[caption id="attachment_212008" align="alignnone" width="796"] UK Athletics[/caption]
UK Baseball's elimination yesterday brought an end to the year for UK Athletics. It was definitely a memorable one. Here is a recap of how all of the teams did this season!
[caption id="attachment_207710" align="alignnone" width="300"] Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports[/caption]
Record: 7-6 (4-4 SEC)
Postseason: Lost to Georgia Tech in Tax Slayer Bowl 33-18
Heck this might be the best moment of the UK Athletics season.
Recap: The season could not have started any worse for Mark Stoops and company. The Cats jumped out to an early lead on Southern Miss with Drew Barker having a monster first half. The second half of the game? Well, you know what happened... the season continued with a big loss to Florida and an embarrassing start to the New Mexico State game. Fans immediately began to call for a change in leadership. To say that the Cats proved them wrong is an understatement. The win over Louisville may go down as the biggest win in program history. It changed everyone's perception of Mark Stoops and those that were not sold on him are now buying back into the program. While the Cats lost the bowl game, the end result does not mean as much as just being there does. Kentucky not only just making a bowl game, but making one of the caliber of the Tax Slayer Bowl is massive for the program. It really does lead us to ask the question, What's Next?
[caption id="attachment_208072" align="alignnone" width="300"] Via @KentuckyVB[/caption]
Record: 23-8 (15-2 SEC)
Postseason: Lost to Washington 3-0 in 2nd Round of NCAA Tournament
Best Moment: Sweeping Louisville 3-0 at the KFC Yum Center
Recap: UK Volleyball had another impressive season. Craig Skinner's team finished with 23 wins marking the 9th time in the past 10 years that his team has won at least 20 games. Volleyball players Leah Edmond, Ashley Dusek and Olivia Dailey earned All-America distinction, with Edmond becoming the 11th player in school history to be named to 1st, 2nd or 3rd team All-American. Dusek was also named the SEC Libero of the Year. Next season will bring high expectations for the Cats as they bring in their highest ranked recruiting class in school history.
[caption id="attachment_223103" align="alignnone" width="300"] UK Athletics[/caption]
Record: 11-5-3 (5-3-0 C-USA)
Postseason: Lost to Creighton 3-2 in 2nd Round of NCAA Tournament
Best Moment: Selection Show (Team earned first ever national seed)
Recap: For the first time in team history, the Kentucky soccer team were given a national seed. With this, Kentucky hosted Creighton in the NCAA Tournament. This was the third straight NCAA Tournament bid for the Cats and the fourth in five years. Napo Matsoso was drafted with the 31st pick of the MLS SuperDraft by the New England Revolution. This selection made Matsoso the highest drafted player in program history. He ended his career with the third most assists in school history, and tied for the ninth most goals. Charlie Reyman also signed with Bethlehem Steel FC of the United Soccer League, which has teams in Louisville and Cincinnati.
[caption id="attachment_223104" align="alignnone" width="300"] UK Athletics[/caption]
Record: 5-9-4 (1-7-3 SEC)
Postseason: No Postseason
Best Moment: 2-1 Win over #9 Arkansas
Recap: The season was an obvious disappointment for Kentucky fans. Following their loss to Georgia to close the season, head coach Jon Lipsitz was relieved of his duties as head coach. Following a nationwide search, Mitch Barnhart decided to go in house and hired assistant coach Ian Carry to become the next head coach.
[caption id="attachment_223105" align="alignnone" width="300"] UK Athletics[/caption]
Men's and Women's Cross Country
Postseason: Men: 5th in NCAA SE Regional
Women: 3rd in NCAA SE Regional
Best Moment: Katy Kunc finishing 33rd in NCAA Championship
Recap: Cross Country is a sport that doesn't get nearly the respect it deserves. Both teams had an impressive season. The men's team finished in 3rd in the SEC which was their best finish since 1992. The women finished 3rd in the region and narrowly missed qualifying as a team for the NCAA Championship. Katy Kunc was still able to represent the team by running a 6K in 20:20.
[caption id="attachment_220959" align="alignnone" width="300"] kentuckywgolf | IG[/caption]
Men's and Women's Golf
Postseason: Men: 7th in NCAA Baton Rouge Region
Women: 16th in NCAA Regional
Best Moment: UK Women winning the Battle of the Bluegrass Tournament
Recap: The UK Men were highlighted by having 3 players finish in the top 20 at the NCAA Regional. Tyler McDaniel led the way for the Cats shooting a +3 over 3 days. The UK Women were led by Isabelle Johansson who finished tied for 22nd place in the region by shooting +9 over 3 days.
Be sure to click the more button to read the remainder of the recap and to vote on the best team and moment of the year!
[caption id="attachment_217967" align="alignnone" width="300"] Troy Taormina | USA Today[/caption]
Record: 32-6 (16-2 SEC)
Postseason: Lost to North Carolina in Elite Eight
Best Moment: Malik Monk's 47 point game against North Carolina
Recap: This team was a lot of fun to watch. Yes, they had their downfalls including losing three out of four games in the middle of the season, but they also had a lot of really fun moments. We can remember De'Aaron Fox recording the second triple-double in program history, we can remember Malik Monk putting on a show in Las Vegas in what I think was the greatest regular season college basketball game I have ever seen, we can also remember Dominique Hawkins and Derek Willis coming into their own as Senior leaders of the team. Yes, the season could have ended on a lot happier of a note, but it was still a lot of fun while it happened.
