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Kentucky Athletics | April 22, 2021

Kentucky volleyball's Madison Lilley, Craig Skinner named AVCA Player, Coach of the Year

Kentucky's Madison Lilley on winning AVCA National Player of the Year

OMAHA, Neb. — Kentucky Volleyball's senior setter Madison Lilley was named the 2020-21 American Volleyball Coaches' Association National Player of the Year, the organization announced on Thursday. Additionally, Kentucky Volleyball head coach Craig Skinner was named the American Volleyball Coaches' Association's National Coach of the Year.
 
Lilley becomes the first-ever Southeastern Conference student-athlete to win the award.
 
The 2021-21 SEC Player of the Year, AVCA All-Southeast Region Player of the Year, and First Team All-American from Overland Park, Kansas was named the winner of the award via a vote from head coaches around the country who make up the All-American committee of the AVCA.
 
Lilley, the school's all-time leader in assists, is averaging an SEC-high 12.1 assists per set this season, with just under one kill per set, 2.36 digs per set and 0.65 blocks per set. She was named the SEC's Player of the Week four times this season and the league's Setter of the Week on seven different occasions.

KEEP UP: Live coverage of the 2020-21 NCAA DI volleyball championship
 
The senior has recorded 30+ assists in all but two of Kentucky's 23 matches this season, including all three so far in the NCAA Tournament against UNLV, No. 18 Western Kentucky and No. 9 Purdue. Lilley has 35 matches in her illustrious career that she has recorded 40 or more assists and six matches this season along with 10 or more digs, for six double-doubles this year.
 
An AVCA All-American all four years at Kentucky, Lilley was named a First Team All-Americans on Tuesday for the first time in her career.
 
Kentucky has qualified for the NCAA National Semifinals for the first time and plays (6) Washington on Thursday night at 7 p.m. ET in the first of two national semifinal matches. The match will air live on ESPN with Paul Sunderland, Salima Rockwell and Holly Rowe on the call from the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
 
Skinner, who is in his 16th season as the head coach at Kentucky, was also named the Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year by the SEC coaches, and the AVCA's All-Southeast Region Coach of the Year by the head coaches in the AVCA's Southeast Region.
 
Since being tabbed Kentucky's head coach in December 2004, Craig Skinner has rejuvenated the Kentucky volleyball program into national prominence and is the program's all-time winningest head coach. Skinner has directed the Wildcats to 16 consecutive NCAA Tournaments - a feat only nine other schools in the nation have achieved. That run includes seven Sweet Sixteen appearances since 2009, two Elite Eight appearances and back-to-back-to-back-to-back SEC titles in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020-21. Furthermore, the Wildcats have captured 17 or more victories in all 16 seasons under Skinner's direction, including tallying 20 or more wins in 12 of the last 14 seasons.

Kentucky coach Craig Skinner is the AVCA Coach of the Year

 This season, Skinner guided the Wildcats to a 19-1 overall regular season record, and a fourth-straight SEC Championship, something that has never been done in the history of Kentucky Volleyball. Inside the win streak, UK won 38-straight sets against its opponents and won three matches against top-10 teams.
 
During his tenure, the Wildcats have amassed 23 All-America first, second or third team distinctions, while UK has hauled in 61 All-Southeastern Conference honors in his 15 seasons - including the 2008, 2018, 2019 and 2020 SEC Player of the Year, 2006, 2016, 2017 and 2018 SEC Freshman of the Year, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 SEC Libero of the Year and the 2005 SEC Defensive Player of the Year.
 
Kentucky has qualified for the NCAA National Semifinals for the first time and plays (6) Washington on Thursday night at 7 p.m. ET in the first of two national semifinal matches. The match will air live on ESPN with Paul Sunderland, Salima Rockwell and Holly Rowe on the call from the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
 
A native of Muncie, Indiana, Skinner is married to former Nebraska assistant women's soccer coach Megan Bechtold Skinner. The couple has two daughters, Sophie and Isabel and a son, Eli.

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