From UK Athletics
First serve on Friday against LSU is set for 8 p.m.
BATON ROUGE, La. – The No. 6 Kentucky (17-2, 8-0 SEC) volleyball team continues Southeastern Conference play as the Wildcats travel to LSU (16-4, 7-2 SEC) and Texas A&M (6-10, 3-6 SEC). UK will face the Tigers on Friday at 8 p.m. and the Aggies at 2:30 p.m.
UK is currently riding a 12-match winning streak and is coming off a sweep of Tennessee. LSU is on a five-match winning streak and is third in the SEC while TAMU is No. 41 in the latest RPI.
Scouting the Opponent – LSU
LSU is currently third in the SEC and on a five-match winning streak. Jacqui Armer is the team leader fourth in the conference in blocks per set at 1.33. Anna Zwiebel is sixth in the league in assists per set at 9.90. On offense, the Tigers are led by Taylor Bannister at 3.43 kills per set. Raigen Cianciulli leads the team in digs at 4.07, while Gina Tillis is at 3.12 scoops per frame. Kentucky face LSU earlier this season in Memorial Coliseum, where UK swept the Tigers. Avery Skinner and Leah Edmond each had 10 kills in the win, while Madison Lilley produced 39 assists.
Scouting the Opponent – Texas A&M
Texas A&M is 6-10 and 3-6 in the league and is currently No. 41 in RPI. TAMU is led by Hollann Hans on offense at 3.65 kills per set and is fifth in the conference. She takes 10.36 swings per set, which is the second highest in the league behind the national leader, Pilar Victoria of Arkansas. Hans also leads the teams in aces per frame at 0.47. On defense, Amy Nettles leads the way at 3.69 digs per set, while Morgan Davis averages 1.25 blocks per set. UK welcomed TAMU earlier this season, and the Wildcats swept the Aggies. Leah Edmond led the way with 13 kills, and the Cats started the match up 12-0 with Ashley Dusek serving.
Even More Awards
Madison Lilley won SEC Setter of the Week for the sixth time this season and SEC Player of the Week after beating Tennessee. The Overland Park, Kansas, native averaged a stellar 16.00 assists per set in the sweep of Tennessee. She had 48 total assists and helped the Cats tie a three-set school record with 55 kills while UK hit .308 as a team.
Leah Edmond won the SEC Offensive Player of the Week award for the third consecutive week. Edmond had 19 kills in the three sets on Sunday and tied the 25-point rally scoring era record that she held for most kills in a three-set match. The Lexington, Kentucky, native is now averaging 4.39 kills per set and hitting .319 this season. Edmond committed just three errors on 43 swings and hit .372.
Kaz Brown brought home her first SEC league award this season. She was solid on offense and defense during the sweep of the Lady Vols. Brown had six blocks in the three sets, including two solo stuffs. Brown now owns the 25-point rally scoring career record in solo blocks at 56. The Waterloo, Iowa, native also had double-digit kills with 13, and hit .370 in the match.
Kentucky won it’s 12th straight in the sweep of Tennessee, and set some records in the process. Leah Edmond had 19 kills on a .372 hitting clip in the win, tying her own program record with the most kills in a three-set match in the rally-scoring era with 19. She also achieved the feat twice last season.
Madison Lilley directed the UK offense to the tune of 55 kills on a .308 clip, helping Kentucky match the three-set rally-scoring era record with 55 kills. UK also turned the trick on Oct. 16, 2016 against Ole Miss.
Kaz Brown became UK’s all-time leading blocker in every category of the 25-point rally-scoring era with six total blocks in the match. She had two solo rejections to run her total to 56 in her career and top Becky Pavan’s record of 55.
UK has won 12-straight dating back to Sept. 9 when the run started against Loyola (Chicago). Emily Franklin is on fire, hitting .515 while averaging 2.34 kills per set and 1.27 blocks per frame. Leah Edmond is leading the team 4.40 terminations per set and has been stellar defensively as well, with 2.24 digs per frame.
Senior Emily Franklin leads the team in attacking percentage at .432, and has been incredibly efficient this season. She has hit .500 or above nine times, and had an 11-match streak where she hit over .400 from Sept. 9 to Oct. 15.
Kentucky in the National and SEC Rankings
Freshman Madison Lilley is No. 4 in the nation in assists per set at 12.10. She leads the SEC while Rachel Rippee of Arkansas is second.
Leah Edmond is currently No. 17 in the nation in kills per set at 4.40 and second in the SEC, behind the national leader, Pilar Victoria of Arkansas.
Emily Franklin is No. 10 in that nation in hitting percentage at .432. She’s second in the league behind Rachael Kramer of Florida.
As a team, Kentucky is third in the nation in hitting percentage at .326. UK is the highest-rated SEC team in that category. UK sits at No. 3 in kills per set at 15.01, also the best among the league.
Kaz Brown is climbing the 25-point rally scoring era record book in multiple categories. The Waterloo, Iowa, native is currently in first in solo blocks (56). The senior is also seventh in kills at 884 and ninth in attack attempts at 1,825.
Emily Franklin is currently ninth in block solos with 31, third in blocks assists at 319 and third in total blocks at 350. Franklin also has the fifth-highest attacking percentage in the rally scoring era at .330.
Darian Mack is moving up the 25-point rally scoring era record book in kills and points. Mack is ninth all-time with 756 kills and seventh in attacks with 1,994. In total points, she is in ninth with 857.5.
Ashley Dusek is currently third in the rally scoring era with 1,337 digs and ninth in assists at 218.
Highest Ranking In the Craig Skinner Era
The Wildcats are ranked after week nine, staying at No. 6 in the nation. Kentucky coach Craig Skinner has never had the program ranked higher. UK’s highest ranking ever is No. 5, and the Wildcats haven’t been ranked since No. 6 since 1993. The team has been ranked for 108 weeks, and currently has appeared in the poll for 18-consecutive weeks.
First Win Over No. 1
Kentucky was 0-6 against No. 1 teams in the nation. In Gainesville, that changed. UK took down Florida, 3-1, for its first win over a top-ranked team. Kentucky had four players – Leah Edmond, Darian Mack, Kaz Brown and Avery Skinner – with double-digit kills while Edmond had a match high 18. Madison Lilley had a double-double with 52 assists and 10 digs, helping the Cats record 64 kills and hit .309.