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Other UK Sports
UK Hoops and other sports coverage
By Courtney Hessler on ©August 25th, 2015 @ 6:30pm
I have covered everything from JV high school volleyball to Division I, but I can honestly say no team has matched up to the University of Kentucky’s no. 15 ranked volleyball team. As I go into my third season covering the Cats I become more excited for what the future holds.
A good comparison of the team would probably be the Cats’ women’s basketball team. The girls are close with each other and even closer with their coach. I mean. Come on. Who wouldn’t want a coach like this?
My challenge to you is to get out to a game this season. Step outside your box. Don’t know anything about volleyball? Good. Neither did I. However, watching the Cats in action will be enough to make you want to watch. Here are some highlights from last season:
The Cats are in contention for a title continuously every year in the NCAA and even try out for, and sometimes make, national teams:
The Cats have just three upperclassmen on the roster this year and still came in ranked no. 15 in the preseason poll. No. Skinner doesn’t quite work on the one-and-done system, but he does does know how to bring the top talent in the states to Lexington.
Here is what the team thinks about the upcoming season:
The Cats will redefine what you think volleyball is.
Do yourself and your favorite school a favor and try to get out to one of Kentucky’s matches this weekend in Lexington. The Cats open the season Friday at 7 p.m. against Michigan State with two matches following Saturday with IUPUI at 10:30 a.m. and Little Rock at 7:30 p.m. If you can’t make it out, look at the rest of the schedule and make it out.
It’s here!!!!! The UK Women’s team just released their 2015-2016 conference schedule a moment ago and it features some great games. The schedule includes 13 games appearing on national television with the rest available on SEC Network+.
Here’s what the full 2015-2016 schedule looks like:
Season tickets are available at the UK Ticket Office or on ukathletics.com for only 65 bucks, and lower level seats for the Duke and UofL games in Rupp are available for season ticket holders for $14.
It’s going to be one heck of a season, so come out and support the Hoops! Go Cats.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 17th, 2015 @ 6:30pm
What’s better than seeing KSR in person? Seeing KSR in person at a UK Volleyball open practice. That’s exactly what’s going down tomorrow morning at Memorial Coliseum. From 10 a.m. to noon, Matt and Ryan will broadcast live from Memorial while the UK Volleyball team does their thing at their first open practice. Fans are invited to attend to enjoy both the show and the practice.
By Miss J.C. Ausmus on ©August 13th, 2015 @ 11:07am
I told y’all it was coming soon. This morning, the UK Hoops team released this season’s non-conference schedule highlighted by news that the Cats will face Duke and Louisville in Rupp Arena.
UK will open the season with an exhibition against Union University on November 8th in Memorial with their first home game against Rice five days later on the 13th. The Cats will then hop on a plane and head to Tempe on the 15th to play Arizona State who advanced all the way to the Sweet Sixteen last year before being knocked out by Florida State.
The Wildcats will finish out the month of November with four games at home: Morehead State on the 18th, Colorado on the 22nd, Eastern Michigan on the 25th, and Jackson State on the 29th.
December comes with a trip to Northern Kentucky on December 2nd, and then the much anticipated “Pack the House” games against rival Louisville on December 10th and Duke on the 20th. Before facing the Duke Blue Devils, the Cats will play against Middle Tennessee State in Murfreesboro on the 13th and then will end non-conference play against Tennessee State on the 28th.
Here is the full non conference schedule:
To say I’m looking forward to those Louisville and Duke games are an understatement.
You can purchase season tickets for only 65 bucks from UK Athletics as well as lower level seats for the Duke and Louisville games for only $14.
Get ready for an epic season, Cats fans.
By Drew Franklin on ©August 04th, 2015 @ 12:00pm
Before Kentucky takes the field in the 2015 season opener, fans will be treated to a special music act in the parking lot by Matthew Mitchell and the Go Big Blue Band. Mitchell called in to KSR this morning to announce he will front a band for the first time in 15 years before the grand opening of the New Commonwealth Stadium on September 5th.
Mitchell’s band will open for a bigger band to be named later today. He said the headliners are professionals, but he would not say they are better.
