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A random, but great, story about Matthew Mitchell

Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

Who doesn’t love Matthew Mitchell? UK Hoops’ main man isn’t just an excellent head coach, he’s a hilarious radio host, amazing dad and husband, and surprisingly good singer. USA Today has an article out today that focuses on Louisiana Lafayette’s head football coach Mark Hudspeth and how he, Matthew Mitchell, and Andy Kennedy all grew up together in tiny Louisville, Mississippi. All three played quarterback–Kennedy the starter, Hudspeth the backup, and Mitchell third string–at Winston Academy, and all three have gone on to be coaches of Divisions I teams.

In fact, Hudspeth was the one who helped Mitchell out when he wound up back in Mississippi and needed to make some money. Mitchell was coaching high school basketball, but was suddenly told he needed to become the defensive coordinator of the football team despite the fact that he didn’t know a thing about being a defensive coordinator. Thankfully, Hudspeth, then the head coach at Winston Academy, gave his friend a six-week crash course in coaching defense, which Mitchell says “saved my butt”:

“I ended up with a pretty salty little defense,” Mitchell said, laughing. “We won five straight, and I learned a lot that year about coaching. He saved my butt in that situation. At the time, I just didn’t even realize how absurd it was.”

To learn more about their friendship, read the whole article, in which Mitchell calls Hudspeth “one of the best coaches in any sport in America.” Also, cheer for him and the Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns when they take on Ole Miss this weekend.

[Louisville, Miss.: A 7,000-person cradle of coaches]


Highlights from Men’s Soccer’s win over top-ranked Notre Dame

Last night, the UK Men’s Soccer team upset top-ranked Notre Dame in thrilling fashion. Freshman Stefan Stojkovic his first career goal with 25 seconds left to seal the 1-0 win over the defending National Champions. Enjoy the highlights above.


Men’s soccer upsets #2 Notre Dame

Some HUGE news from the soccer pitch: UK’s men’s soccer team upset #2 Notre Dame tonight 1-0 in South Bend. Stefan Stojkovic scored his first career goal with 25 seconds left in the game to give Kentucky the win over the defending National Champions. Unbelievable victory for the Cats.

Check out a video of the game-winning goal above, courtesy of Brent Ingram.


(Chet White | UK Athletics)

UK Volleyball wins first match, but faces #6 USC tonight

(Chet White | UK Athletics)

(Chet White | UK Athletics)

Senior Lauren O’Conner and junior Shelby Workman led the No. 16 ranked Cats to its 3-1 (25-14, 24-26, 25-23, 25-16) victory over Northern Iowa Friday morning in the opening patch of the Commonwealth Classic in Memorial Coliseum.

The Cats aren’t done for today however. You can catch the Cats in its toughest match of the season so far against No. 6 Southern California tonight at 7 on the SEC Network+ or on WatchESPN.com. (Or you could just go down to Memorial and catch it.)

 

 

Here is a stat rundown of today’s first match:

O’conner and Workman both tallied 18 kills in the match, tying O’Conner’s career best and setting a new self-best for Workman. O’Conner also had a career-high .607 attacking percentage. Junior setter Morgan Bergren dished out 52 assists and added 10 digs in her second-consecutive double-double effort.

Bergren led the Cats to a .343 hitting clip and three other attackers totaled 15 or more kills in the match. Sophomore Anni Thomasson was impressive as well with 15 kills on .371 hitting and added 11 digs in the win, making it her third double-double in UK’s first four matches. Junior middle blocker Sara Schwarzwalder chipped in with seven kills and added a trio of blocks. Senior libero Jackie Napper totaled a match-high 23 digs which was one shy of meeting a career best mark.

Catch some highlights from today’s match below:

 

@Sealey_KSR


New UK Hoopster Ivana Jakubcova Continues to Have Great Pictures

New UK Hoopster Ivana Jakubcova Continues to Have Great Pictures

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New UK Freshman Hoops player Ivana Jakubcova is 6’6″ and from Slovakia. I am sure she is a good player and we will certainly see how she fares on a team that has shown it needs height for the postseason. But for now, here obvious strength is pictures. She has become friends with a UK cheerleader and the pictures they take don’t look real…but they are still awesome. Go Cats


Picture of the Day: UK Hoops and UK Cheerleading

Picture of the Day: UK Hoops and UK Cheerleading

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Two of these people in the photo are Freshmen on the UK Hoops’ team …three are UK cheerleaders. Any guess on which are which?


