UK volleyball set for SEC play against Auburn, Alabama



By Kyle Arensdorf

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UK volleyball (8-3) will begin the conference portion of its schedule on the road as the Cats take on Auburn University (9-3) on Friday and the University of Alabama (12-2) on Sunday.

“On the road, it’s us against everybody,” head coach Craig Skinner said on Monday. “We’re going to be the only people in royal blue down there … And I think our players enjoy that challenge.”

The Cats concluded their preconference slate of games with a sweep of Morehead State University in  Memorial Coliseum on Monday.

Senior outside hitter Whitney Billings spoke about her team’s chances going into conference play.

“We’ve played some great teams in preseason that have prepared us well going into conference,” Billings said.

UK began its season 0-2, with two losses coming in the first two rounds of the Long Beach State Tournament at the end of August. Since then, they’ve won eight of nine games to enter conference play.

Auburn is coming off of a 3-2 loss against No. 17 Florida State University, which handed the Cats their first loss of the season in the opening game.

Florida State traveled to Auburn for the first volleyball match of the Auburn Arena, which has hosted basketball and gymnastics for four seasons.

UK’s latest victory came as a 3-0 sweep of the Tigers in Auburn’s Student Activities Center, which has played host to Auburn’s volleyball matches in preceding seasons.

Friday will mark the first SEC volleyball match to take place in the Auburn Arena

UK leads the all-time series against Auburn, 32-10, and the Cats have won the past five matches.

On Sunday, Alabama will host UK in the midst of a 10-game winning streak, having only allowed one match to go to a fifth set in that span.

Alabama’s previous matchup came against Alabama State University, as the Rolling Tide swept the Hornets.

“We really wanted an opportunity to play without being necessarily stretched or over-tested going into what we expect to be a pretty exciting match on Sunday against Kentucky,” Alabama head coach Ed Allen said to a reporter for

The Cats take on Auburn at 8 p.m. on Friday in Auburn, Ala., before heading to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for a match against the University of Alabama at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.