More details to come later today.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©July 28th, 2015 @ 11:00am
Got plans tonight? Former UK tennis players Eric Quigley and Tom Jomby are both playing in the Kentucky Bank Challenge at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex on UK’s campus. Starting at 7 p.m. ET, Quigley will play France’s Enzo Couacaud, and after that, Jomby will play Brazil’s Guilherme Clezar. Both matches are on court one.
If you just can’t wait until tonight, Jomby and Mark Ein will play doubles against Russian duo Dean O’Brien and Ruan Roelofse around 11:30 p.m. this morning. Not only is Jomby an excellent tennis player and former Wildcat, he’s also a former KSR student intern, so put on your KSR gear and go out and support him. Yes, yelling “BTI sucks” is appropriate.
By Miss J.C. Ausmus on ©July 19th, 2015 @ 9:30pm
Linnae Harper to the rescue. The UK Hoops junior guard propelled the US into the gold medal game of the Pan Am games this afternoon after knocking down a pair of free throws and stealing the ball in the closing seconds of their one point victory over Cuba.
— CBC Sports (@cbcsports) July 19, 2015
After trailing at halftime, 37-26, Harper and Maryland’s Shatori Walker-Kimbrough led the way to a hard fought USA victory with a combined 31 points. Along with her 16 points, UK’s Linnae Harper also contributed four steals, an assist, and a rebound this afternoon.
After Ineidis Casanova put Cuba in front 64-63, with only 13 seconds remaining, Harper drew a foul and saved the game with a pair of clutch free throws and a steal in the final possession.
Team USA will now go for the gold against either Canada or Brazil on Monday at 8:45 pm.
‘Murica for the win.
Memorial Coliseum has to be a tough place to play. The UK Hoops program came in at #7 in average attendance for the 2015 season, with an average of 6,379 fans coming out per game this season. The Cats received their highest attendance ranking since the 1983 season and their 12th straight appearance in the top 25 national attendance average, including two back-to-back seasons in the top ten.
The SEC led the nation in women’s basketball attendance for the first time since 1984, the second time in history a league has gotten over one million fans in the door. It’s the fourth best record by any conference with only the BIG 12 having more in a single season. Nine SEC schools placed in the top 50 for average attendance with four in the top twenty five. South Carolina ranked number one in the nation with an average of 12,293 fans, snapping Tennessee’s eleven straight seasons in the top spot. The Vols came in second at 10,375.
SEC Attendance Rankings:
1. South Carolina
17. Texas A&M
27. Mississippi State
After being selected 73rd overall by the Minnesota Twins, Kyle Cody has declined the option to sign and return to Kentucky for the 2016 season. Cody’s slot was valued at $839, 700 with the Twins.
Cody was the Cats’ Sunday starter and the top MLB Prospect on the 2015 team. With Cody returning, Kentucky will have an excellent rotation with Zack Brown and Dustin Beggs as the other weekend starters. With Kentucky losing Ka’ai Tom and Kyle Barrett in the Draft, along with top recruit Nick Plummer, Cody returning is a huge get for the Cats. Kentucky will have one of the top rotations in the SEC and should compete in the East Division.
— Zack Brown (@ZBrown__33) July 17, 2015
Well it's has been a tough journey, but after its all over I'm headed back to UK next year! BBN be ready for a great season in the bluegrass
— Kyle Cody (@kylecody10) July 17, 2015
Cats in the Majors
Collin Cowgill, Los Angeles Angels- A wrist injury has sidelined Cowgill for over a month, and he will be out a lot longer. The Angels transferred Cowgill to the 60-Day DL from the 15-Day after he began hitting again last week. He can be activated in late July.
Trevor Gott, Los Angeles Angels- Labeled as a “Baby Faced Assassin” by the LA Daily News, Gott allowed his first run last night after nine consecutive scoreless innings to begin his major league career. Gott set the record for consecutive scoreless outings to begin an Angels’ career and is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA this season.
Alex Meyer, Minnesota Twins- The Twins called top prospect Alex Meyer up after being in the minors since 2011. Meyer was moved to the bullpen in his two games with the big league club where he allowed five runs in 2.2 innings. He was sent down to Triple-A yesterday, meaning that the stay was meant to get his feet wet and he will return to the bigs.
