LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the second consecutive week, a Kentucky volleyball player has been named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week after sophomore setter Madison Lilley received the conference’s top weekly award in addition to her setter of the week honor. Classmate Gabby Curry was also named defensive player of the week after being the league’s player of the week last week.
Lilley, who was named co-setter of the week last week, hauled in her seventh SEC weekly award of the season and second player of the week honor in 2018 for her performances in sweeps of Mississippi State and Alabama. The sophomore averaged more than 13 assists per set (13.17) for the week with 79 in total and guided the Wildcats to a .335 hitting clip over both matches, including rally-scoring era program records for kills (62) and hitting percentage (.350) against Alabama. The Overland Park, Kansas, native also posted 2.67 digs per set and 1.5 kills per set for the week. In UK’s sweep of Alabama, Lilley grabbed her eighth double-double of the season and matched her own top mark in the conference for assists in a three-set match with 45 for the third time this season. It was the 13th time she’s reached at least 40 assists in a match in 2018 and the second in the last three matches. She now ranks first overall in the conference in assists at 11.11.
While UK’s offense was hot all week, it was Curry stepping up again as the defensive player of the week. The sophomore followed her stellar week with another outstanding week of play, averaging seven digs per set and posting only one reception error in 30 attempts. Curry led both matches in digs and came up with 22 in the sweep of Mississippi State, which is just one shy of her career best and ranks fourth among three-set matches in the SEC this season. Her 20 digs against the Crimson Tide fueled UK to its second-highest dig total (61) in a three-set match in the rally-scoring era, just one from the program record.
Kentucky will now hit the road for a three-match road swing commencing on Wednesday night against the Arkansas Razorbacks. The match in Fayetteville, Arkansas will have a first serve of 6 p.m. ET and will be shown live on ESPNU and stream online through the ESPN app and AppleTV.