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The University of Kentucky Hockey team defeated Xavier University 5-3 this past Friday, in a significant win. The energy of the crowd was electric as the Cats took the ice, the yells and chants from the heavy student turnout echoing around the Lexington ice center. As the UK hockey team finds themselves deeper in the season, the crowds have continually become more wild, more crazy, and more invested in the team’s success.
The crowd of students welcomed Xavier by shouting “SUCKS” after each team member’s introduction. They stood, loudly and proudly, until the early hours of the morning, with a common goal in mind: Victory for the Wildcats. The noise simmered to a collective murmur at every shot Xavier put up, a sigh of relief weaving itself through the crowd at every missed goal. Cheers so loud they threatened to burst eardrums, erupted every time one of the Wildcats hit the puck in to the net.
In the very front row, the wildest hockey fans could be heard above the rest. Justin Defler was easily one of the most spirited, his attire for the night a pink nightgown, while he gathered with a group of other UK students in colorful onesies and pajamas.
“My friends picked it up at Walmart and bet I wouldn’t wear it,” Defler explained when asked what inspired his outfit. As for why UK students should come to an ice hockey game? “They’re wild, crazy, and beast. Write that word down: Beast.”
While the first and second periods both resulted in ties, the Cats pulled ahead in the third period, with #61, Blake Riley, securing a 4-point lead over Xavier University. With 6.4 seconds left in the game, freshman Jordon Shannon, scored, giving the Cats a 5-3 victory over the visiting opponent.
By Maggie Davis on ©October 22nd, 2017 @ 9:00pm
Last year’s women’s basketball team was one to remember. The season was plagued with controversy from the start, following a tumultuous 2015-16 season in which seven players and three assistant coaches left the program. Still, head coach Matthew Mitchell and his new team of assistants managed to salvage the season.
Sure, they had a few heartbreaking losses – like when they fell to Louisville 71-73 in overtime – but they also had some amazing moments – like when the unranked Wildcats defeated No. 3 Mississippi State in an overtime, senior night victory. They finished tied for third in the SEC and they advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament. The season didn’t end the way they wanted it to, but it exceeded expectations nonetheless.
None of this would have been possible without seniors Makayla Epps and Evelyn Akhator. By the end of the season, both women earned their place in the University of Kentucky record books: Akhator is second on the all-time rebounding list (averaging 10.8 rebounds per game); Epps is fifth in program history career points (averaging 17.7 points per game). Both were named honorable mention All-Americans and both were selected in the 2017 WNBA Draft: Akhator going at No. 3 (the highest in program history) and Epps at No. 33.
But as fun as that team was, it’s over, and it’s time to move forward. Just ask Coach Mitchell, who doesn’t even remember the final record from last season.
“Whatever our record was… 22 and whatever, I don’t remember the record. But I’ll never forget that team,” Mitchell said. “I forget the records and maybe the scores of the games overall, but I won’t forget that team.”
(In case you were wondering, their final record was 22-11).
“It’s going to be an interesting journey,” Mitchell said of this year’s team. “A lot of statistical things that we’ll have to replace with the loss of Makayla and Evelyn. And that’s really evident to everyone.”
First things first, the team has to fill the hole at point. Epps primarily ran this position last season, even though it wasn’t her natural spot. This year, the role will belong to junior Taylor Murray.
Last season, Murray came into her role as a major contributor, and that’s only continued over the summer. She finished her junior season with an average of 12.2 points per game and 4.9 rebounds. But the most notable aspect of her game has to be her speed, Mitchell says.
“What a fantastic improvement we saw from the start of her sophomore year until the end, and that’s carried on,” Mitchell said. “We have one of the great weapons in the country to be an up-tempo, fast-paced team when you have arguably the fastest… clearly [Murray] has elite-level speed.”
Then there are the other returners. Maci Morris, who finished as the team’s third leading scorer last season behind Epps and Akhator, has made a “huge jump” going into her junior season, according to Mitchell. Last year, criticism of Morris was largely centered on her defensive abilities, something she says she’s really focused on during the off-season.
“That I’m not just a shooter,” Morris said when asked what people will see change in her game this year. “I’m not a liability on defense.”
Alyssa Rice is another player who has to step up this season in Epps and Akhator’s absence.
“There’s no question as a fourth year senior we’re looking to her to give us some great production statistically and also from a leadership standpoint,” Mitchell said of Rice. Plus, she’s funny:
— Alyssa Rice (@lyss_45) October 19, 2017
This leadership component could be what makes or breaks the Cats this season. With such a young team, Mitchell has to rely on the upperclassmen.
