LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Making its ninth-consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament, 15th-seeded Kentucky opened NCAA play with a 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-17) win against Duquesne in the first round Saturday evening in Memorial Coliseum.
With the win, the Wildcats (22-8), improved to 15-14 overall in the NCAA tournament and 8-8 in postseason play in the Craig Skinner era. The win marked the 10th tournament win in Lexington for the Blue and White, who hold a 10-3 record in Memorial Coliseum, a run that includes hosting five of the last six seasons.
UK, ranked 17th in the country, advances to the second round for the third consecutive season and will host No. 20 Michigan State Sunday. The winner of the second round match will advance to next weekend’s NCAA regionals, also hosted by Kentucky in Memorial Coliseum. The Wildcats made the round of 16 in 2011 and 2012 but are looking for their third consecutive regional visit for the first time in program history.
The offensive attack was led by senior Whitney Billings, who had a match-high 18 kills on .406 hitting to go along with eight digs and two service aces. Freshman Anni Thomasson also reached double digits with 12 kills and three digs, while junior libero Jackie Napper recorded 11 digs.