Volleyball’s record near perfect in last 13 games

By Matt Levine

After a sluggish start to the season, the UK volleyball team has valiantly won 12 of its last 13 games.

The blue and white are in the middle of their SEC play, and head coach Craig Skinner says he could not be happier with his team’s performance over the last 13 games.

“We are a lot more balanced than we have been the last couple of years,” Skinner said. “We have a lot of people capable of having good offensive nights each time we step on the floor, so we don’t have to rely so heavily on a couple of people.”

Skinner says that breaking the entire season down into simply one match after another helped the focus of his squad.

“It’s one match at a time, and I think that’s the point when we started to make some steps forward,” Skinner said. “They really bought into each other and started to believe.”

Skinner maintains that the equilibrium of talent for the Cats is the key to their success.

“I think that we all have our moments and we have all had matches where one person has stepped up and done different things,” Skinner said.

Although the Cats have blown the competition out of the water in the last month, they are not ranked in the top 25 in the NCAA. They have, however, received the second most votes behind Western Kentucky University to crack the top 25.

Skinner says that the fact that his team is not ranked speaks to the enormous amount of talented teams in college volleyball.

“I have no idea how the rankings system works and who votes and all that stuff, but I have no doubt that if there are 25 better teams than us in the country this is going to be one hell of a year in college volleyball,” Skinner said.

Junior Ashley Frazier, who has topped 10 or more kills in each of the last three matches, says the team does not pay the rankings any attention.

“We try not to focus on rankings,” Frazier said. “We just try and focus on our next opponent and try and just play our best to make sure that we are beating them.”

Although the team’s record speaks to its quality of play on the court, Skinner is not satisfied with the effectiveness of the defense.

“We have given up way too many runs of two or three points in a row against good teams, and when you get deep in a season, you can’t do that,” Skinner said.

All in all, the team is performing quite nicely and Skinner says that he is excited about the increased size of attendance for each home match.

“Our average attendance is up and we have had great crowds this year so far,” Skinner said. “We have a three-match home stand coming up with Ole Miss, Alabama and Tennessee, and we would love to see us break some attendance records, and I think we will provide a great show for them.”

Frazier says that the sky is the limit for the Cats at this point in the season.

“I think we got off to a good start in the first half of SEC’s, and I’m excited because I feel like we are getting better and heading in the right direction,” Frazier said.