Oct. 11, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky volleyball team will play host to Mississippi State as a part of Big Blue Madness in Rupp Arena on Friday at 5 p.m. ET, in an effort to attain a new national attendance record in the sport. For fans unable to get inside Rupp Arena, UKathletics.com will provide a free live video stream with audio commentary by Katie Eiserman and Mandy Robbe.
For the first time in the Craig Skinner era, the Wildcats will play a match at Rupp Arena. The match will be the precursor to a big night at Rupp Arena as the opening act for Big Blue Madness. Kentucky hopes to break the all-time NCAA volleyball national attendance record currently held by CenturyLink Arena in Omaha, Neb. (17,340). That record was achieved at the 2008 Final Four.
UK's program record for attendance is 9,475 set at the 1993 Big Blue Madness held in Memorial Coliseum against LSU. The record attendance during the Skinner era sits at 4,022 attained in December of 2011 at the NCAA Regional match against Texas.
Kentucky (10-7 overall, 4-3 Southeastern Conference) owns an impressive 40-2 all-time record against Mississippi State. UK possesses an unblemished 22-0 record against the Bulldogs in Lexington, including totaling three consecutive 3-0 wins dating back to 2008.
The Wildcats have won four of their last five matches with the lone defeat coming in heartbreaking fashion at No. 11 Florida on Sunday. Sophomore Lauren O'Conner had an impressive performance against the Gators with a career-high 18 kills on a .417 hitting percentage.
Senior Stephanie Klefot eclipsed the 20-dig plateau for the 27th time in her career with a match-high 22 digs. She has now shifted into seventh place all-time in the SEC record books with 1,708 career scoops. She's a mere 47 digs shy of moving into the No. 4 slot all-time in the league's records.
Mississippi State (4-12) comes into Lexington Friday night searching for its first SEC win of the season sitting at 0-7 in the conference. Last season, Mississippi State upset the Wildcats in Starkville, Miss., during its version of Big Blue Madness setting a state of Mississippi record for fans at a volleyball match.
This season, the Bulldogs are led offensively by outside hitter Taylor Scott who leads MSU with 172 kills on 597 attempts this season. Scott is also the team leader in digs (176) and digs per set (2.98).
Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the UK volleyball team. For additional coverage of the volleyball squad be sure and check out CatScratchesBlog.com/volleyball.