Other UK Sports

UK volleyball opens NCAA play Thursday

The University of Kentucky volleyball team begins a journey Thursday night in College Station, Texas, that it hopes to continue back home in Lexington.

Kentucky (26-5) plays Atlantic-10 Conference champion Dayton (25-6) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Wildcats, who have won 24 of their last 27 matches, are making their seventh consecutive NCAA appearance.

If Kentucky gets past Dayton, it will meet Lipscomb or Texas A&M in Friday's second round, with the winner of that match advancing to the Sweet 16.

Kentucky's Memorial Coliseum is one of four sites hosting Sweet 16 and Elite Eight matchups, with games scheduled for Dec. 9-10. Florida, Minnesota and Hawaii are the other host sites.

Kentucky's offense is led by All-Southeastern Conference performers Christine Hartmann, Whitney Billings and Ashley Frazier. UK has six players averaging between 2.15 and 3.12 kills per set.

Kentucky led the Southeastern Conference with 2.57 blocks per set with senior Becky Pavan pacing the defensive front.

Junior Stephanie Klefot was named the SEC Libero of the Year for the second consecutive season following an SEC-leading 4.75 digs per-set average.

Dayton earned an automatic berth into the tournament after winning the Atlantic-10 crown. The Flyers have made five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and have advanced to the second round in each of the previous two seasons.