LEXINGTON, Ky. – No. 16 Kentucky is set to open Southeastern Conference play versus No. 14 Arkansas on Friday at 6 p.m. ET, live on the SEC Network. The Wildcats’ 2019 home opener will also serve as the program’s annual Excite Night meet at Rupp Arena, highlighted by a special guest appearance from DeVore Ledridge of Disney Channel’s Bizaardvark.
“Excite Night is always a special event for the team,” said head coach Tim Garrison. “After being on the road for two weeks, the team is ready to compete in front of our amazing fans.”
Kentucky began the season with a 195.975-192.600 triumph at Texas Woman’s, led by four event wins from decorated senior Alex Hyland. The Cats followed that performance with a quad meet at Illinois last Sunday, falling short of the lofty expectations that accompanied a unit ranked seventh in the nation when the week started. Kentucky posted a third-place finish via its lowest point total since 2017, though two-time All-American junior Mollie Korth claimed an individual victory on vault (9.850) and was named the competition’s all-around champion (39.075).
“This being only our third meet, we are still experimenting with lineups,” Garrison said. “Our loyal fan base will want to pay close attention as many of their favorites compete, but they should also be on the lookout for newcomers.”
Freshmen Josie Angeny and Cally Nixon participated in both of the Wildcats’ first two outings, posting a 9.725 or better each time their respective names were called. Junior Alaina Kwan set a new career-high with a 9.775 mark on bars last Sunday at Illinois.
Arkansas enters Friday with a 1-1 record after dropping its season opener to No. 2 Oklahoma and picking up a victory with a 195.800 showing at No. 18 Arizona last Saturday. Kentucky defeated the Razorbacks 196.950-196.525 in Fayetteville, Ark. last season.
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