The Cats open their season tonight at 8 p.m. against #18 Florida State in the prestigious Mizuno Invitational hosted by Long Beach State in beautiful, sunny California. A place that offers several photo-opts like this:
I just hope the girls spent most their time on the beach trying to get this picture right and less time trying to take on Miley.
Along with Kentucky, Long Beach State has invited two other elite teams, Florida State and Illinois. While #17 Kentucky and #18 FSU are the only two teams ranked in the preseason polls, both Long Beach State and Illinois received several votes. Long Story Short…..It will not be an easy weekend for the girls.
While some of us might be worried by what is to come this weekend, Coach Skinner said he welcomes the difficult schedule because it will only make the team better.
Unfortunately for us, FSU has won the last 3 matches against Kentucky and leads the series 7-5. The last time the two teams met was in August 2011, when they lost 3-0 to FSU.
During the match all eyes will be on senior Whitney Billings, a right side hitter. Billings currently has 987 kills and is searching to join the 1,000-Kill club. She is seeking to be the first member of UK Volleyball to join the 1,000-Kill and Dig Club since the inception of the 25-point rally scoring system around the turn of the century.
It is worth noting that in last year’s tournament Florida State was ranked 9th in the country and lost in the second round to an unranked Purdue team. Of course our Cats went in ranked 16th and made it to the regionals FSU should have attended. Hopefully the Seminoles have learned to forget the past and aren’t coming into this tournament with a chip on their shoulders.
The match will not be televised, but you can keep up with it on UKAthletics.com. It is sure to be an exciting match-up.
Florida State was crushed in its opening match against Illinois 3-0 earlier today. That match was also the first of the Invitational.
Tomorrow the Cats take on Illinois at 7:30 in the tournament, which is sure to be just as good of a match. UK leads the series 3-2, but this is the first time in the Skinner era the two schools have met.
Also, make sure to get your NCAA tournament tickets on UKAthletics.com. Lexington will host one of the Regionals, and if the last two seasons are an example of how this one will go, UK will be there and it will be a great show for all.
Make sure to follow me on Twitter: @Sealey_KSR