“A freshman’s not going to step in and replace Makayla Epps; a freshman’s not going to step in and replace Evelyn Akhator,” Mitchell said. “You hope your seniors are better, and your juniors are better, and your sophomores and then your freshmen get better over time. You do it as a team; you do it as a group.”
So what is this group capable of? As seen during their open practice on Media Day, it’s raw. The potential was there, and there were moments that looked really good. But there were also moments that so clearly needed work. The Cats still have a couple of weeks before their season opener, and they’re optimistic.
“We have no idea what our ceiling is, so why put any limits on that?” Mitchell said. “Why say, ‘well we’d like to go 20-10 and be a No. 9 seed in the tournament – that’d be a really great year for us.’ That’s never been what we’ve done.”
Kentucky’s first test of the season will be on November 5 at 7 p.m. in Memorial Coliseum against the University of Southern Indiana.
By Alex Holder on ©October 16th, 2017 @ 10:15pm
The Kentucky Hockey team played in a three-game stint this past weekend in Washington D.C. at the Kettler Capital Iceplex, the same facility where the Washington Capitals practice. Coming into the weekend the Cats were 4 and 3 on the season with two losses to Louisville and one to North Carolina. Head coach Tim Pergram is in his debut season with the Wildcats, one thing to take note.
The Cats started off the weekend taking a 10-hour bus ride from Lexington to D.C. on Friday where they had to get off and play George Washington. At the end of the first period, Kentucky was up 3-2, but couldn’t finish the job. They would end up losing 8-6 after three periods. According to Pergram, “the ice was fast and George Washington will finish top three (in the ACC).” Needless to say, Pergram had respect for the opposition.
Next up for the Cats on Saturday was the Georgetown Hoyas. Before the game, however, the Wildcats visited the U.S. Capital building set up by Senator Mitch McConnell’s office. Coach Pergram said he was worried but “hopefully” the Cats would have their legs against the Hoyas.
Well they did, as Kentucky dominated the Hoyas, winning 5-1.
“We came out again skating well, great positioning lot’s of shots but few scoring opportunities, then Aaron Bickle scores late in the first period and goals start in the 2nd period with Jordan Shannon (who had a hat trick in the game) and Beck Schultz, our defensemen Duffy, Pakkala, Boss, Patneau and Higgins played outstanding shut down, shot-blocking defense. Our Goaltending was outstanding with Eric “Ricky” Williams in between the pipes. Ricky was eating the puck up and controlling his rebounds by far the best game of his career in a UK jersey,” Coach Pergram said of the Cats.
Last but not least, the Cats played again on Sunday, this time at 11 am against the Naval Academy. Kentucky would go on to win the game 5-2 which puts them at 6 and 4 on the season.
Heres what Pergram had to say about the victory:
Here is the look at the rest of the season:
By Kindsey Bernhard on ©October 15th, 2017 @ 5:00pm
The No. 8 ranked (No. 3 RPI) Kentucky volleyball team defeated the No. 1 and undefeated Florida Gators today.
Kentucky defeated Florida 3-1 and in Gainesville.
Head coach, Craig Skinner, and the team celebrated accordingly afterward.
— Kentucky Volleyball (@KentuckyVB) October 15, 2017
Mark Stoops sent his congratulations.
— Mark Stoops (@UKCoachStoops) October 15, 2017
At least one sport can beat Florida………
By Jack Pilgrim on ©October 15th, 2017 @ 3:05pm
Down goes Frazier.
The No. 8 ranked (No. 3 RPI) Kentucky Wildcat volleyball team just knocked off the undefeated No. 1 Florida Gators, winning 3-1 in Gainesville.
This is the third time in history UK has been able to defeat the Gators on the road, and their first time taking down the No. 1 team in the nation.
Victory! Kentucky! pic.twitter.com/7MC98nR13W
— Kentucky Volleyball (@KentuckyVB) October 15, 2017
The Volleyball Cats did an exceptional job on both ends, blocking on the wings, finding open holes on blocks, and shifting momentum whenever Florida managed to get a full head of steam on offense.
Kaz Brown and Emily Franklin both found success on slide plays, with Leah Edmond dominating on outside hits. Setter Madison Lilley had a field day, putting the ball in position for her teammates with ease. The Kentucky blockers had a solid outing, but libero Ashley Dusek wore out the Gator offense all afternoon.
The Cats will almost certainly move into the top-three following today’s victory, with a shot at No. 1 entirely possible.
