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Could This Had Been The Year For UK Volleyball

By LARRY VAUGHT

With all the focus on whether the Southeastern Conference will or will not play football this season, it was easy not to pay enough attention to the NCAA’s decision Thursday not to have championships for fall sports teams — volleyball, soccer and cross country — this year due to COVID-19.

Sure, that had to send a message to the SEC, ACC and Big 12 as all three continue to consider fall sports, including football.

But I also could not help but think about the pain UK volleyball was going to feel over this decision. I’ve loved watching senior setter Madison Lilley and senior libero Gabby Curry play the last three years. I was convinced the two of them along with UK’s other returning players and the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class could get UK to the Final Four this year.

“I think it is a huge credit to (coach) Craig (Skinner) and all our staff that have been striving for this (No. 1 recruiting class),” Lilley told me in July. “These players wanted to play for this program to help make history this season.

“Our depth will be freaky. We have some crazy athletes coming in. On top of the athleticism and talent, we all have so much drive. The work ethic is not only through the roof and it’s going to make for a really rewarding senior year. There’s no question we are all doing what we can for the greater good of the team.

Now at best there will be no national championship and at worst no season at all.

Larry Vaught
Larry Vaught is a seven-time winner of the Kentucky Sportswriter of the Year award and has covered University of Kentucky sports since 1975. Larry now has a syndicated UK sports column appearing in 34 newspapers across the state as well as http://www.yoursportsedge.com/, and http://www.cameronmillsradio.com/. Larry also joins Mark Buerger and Anthony White on WLAP Sunday Morning Sports each week in Lexington as well as appearing each Tuesday with Tom Leach on The Leach Report.

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