Bell Soccer Complex grand opening ceremony today

 

University president Dr. Eli Capilouto, Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart, men’s soccer head coach Johan Cedergren, and women’s soccer head coach Jon Lipsitz will all be speaking.

The first 500 fans to the stadium today will receive a commemorative soccer ball bell to mark the stadium’s historic opening. Fans will have the chance to tour the complex from 12:15 to 12:45 before the Wildcats face the Ohio Bobcats at 2 p.m.

@Sealey_KSR


Marcus Lee is HYPED for tonight’s volleyball game

Marcus Lee is HYPED for tonight’s volleyball game

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Marcus Lee is at the volleyball game tonight and is HYPED. Face paint and all.

What, didn’t you know Marcus Lee used to play volleyball?


Samantha Drake will forego her senior season of UK Hoops

Samantha Drake will forego her senior season of UK Hoops

Image via UK Athletics

A sad note from the UK Hoops family: Samantha Drake has decided not to play her senior season after tearing the ACL and meniscus in her left knee last November. She will instead focus on her academics and graduating in the spring. The former Nelson County star played in 88 games and started 23. She issued a statement thanking Mitch Barnhart, her team, and her coaches:

“I would like to thank Mr. Barnhart, all of my teammates and coaches for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this amazing women’s basketball program at UK,” Drake said. “I was given the chance to show my talent and be a part of a lot of success during my four years. Although I won’t be playing anymore, I’ll still be the biggest cheerleader for the team. I am going to turn my focus on academics and walking across that stage in May to receive my degree.”

Matthew Mitchell also issued a statement in support of Drake and her decision.

“We support Samantha and her decision to forego playing her senior year,” UK Hoops head coach Matthew Mitchell said. “Samantha contributed to so many victories during her career and we are grateful for her efforts. We will continue supporting her any way we can as she works toward graduation.”

Tough, tough news. Best of luck to her going forward.


UK Volleyball opens its season Friday

Volleyball Spring game

The Annual Bluegrass Battle begins Friday at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington at 4 p.m featuring four squads from across the country: Butler, Virginia Tech, Wichita State and Kentucky.

The Bluegrass Battle will feature six matches Friday and Saturday, with Kentucky playing in three. The Wildcats will face Wichita State at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Butler at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The Wildcats will close out the tournament against Virginia Tech at 8 p.m.

The roster is heavy with upperclassmen this year. Kentucky returns three seniors (Lauren O’Conner, Jackie Napper and Alyssa Gergins) and four juniors (Shelby Workman, Kayla Tronick, Sara Schwarzwalder and Morgan Bergren). The rest of the roster is rounded out by two sophomores and a whooping five freshmen.

It might be the beginning of the NCAA season for the Cats, but it isn’t the first time the girls have seen action. Over the summer the team became the first SEC volleyball team to play in China while they faced off against Chinese teams. Last week, Kentucky Wildcats TV released a 20 minute video, UK Volleyball Goes to China, on the Cats trip which was full of volleyball, culture shock and excitement from the Volleyball team.

The Cats open the season in the top-25 for the third consecutive year, at No. 19. Something that will be different for Kentucky Volleyball this season will be the number of people who see the team play. A total of 27 matches will be televised for the team this year including every home contest and all SEC road matches.


Today was picture day for UK Hoops

..and KyWildcatsTV has compiled the highlights for your viewing pleasure. Hit play to see Makayla Epps’ new cornrows, Matthew Mitchell trying to hula hoop, and a whole lotta selfies. Looking good, ladies.


UK Women’s Soccer Team Gets First Win Of The Year

Photo via UKAthletics

 

As the 2014-15 athletic season starts up again, its nice to see that the UK women’s soccer team are getting the Wildcats on the board in the win column early. After losing 4-1 to Washington in the team’s first game of the year, the ‘Cats took down Seattle University 2-1 in OT earlier this evening. 

The winning goal came in the 97th minute off the foot of junior Cara Ledman, who also assisted on the other goal scored.

From UKAthletics.com 

The overtime win for Kentucky was its first since Nov. 9 of the 2012 season, when UK defeated UT Martin in an extra frame in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

Kentucky will return home for the first time next weekend to christen the new Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex in Lexington, Ky., with a Friday/Sunday weekend featuring matches against Francis Marion (Fri. Aug. 29, 7:30 p.m. ET) and Ohio University (Sun. Aug. 31, 2 p.m. ET).

 

–@WillTottenKSR