Volleyball kicks-off Kentucky Classic Friday



By Kyle Arensdorf

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The UK volleyball team will play Virginia Commonwealth University at 7 p.m. on Friday in its first game of the Kentucky Classic at Memorial Coliseum.

UK will carry a 1-2 record into the game after the start to the season at the Long Beach State Tournament, where the Cats lost their first two games to then-No. 18 Florida State University and then-unranked University of Illinois.

Florida State has since moved up to the No. 15 spot as Illinois has taken its place at No. 18.

UK also slid to No. 21 in the latest coaches poll after beginning the season at No. 17.

Despite the slow start, senior outside hitter Whitney Billings logged three-straight double-doubles to bring her career total to 33.

As part of her 26-kill night against Illinois, Billings eclipsed the 1,000-kill mark, becoming the 14th player in program history to notch that figure.

UK head coach Craig Skinner said he was  pleased with Billings’ effort, but was less than enthusiastic about his team’s performance.

“We need other people to step up and terminate balls when we need points,” Skinner said in a UK Athletics press release.

The Cats also started the 2010 season at 1-2 before making the NCAA tournament.

VCU brings a 3-0 record to Lexington with first-year head coach Jody Rogers.

Rogers coached Division II at the University of Indianapolis and racked up over 400 wins in her 16-year career, but has never coached Division I before this year.

Rogers was also named the CaptainU Coach of the Year in 2012 for leading Indianapolis to its best finish in program history by reaching the Round of Four in the NCAA Division II Championships.

VCU captured the IUPUI Hampton Inn Invitational title last weekend in Indianapolis, as sophomore outside hitter Romana Kriskova was named tournament MVP.

Tickets for Friday’s game can be purchased online or at the Joe Craft Center ticket office on the night of the event.

Also at Memorial Coliseum, Liberty University will take on VCU and East Tennessee State University Friday at 12 p.m. and at 5 p.m., respectfully. The games kick-off the Kentucky Classic.