UK Selected for Seventh Straight NCAA Tourney
Wildcats travel to College Station, Texas, for opening rounds
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.
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
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.
Wildcats will need to navigate the College Station Region to return to
the friendly confines of Memorial Coliseum for the Regionals Dec. 9-10.
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.
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.