Kentucky Volleyball named preseason favorite to win SEC in 2021

Aritcle written by:Zack GeogheganZack Geoghegan

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UK Athletics

Kentucky Volleyball will defend its first national championship back on top of the SEC.

On Wednesday morning, the Southeastern Conference announced that the Kentucky Wildcats has been tabbed as the preseason favorites to win the conference, as voted on by members of the SEC Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Additionally, three of the nine Preseason All-Conference recipients were Wildcats: sophomore outside hitter Madi Skinner, senior outside hitter Alli Stumler, and junior middle blocker Azhani Tealer.

The No. 3 overall Wildcats just narrowly edged out the No. 6 ranked Florida Gators as the SEC’s preseason winner, receiving 139 points and seven first-place votes compared to UF’s 138 points and six first-place votes. LSU (118 points), Tennessee (100), and Arkansas (98) round out the top five.

Kentucky Volleyball and head coach Craig Skinner lost a crew of All-Americans from the historic 2020-21 season but kept enough talent around for the ‘Cats to be in the national conversation once again. UK has been named the last four SEC Champions and has an excellent opportunity to make it five in a row, although Florida will tough once again near the top of the conference. The Gators saw four players earn Preseason All-SEC honors.

The Wildcats will open up exhibition play this Thursday against Western Kentucky in Bowling Green, KY. The season-opener is a tournament that is set for Aug. 27-29 in Dayton, OH.

Below are the complete preseason standings along with the full nine-member All-SEC team.

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2021-09-16