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Kentucky Seeded Fourth, Hosting ETSU on Friday in NCAA Tournament


For the first time under head coach Craig Skinner, the Kentucky volleyball team is a top-four seed in the NCAA Tournament.
After capturing its first Southeastern Conference championship under 13th-year head coach Craig Skinner, the Wildcats run in the postseason will start in Lexington beginning on Friday. UK will host East Tennessee State University at 7:30 p.m. ET. Notre Dame and Western Kentucky round out the Lexington First and Second Rounds’ bracket and will play on Friday at 5 p.m. inside Memorial Coliseum. The winners of the two matches will meet on Saturday at 7 p.m.
“I’m just proud of the players and how hard they worked since January to give us the best chance to have success this year,” Skinner said. “Our team is very excited to get going against East Tennessee State and I know we’ll be prepared.”

Tickets for the first and second rounds of the can be found at UKathletics.com/NCAATickets. Tickets will go on sale Monday at 9 a.m. for all-session passes and Wednesday for single-session passes. Reserved tickets for adults start at $12 for the all-session, while general admission are $10. Each session will cost $8 for reserved seats and $7 for general admission. A full pricing guide can be found here.
Wildcat/K Fund sports passes, Junior Wildcat Club and UK Employee ID’s will not be valid for free admission.
Kentucky is making its program-record 13th-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. The Wildcats are one of just 10 teams in the nation who have advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last 13 seasons. UK last hosted the first and second rounds in Lexington in 2015. All told, Kentucky has hosted the NCAA Tournament 10 times in program history including the opening rounds five times under Skinner.
Should Kentucky be able to advance following the opening weekend, Kentucky will host the NCAA Regional rounds the following weekend. Claiming its program-record first top-four seed ensured the path to Kansas City, the site of the 2017 Final Four, will go through Lexington for the Cats.
Kentucky’s opening round opponent is East Tennessee State who earned the Southern Conference’s automatic bid after winning the league’s tournament behind a sweep of Wofford. The Buccaneers finished the regular season with a 19-11 overall record and a 12-4 mark in the league. Rylee Milhorn, the MVP of the SoCon tournament, leads the team with 3.56 kills per set. As a unit, ETSU averages 12.9 kills per set and a .223 attacking percentage. The Bucs limit their opponents to 12.0 kills per frame and a .171 hitting percentage.
Notre Dame earned an at-large bid and is making its first NCAA appearance since 2012. Notre Dame (22-9, 12-8 ACC) finished the regular season strong, winning six of its last seven matches to build momentum heading into postseason play. The Irish have a number of notable victories this season, including defeating then-No. 24 Ohio State, No. 23 Michigan State and No. 21 Florida State. The Irish average 12.33 kills per frame on a .190 attacking percentage. Jemma Yeadon leads the Irish with 3.91 kills per set.
Western Kentucky earned its league’s automatic bid after winning the Conference USA Tournament for the fourth-consecutive season. The Hilltoppers are 30-3 overall on the year and 13-1 against league foes. Their 30 wins include victories over Miami, Ohio State, ETSU and Dayton. The Toppers utilize an impressive .335 attacking percentage and 14.16 kills per frame. Alyssa Cavanaugh and Rachel Anderson average 4.00 and 3.59 kills per set, respectively. UK took on WKU in its lone exhibition of the season, winning every set in which the teams played.
Kentucky played nine teams who made the NCAA Tournament field, including three other SEC teams in Florida, LSU and Missouri.    






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