[caption id="attachment_217981" align="alignnone" width="300"] Photo by UK Athletics[/caption]
Record: 22-11 (11-5 SEC)
Postseason: Lost to Ohio State in the 2nd Round
Best Moment: Win over Mississippi State
Recap: Following the mass exodus of the program, Matthew Mitchell put together his best coaching job. Makayla Epps and Evelyn Akhator led the team to a #4 national seed. The highlight of the season was their upset win over Mississippi State. Mississippi State went on to upset UConn in the Final Four, so therefore Kentucky beat UConn. In all seriousness, this was an impressive season for UK Hoops. To top it off, Evelyn Akhator was drafted number 3 overall in the WNBA Draft. With that selection, she became the highest drafted player in UK Hoops history. Makayla Epps was also drafted. She went number 33 overall to the Chicago Sky.
[caption id="attachment_223106" align="alignnone" width="300"] UK Athletics[/caption]
Postseason: 3rd in NCAA Seattle Region
Best Moment: Freshman Mollie Korth at the NCAA Championship
Recap: The UK Gymnastics team put together another impressive season. The team finished in 5th in the highly competitive SEC, before finishing in 3rd narrowly missing 2nd in the NCAA Regional. The team did send freshman Mollie Korth and sophomore Alex Hyland as all-around competitors to the NCAA Championship. Korth stole the show for the Cats by finishing in 6th place, while Hyland finished in 12th place. Korth's finish gave her 2nd team All-American recognition as a Freshman.
[caption id="attachment_223107" align="alignnone" width="300"] UK Athletics[/caption]
Postseason: 4th in NCAA Championship
Best Moment: NCAA Championship performance
Recap: The UK Rifle team made its' 17th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and did not disappoint. The team finished in 4th, which is the 6th consecutive year they have finished in the top 6 nationally. Personally, I do not know a lot about Collegiate Rifle, but UK Athletics says, "Two Wildcats finished in the top-25 individuals for air rifle. Billy Azzinaro finished in 24th place with a 589 in the discipline, which made him the top Wildcat for the event at 1174. Senior Heather Kirby completed her collegiate career with a 592 to lead UK in the discipline and finish inside the top-15 individuals in 14th place."
[caption id="attachment_223108" align="alignnone" width="233"] UK Athletics[/caption]
Swimming and Diving
Postseason: Men: 37th in NCAA Championship
Women: No Postseason
Best Moment: Seb Masterson's 13th place finish at the NCAA Championship
Recap: Seb Masterson and Kyle Higgins led the way for the Cats. At the NCAA Championship, Masterson finished in 13th place in the 1-meter springboard, which gave him the recognition as a 2nd team All-American. Higgins finished in 21st place in the 200-meter butterfly with a time of 1:42.78, which was just shy of his school record.
[caption id="attachment_222866" align="alignnone" width="300"] Photo by UK Athletics[/caption]
Record: 43-23 (19-11 SEC)
Postseason: Lost to Louisville in NCAA Super Regional
Best Moment: Win over NC State to clinch first Super Regional Birth
Recap: What a first season for new UK Head Coach Nick Mingione. The Cats entered the season with low expectations. Fans just wanted to see improvement from a season ago, but did not expect much. Boy did the Cats ever improve. Following an 0-4 start, Kentucky made their way to a national ranking, which in the long run gave the Cats the opportunity to host an NCAA Regional. Kentucky made it thorough the regional and were given the opportunity to face Louisville for a chance to make its' first ever trip to Omaha. The dream ended in Louisville as the Cardinals defeated Kentucky 2-0. The loss to Louisville has no impact on how fans will view this season. It was amazing and Nick Mingione has become a true fan favorite.
[caption id="attachment_222092" align="alignnone" width="300"] @UKsoftball[/caption]
Record: 39-19 (12-12 SEC)
Postseason: Lost to Oregon in NCAA Super Regional
Best Moment: Winning the Lexington Regional
Recap: UK Softball had yet another impressive season capped out by their 5th Super Regional birth in 7 years. Head Coach Rachel Lawson has done a fantastic job with the UK Program. The Cats were able to plow through the Lexington Regional finishing with a record of 3-0, but received a tough draw with Oregon. Following a loss in game one, Kentucky jumped out to a 5-2 lead in game two, but weren't able to hold off the Oregon offense who scored 4 in the top of the 7th to defeat the Cats 6-5.
[caption id="attachment_223109" align="alignnone" width="300"] UK Athletics[/caption]
Record: Men: 15-13
Postseason: Men: Lost in Second Round to Wake Forest
Women: Lost in Second Round to Michigan
Best Moment: Will Bushamuka making the NCAA Round of 16
Recap: The UK Men put together an impressive season. They lost to the #1 seed Wake Forest, but came close to pulling off the upset. Will Bushamuka was the star of the team, which allowed him to pick up All-American honors. The UK Women doubles duo of Mami Adachi and Aldila Sutjiadi fell in the NCAA quarterfinals, but did become the first doubles team to be named All-Americans in back-to-back seasons in program history.
[caption id="attachment_223110" align="alignnone" width="300"] UK Athletics[/caption]
Track and Field
Postseason: Men: Did not Place
Women: 4th at NCAA Championship
Best Moment: UK Women's Team wins 4x100 relay
Recap: The UK Track and Field team had multiple members place in the NCAA Championships this weekend. The most notable is the Women's 4x100 team and Olivia Gruver who each won the national championship. Other placers include: Sha’Keela Saunders, fifth in Long Jump, Nick Anderson, fifth in 110m Hurdles, Marie-Josee Ebwea-Bile, 2nd in the Triple Jump and Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, 2nd in the 100m Hurdles.
Wow! What a season for UK Athletics! The Catspy's have already happened, so the school has chosen their winners, but now is time for our unofficial poll!
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @GormleyKSRand let me know your overall opinion on this season in the comment section. Go Cats!
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