This is the 11th consecutive victory for Kentucky, and it doesn’t look like anyone in the country can stop them.
UK is now 16-2 (7-0 in the SEC) on the year, with a battle against Tennessee set for next Sunday at Memorial Coliseum at 1:30 pm ET.
It’s a party! pic.twitter.com/z7830NVxHM
— Kentucky Volleyball (@KentuckyVB) October 15, 2017
CATS BY A MILLION
By Jay Winkler on ©October 15th, 2017 @ 12:45pm
Today marks just the third top-10 matchup in SEC volleyball history, as the 8th ranked Wildcats travel to Gainesville to square off against the top team in the nation, Florida.
You can catch the match at 1 PM on the SEC Network. These ladies have been tearing it up lately, and I’m sure they’d appreciate you tuning in.
A post shared by Leah Edmond (@leahedmond13) on
It’s Gameday!! Make sure you’re watching the SEC Network at 1 to see us take on the gators 👀😼🏐 thank you go cayutssss
— Kaz Brown (@KazBrown11) October 15, 2017
For a more in depth preview, get the full breakdown from UK Athletics right here.
Follow the Kool Cats this weekend as the Cats will play 3 games this weekend in Washington D.C.. Tonight Kentucky will play George Washington with the puck dropping at 6:40 pm EST. On Saturday the Wildcats are back out on the ice at 8 pm EST against the Georgetown Hoyas. Their last game of the weekend will be on Sunday at 11 am EST against the Naval Academy.
In the first weekend of October Kentucky played in three games over in North Carolina, beating Elon 7-5, losing to the North Carolina Tarheels 5-4, but ending the weekend with a win over the Duke Bluedevils 6-1. Coach Tim Pergram and the Cats are off to a 4-3 start on the season. Follow the Cats on twitter with score updates at @Kentucky_Hockey or if you are in the D.C. area go check the Cats out as the games will be played at the Kettlers Capital Iceplex.
Here is the schedule for the rest of the games.
Don’t look now, but the Kentucky Wildcat volleyball team is one of the best in America.
After a blazing hot 14-2 start to the season, the latest RPI lists the Cats at No. 3 in the nation, behind only Penn State and Florida.
The AVCA poll currently lists Kentucky at No. 8 in the nation, as well.
(We’re going to say the Cats are No. 3 though.)
Leah Edmond won SEC Player and Offensive Player of the Week honors this afternoon, and Madison Lilley took home the SEC Setter of the Week award, as well.
Keep balling, girls!
We’ve officially hit it big time.
Last night, our friends at the Harold Leeder of the New Circle Circular wrote an absolutely hysterical piece on KSR that makes fun of Florida fans. This morning, that Harold Leeder post was featured on the front page of Reddit.
For those who don’t know, Reddit is one of the most popular websites on the internet right now, featuring comments, upvotes/downvotes (likes/dislikes), etc. on any topic imaginable. Sports teams, musicians, news source, etc., all have different subreddits for fans of any subject to tune into.
Here’s the headline, now up to 8534 upvotes and 646 comments at the time of writing this post.
The top two comments on the post just add icing to the cake.
You can read the whole comment thread featuring some pretty priceless stuff here.
In case you missed it, here’s the link to the original KSR article:
Now, who is going to make us a r/KentuckySportsRadio or r/KSR?
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©September 20th, 2017 @ 3:29pm
For the first time in over ten years, UK Hoops will play THREE regular season games in Rupp Arena: Tennessee on December 31, South Carolina on January 21 and LSU on February 4. The Tennessee and LSU games will be televised on the SEC Network, while the South Carolina game will be shown on ESPNU.
The Tennessee game on New Year’s Eve is part of a doubleheader with the men’s team, who will play Georgia at 6 p.m. Both games will be ticketed separately.
“We are very excited to be playing three games inside Rupp Arena this season,” UK head coach Matthew Mitchell said. “The atmosphere we’ve had in past games we’ve played there has been incredible and I know the Big Blue Nation will give us a great advantage again this year. There are few venues in the world with more history and tradition than Rupp Arena and I know our team will be excited to hit the floor.”
This will mark only the sixth time in program history and the first time since the 2007-08 season that the Wildcats have played three or more regular-season games inside Rupp Arena. Check out there complete, updated schedule below:
The UK Volleyball girls just defeated the Louisville Cardinals in the Battle of the Bluegrass by a final score of 3-0.
Avery Skinner led the team in total points (15.5) and kills (15). Emily Franklin finished the day with 12.5 total points and nine kills.
