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Allison leads Arkansas with career-best 14 blocks in big SEC win

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Allison leads Arkansas with career-best 14 blocks in big SEC win

Jump to Alabama boxscore TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Junior Amy Allison recorded a school-record 14 blocks in a five-game Southeastern Conference thriller over Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Sunday. Allison paced Arkansas (10-5, 3-1 SEC) to a 24-30, 30-24, 30-29, 25-30, 15-11 win overall Alabama (14-3, 2-2) with 14 total blocks in a five-game mach bettering teammate Jessica Dorrell’s five-game record of 12 set last year. The win helps Arkansas climb near the top of the Western Division standings after No. 24 LSU suffered a four-game loss against Alabama last Friday. Allison finished the day with 12 kills, a .550 hitting percentage and 14 blocks while teammate Denitza Koleva added 14 kills, hit .324 and had a career-best eight blocks. Sophomore Christina Lawrence also stepped up with eight kills and hit .462 while recording five blocks as the Lady’Backs out-blocked the Tide 19.0-2.0. “Our block was big,” said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. “It was a difference-maker in the match.” “Amy was very active at the net,” said associate head coach Holly Watts. “She put down a lot of balls and moved well even when she didn’t block.” The win moves the Lady’Backs into a tie for first-place in the SEC Western Division with LSU, a team Arkansas hosts Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 7:00 p.m. “That’s always a big match,” said Watts. “LSU kind of feels like Barnhill is a home-away-from-home for them and they are playing great volleyball right now. We expect that to be a great match.” The Lady’Backs were a bit sluggish in the first frame hitting just .031 with eight kills and seven hitting errors as the offense struggled against a solid Alabama attack. The Arkansas rebounded behind its bread-and-butter block in the second game recording eight blocks in the frame. As the blocking heated up the Lady’Back offense sparked and the team hit .217 while holding the Tide to .190 in the frame. Koleva and Allison came to life offensively in the frame leading the Arkansas hitters. The momentum gained after the second game win carried over into a dominating performance in the third frame with the Lady’Backs hitting .250 and holding Bama to a negative hitting percentage. “I really thought we had the match after the third game,” said Poole. “But Alabama didn’t give up. They are a great team and they’re going to win a lot of matches this year. They have a lot of heart but I also think we displayed a lot of heart to not give up. We could have laid down and quit but we didn’t.” Bama played nip-and-tuck with Arkansas stealing the fourth game in the latter goings of the game to force a deciding game five. The home team’s energy seemed to carry them into the last game and the quickly opened a 4-1 as Poole burned a timeout trying to stop the Tide run. Alabama scored again out of the break but Arkansas woke up on a kill from Koleva that shook the rafters of the gym. Back-to-back unforced errors by Alabama continued to close the gap and Arkansas was able to tie the game at eight just after the team’s traded benches at the half-way mark. A return to the block by Dorrell and senior Karla Crose gave Arkansas a 9-8 lead and the Lady’Backs would never trail again. A Bama hitting error extended the lead and forced the Tide to call their final timeout but Arkansas had enough momentum to get the win. Dorrell added a kill as did Koleva and Lawrence sealed the match with a final booming kill inside the 10-foot line handing Arkansas the five-game win. The Lady’Backs continue SEC action hosting LSU Wednesday followed by an SEC Eastern Division road trip to Kentucky Friday. For more information about Arkansas volleyball call the Lady Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK or log on to LADYBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Volleyball (W)