Oct. 2, 2008
Tennessee and Kentucky Match Notes
AUBURN - The Auburn volleyball team (5-10, 0-4 SEC) returns to action this weekend with road matches at Tennessee (8-6, 3-2 SEC) and Kentucky (14-2, 5-0 SEC).
Play begins at 6 p.m. CT against Tennessee at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn. Fans can follow all the action against the Lady Vols with GameTracker on AuburnTigers.com.
Action continues Sunday at 12:30 p.m. CT against Kentucky at the Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Ky. The match will be broadcast live on WKYT out of Lexington and will run on tape delay at 2 p.m. CT on Fox Sports South. GameTracker for the match will also be available at AuburnTigers.com.
Playing two of the better teams in the Southeastern Conference East Division, Auburn head coach Wade Benson said it will be nice to see the team up against some better competition.
"I am excited to see our team play against some better competition," said Benson. "Tennessee is a very solid team and it will be interesting to see how we perform in our second week in a row on the road."
Auburn is continuing a two-week road swing as the team heads to Tennessee and Kentucky. The Tigers dropped matches last weekend at Alabama (3-1) and Mississippi State (3-2).
In the series against the Lady Volunteers, Tennessee holds an 18-10 advantage with 13 of those wins coming in the last nine seasons. Auburn took a 3-1 win off the Lady Vols last year in Knoxville, the first win in the series for AU since 1998.
Tennessee holds a 3-2 mark in the SEC so far this season with wins over Alabama, Mississippi State and Georgia. Most recently, UT dropped a 3-1 match against Kentucky for its second loss of the season.
Ten letterwinners and five starters return from last season for the Lady Vols with Nikki Fowler and Milan Clarke leading the team's offense. Fowler averages 3.39 kills per set, hitting .208, while Clarks tallies 2.79 kills per set and a .213 attack percentage.
Following the Tennessee match, the Tigers will head two hours north to take on the Wildcats. Kentucky, a team that went 12-18 (3-13 SEC) in 2004, has seen a resurgence this season under fourth-year head coach Craig Skinner. The Wildcats are off to their best start since 1998 and are currently receiving votes in the AVCA top-25 poll, coming in at what would be 27th in the nation.
In SEC play, UK has downed Alabama (3-0), Mississippi State (3-0), Georgia (3-1), LSU (3-0) and Tennessee (3-1). The only losses for the team have come against No. 13 Wisconsin (3-0) and St. John's (3-1).
Four different Wildcats are averaging more than two kills per set, led by Sarah Mendoza with 3.25 and a .222 attack percentage. Queen Nzenwa is the most efficient hitter on the team, posting a .392 attack percentage along with her 2.48 kills per set.