LEXINGTON, Ky. — The No. 16 Kentucky volleyball team will make its national television debut for the 2019 season this week, as the Wildcats will play host to No. 21 Purdue and No. 25 Louisville inside historic Memorial Coliseum in the final two non-conference matches of the season.
Wednesday night’s match vs. No. 21 Purdue will be shown live on ESPNU and the ESPN app beginning at 7 p.m. ET. Friday’s “Battle of the Bluegrass” with No. 25 Louisville will be showcased live on the SEC Network and ESPN app beginning at 8 p.m. ET. Tickets are available for both matches through the UK Ticket Office in Lexington or online at UKathletics.com/tickets.
Kentucky is coming off of a 2-1 weekend for the third-straight weekend and sits 6-3 overall after hosting the annual Bluegrass Battle. Both graduate transfer Leah Meyer and junior middle blocker Kendyl Paris were named to the All-Tournament Team, which marked the second appearance on the All-Tournament Team in successive weekends for Meyer.
The Wildcats will be playing their fourth and fifth ranked opponents of the season, having won two of their first three match-ups with top-25 teams. UK has already claimed wins over No. 23 Cal Poly on opening weekend and No. 15 Southern California in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The only setback against a ranked team for UK this season is to current No. 15 Creighton.
Dawn Davenport and former Mississippi State head coach Jenny Hazelwood will have the call for both matches from Lexington. ESPN’s Mike Leonard produces.
Purdue is currently 4-1 on the season, led by 17th-year head coach Dave Shondell. The Boilermakers are led on offense by Caitlyn Newton who is averaging 4.40 kills per set and defensively is paced by Jena Otec, averaging 4.30 digs per set so far this season. Purdue has wins over Ohio, Ball State, Louisville and Lipscomb this season with its only loss coming on the road at Purdue.
Led by Dani Busboom Kelly, the Cardinals are 6-2 on the season in Busboom Kelly’s third year at the helm of the UofL bench. Led offensively by Melanie McHenry at 3.28 kills per set, Louisville has already picked up wins over Texas A&M, Xavier and Western Kentucky this season.