2007 Arkansas Volleyball Season In Review
Lady Razorbacks open season 6-1
The Arkansas volleyball team opened the 2007 season with a 6-1 start winning a pair of pre-conference tournaments. Arkansas went 2-1 winning the Clarion Inn Invitational and posted a 3-0 mark at the Jefferson Cup Invitational bringing home the team titles at both events. Arkansas also downed Oral Roberts in a mid-week tilt in Barnhill Arena as the Lady’Backs won six in a row.
Dorrell earns a pair of MVP honors
Senior Jessica Dorrell earned back-to-back tournament MVP honors to begin the season. Her first award came at the Clarion Inn Invitational where she tallied 58 kills, a 4.83 kill per game average and hit .339 for the three-match weekend. Dorrell added one assist, four service aces, 28 digs and eight total blocks leading Arkansas to the team title.
Dorrell repeated as tournament MVP at the Jefferson Cup hosted by Virginia a week later. The Aledo, Texas, native, hit .318 with 42 kills, a 3.82 kpg average, four assists, three service aces, 11 digs and nine total blocks as Arkansas won all three of its matches.
Lawrence also makes it two in a row
Junior Christina Lawrence joined Jessica Dorrell on both all-tournament teams as the season began. Lawrence opened hitting .347 with 45 kills and a 3.75 kill per game average at the Clarion Inn Invitational. She added three assists, five digs and 10 total blocks earning her first all-tournament team honor.
Lawrence, a Sullivan, Mo., hit .383 with 24 kills and a 3.00 kpg average. She added one assist, one dig and seven total blocks at the Jefferson Cup the following week.
Fowler honored at the Jefferson Cup
Sophomore Catherine Fowler earned her first all-tournament team honor at the Jefferson Cup hosted by Virginia. The Conway, Ark., native hit .326 for the three-match weekend with 22 kills and 2.00 kills per game. She paced the team with 12 total blocks and a 1.09 block per game average.
Miller sets Arkansas digs record – and then some
Senior Ashley Miller set the Arkansas school record for career digs in game two against Kansas State at the Varney’s KSU Invitational Sept. 7, in Manhattan, Kan. The Vacaville, Calif., native finished the match with 1,693 career digs sliding by former Lady’Back Krystal Osborne (194-97) who finished her career with 1,659.
Miller’s successful season continued as she broke the Southeastern Conference career digs record several weeks later in a five-game come-from-behind win at Georgia. Miller entered the match with 2,033 and finished the contest with 25 erasing the SEC record formerly held by Kentucky’s Jenni Casper who had 2,037.
Miller finished the year with a single-season record 570 digs and career record 2,126 – more than 467 career digs than the second-place spot. In addition, she holds the career digs per game record with a 4.40 mark and the single match record with 36 set against Ole Miss in 2006.
Dorrell reaches 1,000 career kills
Senior Jessica Dorrell became the 12th player in Arkansas school history to reach the 1,000-kill plateau. The Aledo, Texas, native began the season with 803 career kills and recorded her 1,000th in a three-game match at Mississippi State Sept. 21. Dorrell led Arkansas in the match with 15 kills giving her 1,011 at the end of play.
Dorrell’s senior season was her statistical best. She amassed 507 single-season kills, ranking ninth all-time. Dorrell posted 28 matches with double-figure kill totals, had 11 double-doubles and had a career-best 30 kills against Mississippi State Oct. 28. She finished her career with 1,310 career kills ranking seventh all-time in Arkansas history.
Arkansas downs No. 5 Florida
Arkansas did the unlikely downing the fifth-ranked Florida Gators in a thrilling five-game match in Barnhill Oct. 12. It is just the second win over Florida for the Lady’Backs. Arkansas, who was just 2-6 in the SEC, notched the 31-29, 32-30, 20-30, 12-30, 20-18 win over the previously undefeated Gators. Arkansas was balanced all night with senior Jessica Dorrell leading the team with 23 kills, nine digs and three blocks. Junior Christina Lawrence and freshman Heather Royal added 13 kills each with Royal tallying a season/career-best 15 digs in the win. Freshman Sarah Freudenrich added seven kills and eight blocks while senior Ashley Miller led the team with 23 digs in the win.
Arkansas trailed Florida 14-10 in the fifth game but rallied to win 20-18 in a dramatic finish.
SEC honors Arkansas with weekly honors
A pair of Lady Razorbacks earned Southeastern Conference weekly honors in 2007. Seniors Jessica Dorrell and Ashley Miller were both honored for standout play last season. Dorrell earned SEC Player of the Week twice last year. The first award came in the first week of the season when Dorrell paced
Dorrell earns ESPN The Magazine Academic honor
Senior Jessica Dorrell earned selection to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District second-team in November. Dorrell, an outside hitter from Aledo, Texas, becomes the ninth Lady Razorback volleyball player to be selected and it is the 11th honor for the program. Dorrell, who maintains a 3.65 grade point average in finance, has enjoyed success both on and off the volleyball court. In the classroom Dorrell was named to the SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll as well as the SEC Academic Honor Roll for three seasons. She is a multiple-time member of the Arkansas Women’s Athletics Department academic honor roll earning a perfect 4.0 grade point average in the spring of 2007.
Dorrell and Freudenrich selected to all-SEC teams
Senior Jessica Dorrell and freshman Sarah Freudenrich were honored by the Southeastern Conference with year-end honors the league office announced in late November.
Dorrell earned second-team all-SEC honors while Freudenrich, a 6-4 middle blocker from Broken Arrow, Okla., earned an all-freshman team selection. The honor is the second league award for Dorrell. She earned selection to the all-SEC freshman team in 2004. In addition, she was awarded SEC weekly honors twice in 2007.
Freudenrich expected to redshirt the 2007 season using it as a training year but injury to others forced her into the Lady’Back line up from the first meet of the year. She finished the year with 137 kills in SEC matches, hitting .250 with 23 digs and a team-best 120 total blocks for a 1.52 block per game average. Freudenrich was ranked in the top 20 in the nation for blocking for much of the season and already finds her name sprinkled throughout the Arkansas blocking records.
Miller selected to the SEC Community Service team
Senior Ashley Miller was selected to the Southeastern Conference Community Service team. Miller participated in Dr. Seuss Read Across American Day, the Houston Nutt Classic Golf Tournament and was a representative on the U of A Tobacco Free Coalition. Her biggest involvement however has been her efforts towards breast cancer awareness. Her year-long commitment to breast cancer and breast cancer awareness has led to a variety of activities from designing newspaper ads placed in the campus newspaper, to producing a bi-monthly newsletter, presentations, Race for the Cure, to sponsoring a creative writing contest and an art contest called “Every Sister, Every Daughter, Every Mother”.