Cats in the Minors
Austin Cousino, Clinton Lumberkings– Cousino was rehabbing and playing his first games of the season for the Seattle Mariners’ AZL Team. Through six games, Cousino is batting .429 with four RBIs and six runs. The assignment to the AZL Team was temporary as Cousino is playing in his first games of the season after returning from the disabled list. Cousino was promoted to Clinton yesterday from the Arizona League.
A.J Reed, Lancaster Jethawks– With 21 home runs, Reed is now in second place for the MiLB home run crown. The 2014 Golden Spikes Award Winner put his talent on display when he was the runner up in the California League Home Run Derby last month. Reed is hitting .334 with 75 RBIs and an OBP of .440. He was named to the MLB.com Prospect Team of the Week in June, and is deserving of a promotion to Double-A in the second half of the season.
Corey Littrell, Palm Beach Cardinals- Littrell has been used in different roles for Palm Beach this year, but his current role as ace has been nice. Littrell hasn’t allowed a run in his last two starts and did not walk a batter. In the 11.2 innings he has pitched in his last two games, Littrell has 11 strikeouts and only eight hits allowed.
Logan Darnell, Rochester Red Wings- Similar to Littrell, Darnell has not allowed a run in some time. The last time Darnell allowed a run was June 8th, a string of six consecutive scoreless outings has followed. Last weekend, Darnell struck out six in four innings of relief as he picked up his second win of the season.
Ka’ai Tom, Mahoning Valley Scrappers- Selected by the Indians in the fifth round of last month’s Draft, Tom was assigned to Cleveland’s short season team. Tom reached base in eight of his first nine games and boasts an OBP of .383. On the fourth of July, Tom went 3/4 with an RBI and a stolen base.
Cats in Summer Leagues
JaVon Shelby, Hyannis Harbor Hawks- The Kentucky second baseman is spending his summer in the prestigious Cape Cod League. Shelby is batting .268 with one home run and seven runs batted in. He received praise from Baseball Prospectus’ Al Skorupa earlier this week.
Hyannis/Kentucky sophomore JaVon Shelby one of the most impressive players today. +Athlete. +bat speed
— Al Skorupa (@alskor) June 30, 2015
Riley Mahan, Zach Logue, Brad Schaenzer, Amsterdam Mohawks- All three current Cats are playing for Amsterdam this summer. Schaenzer is filling in nicely at the starter position with a 2.90 ERA in six starts and 31 innings. Logue has seen immense improvement for the Mohawks. He has 29 strikeouts in 33 innings with an ERA of 2.72. Mahan is batting .300 with 11 RBIs and nine stolen bases.
5 Wildcats competed in Eugene, Oregon over the weekend for a shot to make the PanAm Games Team.
Dezerea Bryant was the first to do so, finishing 5th in the 200m dash. Joining her, Kendra Harrison won the silver medal in the 100m hurdles. Continuing the Kentucky success, Sha’keela Saunders finished 5th in the long jump, Jacklyn Howell earned the silver medal in the 100m hurdles, and Andrew Evans finished 3rd in the discus throw. They will compete next month in Edmonton, Canada.
In our past interviews with former Cats in the minor leagues, the players tell us of their long bus rides and quick meals. The story of former Kentucky Pitcher Logan Darnell’s career is not much different but for one much more difficult part. He has to be away for seven months from his mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease.
Darnell is currently with the Rochester Red Wings, the Triple-A Affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. Despite being so far from his hometown of Nashville, Darnell made a big impact on the disease that has influenced his family. Darnell organized a jersey auction with the Red Wings. Jerseys designed and paid for by Darnell were worn by the team for Alzheimer’s Awareness Night and auctioned off during the game to benefit awareness in the Rochester Area. “I feel like having the platform of playing in Rochester gave me a good chance to do that and be successful at it,” said Darnell. “It meant a lot that my teammates where able to help and wear the jerseys in honor of people who are affected by the disease and my mother.”
