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UK Selected for Seventh Straight NCAA Tourney

Wildcats travel to College Station, Texas, for opening rounds


LEXINGTON, Ky. – Following its fourth 20-win season in the last seven seasons, a top-20 national ranking for six straight weeks and a runner-up finish in the Southeastern Conference the Kentucky volleyball team was selected for a school-record seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance it was announced Sunday evening. UK will travel to the College Station, Texas, Regional for the opening rounds and will face Dayton to begin the tournament at 5:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, Dec. 1.


“We’re really excited to be in the tournament,” UK coach Craig Skinner said. “I think it’s a wide open tournament this year and there are a lot of really good teams. I thought we’d be in, and I’m happy about the year to this point. It’s a new season, and I’m looking forward to getting started down at A&M.”
The host Aggies drew the No. 16 overall seed, and the fourth team in the region is the Atlantic Sun Champion in Lipscomb. Kentucky has never faced any of the squads during NCAA competition and it will mark the first post-season appearance in College Station in school history.
UK is now one of just 16 teams to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament in seven consecutive seasons, and joins Florida as the lone SEC teams to achieve the feat. The SEC received three bids into the tournament with Tennessee joining the Wildcats and Gators.
Kentucky has a balanced offensive attack with six players registering between 2.20 and 3.13 kills per set. Skinner’s Wildcats are ranked among the SEC’s leaders in every offensive category including kills, assists and hitting percentage. Junior setter Christine Hartmann is the driver of the offensive unit, passing out 11.10 assists per stanza while also laying down 1.10 kills per set.
UK’s defensive unit ranks as the leaders in the conference. UK charts more than 2.50 blocks per set, led by 1.08 from senior Becky Pavan. Kentucky also boasts the league’s top libero with junior Stephanie Klefot averaging nearly 4.75 digs per set.
The Wildcats will need to navigate the College Station Region to return to the friendly confines of Memorial Coliseum for the Regionals Dec. 9-10.
Dayton owns a 25-6 overall record and is making its third consecutive appearance into the NCAA Tournament and will be UK’s first-round matchup. The Flyers have advanced to the second round in consecutive seasons. Dayton is led by 4.53 kills per set from Rachel Krabacher and 1.43 blocks per set from Megan Campbell.
Texas A&M earned the tournament’s No. 16 overall seed and the right to host the opening rounds of action in College Station. The Aggies own a 22-7 overall record and a 10-2 clip at home. Texas A&M have a high octane offensive unit that turns in 14.01 kills per set led by 3.27 from the hand of Kelsey Black.
Lipscomb earned the Atlantic Sun’s automatic berth into the tournament after capturing the conference’s tournament title. The Lady Bisons have advanced to the NCAA Tournament in three consecutive seasons and four of the last five years. Lipscomb owns a 20-10 overall record for the season and are paced by a trio of players who register 3.10 kills per set or higher led by Kaycee Green’s 3.52.



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