For a program-record sixth-consecutive year, the Kentucky volleyball team will begin the season ranked in the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s preseason top 25 after the Wildcats earned a No. 14 ranking in the poll released on Wednesday.
UK’s spot in the top-25 poll marks the eighth time in the last nine years in which the Wildcats have earned a place in the preseason poll, all under head coach Craig Skinner.
The preseason ranking marks the 170th time the Wildcats have been ranked in the preseason, weekly or final poll by the AVCA. Throughout program history, UK has been ranked in 33.7% of the all-time polls. Kentucky’s highest ranking under Skinner is No. 8, which the team reached in 2009, coinciding with its first Sweet 16 appearance under the program’s all-time winningest coach.
The poll features five teams UK will face in 2017. In non-conference play, the Cats will face No. 8 Kansas and No. 9 Creighton on the road, while UK will welcome No. 23 Utah in the Bluegrass Battle. In Southeastern Conference play, UK will take on No. 12 Florida and No. 19 Missouri.
Kentucky is slated to return 91.9 percent of its leading kill production, including its top five terminators in Leah Edmond, Kaz Brown, Darian Mack, Emily Franklin and Brooke Morgan. Defensively, UK returns 97.8 percent of its blocking numbers and 84.5 percent of its dig production. Brown, who already holds numerous 25-point rally scoring era records, is UK’s leading returning blocker with 151 rejections a season ago. Ashley Dusek has posted more than 200 digs in all three seasons with the Cats.
Single-match and season tickets for the 2017 campaign are on sale now. Season tickets begin at $35. Fans may purchase new season tickets online now at UKathletics.com/tickets or by calling the UK Ticket Office at (800) 928-2287. Season tickets offer considerable savings over the cost of buying single-match tickets. Season ticket prices include admission to all 15 home matches in Memorial Coliseum.
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