— Rochester Red Wings (@RocRedWings) June 19, 2015
The disease has taken its toll on Darnell and his family since his mother, Caye, was diagnosed in 2012. “The biggest impact is definitely on my dad and brother with them always being home and having to keep tabs on her,” said Darnell. “For me, it’s being gone for seven months and coming back to see the changes she has had since the last time I saw her.” His mother is no longer able to travel to see her son pitch, which is difficult with him making his pro debut last year and being promoted to Minnesota periodically. While he has been in Rochester this year, he grew a bond with the community that led him to connect with the Rochester Alzheimer’s Association and put his plan of raising money into action.
The impact that Alzheimer’s has had on his family led Darnell to put together Alzheimer’s Awareness Night in Rochester. The 26-year old paid for each jersey’s production and design before they were to be auctioned off during the Red Wings’ game against the Louisville Bats on June 19th. Caye was not able to make the trip to Rochester for the special night, but Darnell’s father was on hand to see the event. Rob Darnell threw out the first pitch, with his son as catcher to begin the night.
The jersey auction was a huge success. Darnell had a goal of 5,000 dollars in donations in mind, but that goal was surpassed when the team helped to raise over 7,000 dollars. Darnell’s jersey was bought for 650 dollars, but was donated back to Darnell and his family. Former Kentucky star Alex Meyer’s father donated 500 dollars, along with former Chicago Cubs’ Manager and current Red Wings’ coach Mike Quade donating $500. “I was proud and humbled by how much we were able to raise and help the local chapter in the Finger Lakes, the whole night was a success,” said Darnell.
Following the Red Wings’ 7-3 win, Darnell addressed the fans in attendance and thanked them for their contribution while declaring Rochester as his “second home”. The night was special for Darnell and for the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
— AlzRochesterNY (@AlzRochesterNY) June 20, 2015
Darnell is optimistic about the donations and finding a cure for the disease. ” It’s a tough disease because the mind slips away while the body is perfectly healthy and it’s very expensive to treat and house patients, so helping and funding is critical,” said Darnell. “It is a disease that is very close to being cured and within the next 20 years they are thought to have a cure, so of course donations are great.” Darnell and his family have persevered through this difficult time and have been proactive about his mother’s diagnosis. “Through prayers and learning about the disease we have used our faith to know that God is in control and it will be OK in the end,” said Darnell. “We just try and control what we can and try and make the best of every situation.”
Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Darnell family as Caye fights her battle. Want to help the Rochester Alzheimer’s Association? Join or donate here.
Following his first promotion to the major leagues, Trevor Gott has been phenomenal for the Los Angeles Angels. In five games, Gott has not allowed a run in five innings with no walks and three strikeouts. Gott has worked his way into a spot in the Angels’ bullpen as their 7th inning man. The Angels have been looking throughout the season for someone to fill this void, and Gott’s recent success has led some to believe he may stick in the majors at that spot. He has pitched in the seventh inning in four of his five appearances, and allowed more than one hit only once.
Want to read more on what the Angels have to say about Gott? Click here.
By Drew Franklin on ©June 19th, 2015 @ 7:30pm
Coach Cal surrendered to UK Track & Field coach Edrick Floreal on Twitter tonight, admitting Kentucky is a track school. Cal told Floreal when he arrived in Lexington that UK could be a track school, and tonight he said, “It’s official.”
UK Track has been outstanding under Floreal’s watch. The women recently finished as the NCAA runner-up in a school best finish and Floreal was named Southeast Region Coach of the Year.
Still, “track school” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
By Trey Huntsman on ©June 19th, 2015 @ 11:18am
With all the news facilities for football being unraveled this fall, Mitch Barnhart has announced the next step in UK’s plan to improve athletic facilities. The University is looking to build new facilities for the baseball and tennis programs. Here is the tweet with Barnhart’s quote from today’s University Athletics Committee meeting:
.@UKMitchBarnhart announces UK is pursuing approval to move forward with design of a new baseball stadium and tennis facility.
— Kentucky Athletics (@UKAthletics) June 19, 2015
It is about time that Cliff Hagan Stadium got a few renovations or the program got a new stadium. Looking around the SEC, Kentucky’s baseball facilities fall way short of the rest of the league. Even lowly Tennessee has upgraded their field in the last few years to be a quality place to play. This would be a huge boost to the program if they can gain approval. The K Fund webpage has a digital outline of the proposed baseball stadium that will be adjacent from the soccer complex and softball field.