Coach Skinner Emphasizes Enjoyment Along With Focus In Tourney Run

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Coach Skinner Emphasizes Enjoyment Along With Focus In Tourney Run

The University of Kentucky women’s volleyball team celebrates during the match against Alabama on Thursday, March 25, 2021 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won the match 3-0 and clinched a fourth-consecutive SEC Title. Photo by Hunter Mitchell.

No. 2 seed Kentucky Volleyball advanced to their first Final Four in school history after defeating No. 7 seed Purdue last night in straight sets (25-23, 25-20, 25-16). Now with their eyes on a title, the Cats will face No. 6 seed Washington for a spot in the national championship on Thursday.

Even with the next game coming up in just over 48 hours, UK Head Coach Craig Skinner emphasized today that they will not stop enjoying this moment considering history was made when they took down Purdue.

“At the end of the day I think we’ll look back at this smiling…we all woke up this morning smiling,” he said.

Skinner went deeper into the psychology of remaining focused while enjoying the moment, calling this team mature and understanding through each second.

“It’s not about volleyball, it’s about people. You’re only as good as the people around you,” the UK coach said.

From a player’s perspective, junior outside hitter Alli Stumler said she struggled to get to sleep last night after their dominating victory. With weeks and months of constantly getting better, Stumler and her teammates were pumped to still be alive in the tournament.

“It was just a surreal moment honestly,” she said.

With that mentioned, the ultimate goal for this team is still to win a championship. But according to Stumler, the team is not putting their eyes totally on the prize yet, but rather taking each day seriously leading up to it.

“I think we just have to focus on Washington. Obviously we have our big goal at the end, but we have to take it day-by-day,” she said.

The Cats will play Washington at 7 p.m. eastern time on ESPN. If they win that one, UK is just three victorious sets from climbing to the top of the volleyball mountain.

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