BY LARRY VAUGHT
Freshman Madison Lilley has played a huge role in the success of UK’s volleyball team this year. She was an elite recruit that coach Craig Skinner got out of Kansas.
“She started coming to camp (at UK) in seventh grade. She won a national club volleyball championship,” Skinner said. “We knew how good she could be.”
What makes her so good?
“She is fearless and wants to get better. Very few kids are that focused every single point,” Skinner said. “She never feels like she is out of winning any point. She also has a cannon of an arm. She can rip the ball. She has instincts you can’t teach and can anticipate things before they happen. She also has very fast feet to make up ground.
“We’ve had a lot of good players at that position and she’s had some role models to look up to. But she has not shied away from that. She wants to be better than anybody.”
With what she’s done this season, she could well be before she leaves Kentucky.
She’s been SEC setter of the week 10 times this year and with four regular-season matches left and at least one NCAA match, she already had 1,118 assists — ninth most in a single season in the 25-point rally scoring era – after getting 47 in Sunday’s win over Ole Miss. She ranks sixth in the nation in assists at 11.90 per set and is first in the SEC.