FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas will take its four-match winning streak on the road for a Friday night meeting with the Kentucky Wildcats. First serve of the Southeastern Conference match is scheduled for 6 p.m. (CT) at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Ky.
Arkansas (13-13, 7-8 SEC) goes into the weekend off a four-set win over Ole Miss in its last match. The Razorbacks’ four-match streak in conference play is their longest since the 2006 season. With five matches remaining in the regular season, the team has equaled its overall and conference win totals from last season.
"I think it’s a good time for us to be on the road," head coach Robert Pulliza said. "We’ll be able to see where we’re at against a very, very good Kentucky team and a very, very good Tennessee team. This is the perfect time for us to go on the road with four straight wins under our belts and measure where we’re at with our growth and maturity. That’s something we need to see as we keep growing as a program."
Raymariely Santos was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week following her 22-dig performance against Ole Miss. It was her second consecutive weekly league honor as she was previously named the Freshman of the Week. With a recent run of strong offensive outings, Jasmine Norton has moved into 43rd in the nation with 3.97 kills per set. Historically, the sophomore outside hitter is two kills from tying Anna Velikanova (2000-02) for 14th on the program’s all-time kills list and four putaways from reaching the 900-kill mark for her career.
In the first meeting this season between the two teams, Kentucky posted a .379 hitting percentage with three players recording double-digit kills to come away with a 3-1 victory at Barnhill Arena. Norton led the Razorbacks with 18 kills. With its win in Fayetteville, the Wildcats took a 14-13 lead in the all-time series. Arkansas last won in Lexington during the 2003 season, a four-set triumph.
Kentucky enters the weekend with a 14-12 overall record and an 8-8 mark in SEC play with a third-place standing in the Eastern Division. The Wildcats are 3-3 during the second half of the conference schedule, including a five-set loss to Alabama in their last outing.
On the season, the UK offense is directed by Christine Hartmann who is averaging 9.70 assists per set during SEC play, the third-best figure in the conference. Lauren Rapp is second on the team with 2.65 kills per set and ninth in SEC play with a .335 hitting percentage. Defensively, libero Stephanie Klefot is second in the league with 4.44 digs per set.
The Razorbacks return to the court Sunday to take on No. 21 Tennessee in Knoxville with a scheduled start time of 1 p.m. (CT) at Thompson-Boling Arena. The match will be televised live by Cox Sports (Ch. 119 in Northwest Arkansas) and CSS. In addition to the game day features at ArkansasRazorbacks.com and television coverage, a radio broadcast will also be carried on KXUA 88.3 FM in Fayetteville.
Download: Notes 15_Kentucky, Tennessee.pdf