Cats face Razorbacks SEC volleyball matchup



By Curtis Franklin

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UK Volleyball (11-5) takes on Arkansas (13-2) at 8 p.m. on Wednesday in Lexington. Both teams are looking to keep their undefeated conference records alive when they take on each other in Memorial Coliseum.

The Cats, coming off a four set victory over Alabama on Sunday, could extend their six-game winning streak with a win over the Razorbacks. The Cats haven’t lost since they fell to Wichita State on Sept. 11 in five sets.

Much of the Cats’ recent hot streak can be attributed to the stellar play of a duo of sophomores in Kaz Brown and Darian Mack.

Brown, who ranks 3rd in the conference in blocks per set and 14th in points per set, has anchored the Cats defense this season. Mack’s contributions have mostly come from the other side of the ball, with 3.45 kills per set (6th in the SEC). The team ranks in the top half of the conference in both categories.

UK head Coach Craig Skinner’s ability to blend his young talent with upperclassmen leadership has the Cats up to 20th in the latest AVCA Coaches rankings, up one spot from last week. This newfound chemistry has everything clicking for the Cats, who have only dropped a total of four sets since ending their four-game losing streak on Sept. 12.

Arkansas, who jumped to no. 22 after defeating no. 9 Florida in five sets on Sunday, was previously unranked in last week’s standings. The Razorbacks will have to get the best from its star players, junior Pilar Victoria and senior Chanell Clark-Bibbs, if they want to complete the upset. Victoria is no. 18 in the nation in points per set, while Clark-Bibbs is the SEC’s 6th best in the same category.

Both teams will be on edge trying to protect their unblemished conference records this Sunday.