The Kentucky volleyball team fresh off being crowned SEC Champions once again and finishing 23-6 overall was rewarded by being picked as the number 9 national seed in this year’s NCAA Volleyball Tournament, hosting the regional and facing Southeast Missouri State in the first round, and then if they win, taking on the winner of Northern Kentucky and Michigan.
Knowing how the Cats finished the season, rattling off 8 wins in a row in a tough conference like the SEC, they remain confident in how they will play this postseason.
Libero Gabby Curry points to how hard they work as to why they finished the season strong and leading to the confidence they have going into the postseason.
“I’m pretty confident…(but) I’m more confident in our ability to fight for each other and our ability to work hard and get better each day,” Curry said.
UK Head Coach Craig Skinner believes having faced competitive situations in the regular season and having been in the postseason before will help them prepare to make a run, since they will have an experienced mentality as opposed to going into the tournament brand new.
“Everyone on the roster has played in the tournament except for our freshmen so it is a different mentality,” Coach Skinner said of the Cats mindset leading into the tournament. “You have your backs against the wall against everybody you play and you have to perform.”
In terms of how they were seeded, being tabbed as the number 9 seed was around what Coach Skinner expected, but he is still honored by the opportunity to host the regional.
“You’re just always honored to get the chance to host in the NCAA Tournament,” Coach Skinner said of how he is treating the seeding. “(I’m) just honored to have the chance to get after it with this team and the chance to do it on our home floor.”
For senior outside hitter Leah Edmond, hosting the regional is one more chance to play in Memorial, as she gets to spend more time playing in front of family and friends with her teammates.
“It’s a big deal to be, especially being from Lexington,” Edmond said. “Memorial has always been a special place to me ever since I committed here (UK).”
Kentucky Volleyball is ready for its chance to make a run, and it starts Friday night at Memorial Coliseum at 7:30 pm in the first round of the regional against Southeast Missouri State.