— Kentucky Athletics (@UKAthletics) September 16, 2017
Kentucky sweeps Louisville! pic.twitter.com/Q7WU3rf9dr
— Kentucky Volleyball (@KentuckyVB) September 16, 2017
The outcome was just about set in stone when KY Wildcats TV crew released this crazy hype video before the match:
— Kentucky Volleyball (@KentuckyVB) September 15, 2017
With the victory, the Wildcats move on to 8-2 on the season.
UK will play Kennesaw State tomorrow night at 6 p.m. ET before kicking off SEC play against Missouri next Wednesday.
Well done, girls. Well done.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©September 03rd, 2017 @ 9:00pm
All NFL teams had to have their rosters cut down to 53 players by yesterday afternoon, and some familiar names are trickling out in the transaction wire.
As of now, six former Kentucky players have been waived by their respective teams.
Here are the list of former Wildcats involved:
Boom Williams was waived by Denver:
— Josh Edwards (@JEdwar247) September 3, 2017
Farrington Huguenin was released by the Steelers, but then signed back to the practice squad:
— ExCats (@ExCats) September 3, 2017
Receiver Chris Matthews was waived by the Ravens:
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 2, 2017
Marcus McWilson was released by Oakland:
— Josh Edwards (@JEdwar247) September 3, 2017
Josh Forrest has been waived by the Los Angeles Rams:
— ExCats (@ExCats) September 2, 2017
As we told you guys a few days back, JD Harmon was released by the Browns:
The Cleveland Browns have cut Paducah Tilghman alum JD Harmon. Harmon played in all 4 preseason games with 2 tackles.
— Adam Wells (@TheAdamBWells) September 1, 2017
Tough day for NFL Cats… Hopefully they all find new homes sooner rather than later.
We’ll keep you updated if any more names of interest have been released.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©August 28th, 2017 @ 8:48pm
If you read one thing today, make it this.
Pikeville’s Peking Buffet and China King Buffet are in the most epic feud imaginable, as China King is claiming Peking has planted cockroaches in their restaurant.
“They put a lot of cockroaches to our back door,” China King said. “We are complained by the customers.”
Take a look at the note on the front door following the sabotage:
“We have to close again because of the Peking restaurant make trouble to us.”
This brings back beautiful memories of the City Wok vs. City Sushi rivalry in South Park. (If you haven’t seen that and don’t mind NSFW language, follow this link. )
I’m definitely #TeamChinaKing in this battle.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©August 28th, 2017 @ 7:30pm
It was reported yesterday that five-star big man Mitchell Robinson was on his way back to Bowling Green to make up with Rick Stansbury and WKU about returning to campus.
This morning, Robinson enrolled back in classes and is officially a Hilltopper…. again.
Mitchell Robinson is on the WKU campus but hasn't formally met with staff yet, source says. Team meeting set for later.
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) August 28, 2017
A Mitchell Robinson update: Arrived in Bowling Green late Sunday night, now listed (again) in Western Kentucky’s online student directory
— Chad Bishop (@MrChadBishop) August 28, 2017
Just as a refresher, here are the timeline of events for Robinson’s ridiculous recruitment that has (hopefully) come to a close:
Mitchell Robinson has:
1. Enrolled at WKU
2. Withdrawn from WKU
3. Visited LSU, KU, UNO
4. And now returned to WKUhttps://t.co/UVYwqnR97D
— CBS Sports CBB (@CBSSportsCBB) August 28, 2017
He shocked the world by committing to WKU in the first place, and surprised no one when he packed up his bags and left.
Then he was a lock to attend Kansas, then he was going to head home and play at New Orleans or LSU, and then rumors spread that he was just going to wait it out a year and work toward entering the NBA Draft in 2018.
Now here we are, back to square one.
Here was the official release from WKU this afternoon including quotes from Stansbury and Robinson:
Teammate Jordan Brangers will not be there with him this year, as he has decided to transfer from the program.
Western Kentucky's Jordan Brangers told ESPN he has left WKU. Had previous committed to Texas Tech before heading to Bowling Green.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) August 28, 2017
Rick Stansbury gave him an indefinite suspension after he left the first time, but who knows what the new punishment will be now that he has returned.
I think the Battletown, KY native is just happy he got his five-star back on the team.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©August 23rd, 2017 @ 8:45pm
The famous Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky has been open for just over a year now, and the Hey Kentucky! crew wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
This afternoon, Matt interviewed one of the founders of the Ark about why they set up shop in Williamstown, the daily crowds, and the controversy surrounding all of it.
Watch the interview below:
You can watch the entire episode after the jump: