Happy Sunday morning, BBN – and what a night it was. Let’s talk about it, as well as what today brings.
Kentucky Volleyball wins first national championship
Not sure if you’ve heard yet or not, but Kentucky is a volleyball school now. Last night, the ‘Cats defeated Texas 3-1 to win the first title in program history and the first title of any SEC program. That’s a big deal, folks. Alex Weber dropped a recap of everything that went down.
It seems like UK fans knew it, too. Shortly after the game, students flooded to the infamous State Street to celebrate the big win. There was some coach burning and chanting – you know, normal State Street stuff. Nature is healing.
A scene at State Street pic.twitter.com/NfgtlP6U64
— kassidy (@kass_stumbo) April 25, 2021
WE HAVE FIRE pic.twitter.com/H50y1c5B45
— Brent Wainscott (@BrentWainscott_) April 25, 2021
Head coach Craig Skinner was hired in 2004 and has built quite a dominant force since then. Earlier this week, he was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s National Coach of the Year. Star senior Madison Lilley was also named AVCA’s National Player of the Year. She was the first-ever SEC student-athlete to win the award.
Kentucky Athletics will be hosting a national championship celebration party at Memorial Coliseum for the team today. Doors open at 2:00 p.m. and the event begins at 2:30 p.m. Admission is free but fans are asked to social distance and adhere to mask guidelines.
UK Baseball, Softball set to play Sunday doubleheaders
Both the UK Baseball and Softball games scheduled for yesterday in Lexington were canceled due to heavy rain. Instead, both teams will play doubleheaders today beginning at noon.
The guys welcomed the Alabama Crimson Tide to Kentucky Proud Park this weekend in a crucial SEC series for the struggling Wildcats. The Tide handily won Friday’s game 10-1 after a seven-run seventh inning. Senior TJ Collett hit his 37th career home run in the match as well, moving him into a tie for fourth on UK’s career list.
Today’s games will both be seven-inning affairs. Fans with tickets for yesterday’s scheduled game will be able to use them to enter to watch both games as long as capacity restrictions allow it.
The No. 14 softball team has an important series this weekend as well. The ladies are playing a doubleheader vs. No. 15 LSU today. This is a big series for head coach Rachel Lawson and her team, who have been inconsistent in SEC play.
Kentucky powered past LSU in Game 1 on Friday night thanks to a go-ahead grand slam in the fifth inning from junior Renee Abernathy. The outfielder was excellent on defense too, making a sensational diving catch in the seventh to protect the Wildcat lead. With the win, Kentucky moved to 32-10 on the season and 7-9 in SEC play. Hopefully they can get that number even today.
While you’re waiting for today’s games to start, check out these highlights from Friday’s exciting game:
Taco Friday … is that a thing?
— Kentucky Softball (@UKsoftball) April 24, 2021
MadeHoops helps kick off AAU circuit with Midwest Mania
The basketball grind never stops. This weekend, KSR is outside of Indianapolis covering MadeHoops and its ‘Midwest Mania’ event, which has drawn some of the biggest names in the recruiting world.
That long list of names includes one that Kentucky fans are very familiar with. Reed Sheppard is playing in the event with the Midwest Basketball Club. The class of 2023 combo guard and North Laurel High School student was impressive all day. See here if you don’t believe me:
He is pretty good… pic.twitter.com/LaQLr4KxnA
— Zack Geoghegan (@ZGeogheganKSR) April 24, 2021
Sheppard also gave a small update about his recruitment process. So far, he has already received offers from Texas A&M and Iowa, as well as some smaller programs. However, he added that “a couple other high-major schools” have been contacting him. He did admit that he and his family have made contact with UK, but offered little other details.
Players at the Midwest Mania event are honoring former Wildcat Terrence Clarke, who died in a car accident in Los Angeles on Thursday. Clarke’s Boston-based AAU team, Expressions Elite, named him an honorary player on the roster before holding a moment of silence for him.
Terrence Clarke’s AAU program @ExpressionsBall is honoring the former Wildcat before every game at @madehoops #MidwestMania this weekend. Number 5 up during a moment of silence, listed as an honorary player on the roster.
— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) April 24, 2021
Stay tuned for more content from Midwest Mania coming to the site later today…
That’s the news and notes you need to know to get your Sunday off to a great start. Enjoy it and go celebrate a national championship at Memorial Coliseum!