LEXINGTON - For a program-record third consecutive year, the Kentucky volleyball team will begin the season ranked in the preseason top-25 after the Wildcats earned a No. 19 ranking in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Preseason poll.
UK’s spot in the top 25 poll marks the fifth time in six years the Wildcats have earned a place in the preseason poll, all under 10th-year head coach Craig Skinner. Before 2009, Kentucky’s first time in the preseason top-25 under Skinner, UK had been ranked in the preseason poll just three times dating back to 1982.
The preseason ranking marks the 61st time under Skinner the Wildcats have been ranked in the preseason, weekly or final poll by the AVCA. Kentucky debuted at No. 17 in 2013 and was ranked in the top 25 every week for the seventh time in program history.
The poll, released Monday by the AVCA, features five teams UK will face in 2014. Fifth-ranked Southern California leads the way, followed by SEC foes No. 10 Florida and No. 15 Missouri. North Carolina is No. 20 while Creighton sits at No. 23. UK will face USC, UF, Mizzou and CU all at home in Memorial Coliseum.
The Wildcats are coming off a school-record ninth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament and a third consecutive 20-plus win campaign.
Skinner begins his 10th season with the Wildcats as the program’s second all-time winningest coach. With 202 victories, he is seven wins shy of tying UK’s all-time wins mark of 209, set by Kathy DeBoer from 1984-92.
UK’s challenging 2014 home schedule includes 11 matches against teams that made the 2013 NCAA Tournament. In addition to hosting rivals Tennessee and Florida and defending SEC champion Missouri, Kentucky will host a pair of four-team tournaments during the first two weekends of competition.
Season tickets for the 2014 campaign are on sale now, beginning at $35, while single match tickets go on sale August 18. More information on how to buy tickets can be found here or by calling the UK Ticket Office at 800-928-CATS.
Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the Kentucky volleyball team and all 22 varsity sports. For additional info on the volleyball team like Kentucky Volleyball on Facebook or follow the team on Twitter at @KentuckyVB.