UK volleyball to play rival Louisville Tuesday



By Kyle Arensdorf

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The UK volleyball team is set to face off against No. 17 University of Louisville at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in Memorial Coliseum.

The Cats come into the game boasting a 4-2 record (3-0 at home) after a sweep in the Kentucky Classic with wins coming against Virginia Commonwealth University, Liberty University, and East Tennessee State University.

Junior defensive specialist Jackie Napper said she was looking forward to playing Louisville.

“Excited is an understatement,” she said.

Louisville is riding a two-game losing streak into Lexington, with straight-set losses against the University of Northern Iowa and Wisconsin.

Louisville’s two wins and three losses on the season did not reach a fourth set.

Senior outside hitter Whitney Billings will enter the game just four career digs shy of reaching the 1,000-dig mark.

If she reaches this milestone, she will be the first player in program history to reach 1,000 digs and 1,000 kills.

Billings achieved the single-game record for kills in a game against the University of Illinois earlier this season.

Freshman outside hitter Anni Thomasson has been coming on strong as of late, receiving more playing time and registering her first double-double during the Kentucky Classic.

“The speed of the game is a lot different,” Thomasson said. “But I feel like I’m doing a good job figuring it out.”

Sophomore Morgan Bergren is starting at setter for the first time in her career this season and is receiving praise from her head coach for her efforts.

“You have to pay attention to Morgan on the front row because she has such long arms and plays high above the net and she’s going to attack,” said head coach Craig Skinner. “And if she does that, it should free up other attackers along the net.”

Louisville will be the Cats’ only matchup before playing in the Bluegrass Battle, which begins on Friday with Pepperdine University in Lexington.