 4.26 and second in the SEC, behind the national leader, Pilar Victoria of Arkansas.

Emily Franklin is No. 17 in that nation in hitting percentage at .414. She’s third in the SEC, behind Rachael Kramer of Florida and Shaina White of Auburn.

As a team, Kentucky is fourth in the nation in hitting percentage at .327. UK is the highest-rated SEC team in that category.  UK sits at No. 7 in kills per set at 14.68, also the best among the league.

Record Holder

Kaz Brown set the 25-point rally scoring era record for total blocks in the match against Loyola earlier in the season. She’ll head into the week with 482 total blocks, and also holds the block assists record with 430.

Chasing Records

Kaz Brown is climbing the 25-point rally scoring era record book in multiple categories. The Waterloo, Iowa, native is currently in second in solo blocks (52). The senior is also seventh in kills at 835 and ninth in attack attempts at 1,729.

Emily Franklin is currently ninth in block solos with 30, third in blocks assists at 302 and fourth in total blocks at 332. Franklin also has the sixth-highest attacking percentage in the rally scoring era at .320.

Darian Mack is moving up the 25-point rally scoring era record book in kills and points. Mack is ninth all-time with 718 kills and seventh in attacks with 1,909. In total points, she is in ninth with 816.5.

Ashley Dusek is currently third in the rally scoring era with 1,266 digs and ninth in assists at 206.

Career Leaders

Kaz Brown is currently third in the country among active players in career blocks. Her 482 total blocks trail only Faith Dooley of North Dakota and Rhamat Alhassan of Florida.

Follow along with the Cats on TwitterFacebook and Instagram, and on the web at UKathletics.com

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