No.18 Kentucky gets set for SEC road opener against Mizzou

Kentucky will face Missouri in SEC road opener.

LEXINGTON, Ky.(UK Athletics) – The No. 18 Kentucky Volleyball team will hit the road for the first time in Southeastern Conference play Wednesday night as it faces Missouri at the Hearnes Center in Columbia for a 7 p.m. ET showdown in the Show Me State.

The match will be broadcasted live on the SEC Network+, ESPN+ and the ESPN app with Noah Reed and former Mizzou standout Riley Rohler on the call from Columbia. Live stats are available through UKathletics.com.

Kentucky is 6-5 on the season and Missouri is 7-4. The Wildcats have played two conference matches, splitting a two-match series with LSU in Lexington this past weekend to sport a 1-1 league record. Missouri has played just one SEC match and is 0-1 in league play with a loss to Tennessee last Wednesday evening in Knoxville.

Reagan Rutherford leads the UK offense with 3.93 kills per set in 2022, having set the pace in kills, total points, total attacks for Kentucky this year. Elise Goetzinger has been the Wildcats most reliable weapon at the net with 0.90 blocks per set and is picking up her offense this year, averaging over two kills per set for the first time in her career.

Defensively, the 2021 Southeastern Conference Libero of the Year Eleanor Beavin is leading the Kentucky defense with just under four digs per set and is third-best on the team in service aces. Emma Grome leads the UK offense with 11.38 assists per set as she paces the nation’s fourth-highest hitting percentage offense right now and leads the SEC.

Kentucky leads the all-time series with Mizzou, 12-4. The Wildcats have won eight in a row dating back to the November 2016 meeting when the Tigers last beat UK. The 2016 season was also the last time a match in this series went five sets. Kentucky’s last visit to Columbia resulted in a two-match sweep of the Tigers during the 2020-21 COVID season, with UK winning both matches 3-1 en route to the NCAA Championship that year.

Mizzou is led by fourth-year head coach Joshua Taylor who’s best offensive weapon, Kaylee Cox, is clubbing the ball at a 3.93 kills per set clip.

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