The University of Arkansas won back-to-back matches against the Magnolia State last week moving into the top spot in the SEC Western Division standings. Arkansas travels to No. 4 Florida and Georgia this week as league action continues.
Koleva nears 1,000
Arkansas junior outside hitter Denitza Koleva is poised to become the 10th player in Lady Razorback history to record her 1,000th-career kill. Koleva entered the year with 717 kills and has added 271 this year (prior to the Florida match) for a total of 988.
Allison honored by SEC
Junior middle blocker Amy Allison was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this year it was announced Monday. Allison, a Jenks, Okla., native paced Arkansas to a pair of SEC wins that vaulted Arkansas to the top of the Western Division standings heading into one of the toughest road weekends. Allison hit .255 in three matches (St. Louis, Mississippi and Mississippi State) and collected 32 blocks averaging 2.91 blocks-per-game in the contests.
Allison ranked third in the country last week in blocking averaging 1.86 bpg at that point in the season. Her numbers helped Arkansas rank 12th in the NCAA with a 3.34 mark. Allison has paced Arkansas’ blocking efforts all season and the Lady’Backs have had 17 matches with double-digit blocks this year. That was highlighted by a 21.5 team blocking effort against St. Louis last week. Allison’s award is the second of the season for the junior and the second of her career. She is also the second Lady’Back honored by the league this year as teammate Christina Lawrence was named SEC Freshman Player of the Week earlier this season.
Arkansas handles Magnolia State
The Lady Razorbacks notched a pair of SEC wins over Mississippi and Mississippi State climbing back on top of the Western Division. The Lady’Backs won both matches in three games although State gave Arkansas a scare opening a 16-5 lead in the third game. The Lady’Backs scratched out a comeback and remained perfect over the Bulldogs with a 24-0 lifetime record.
The Western Wall
Arkansas has had 17 of their 20 matches with double-digit blocks this year highlighted by 21.5 team blocks against St. Louis. Arkansas traditionally is a solid blocking team ranking in the top 50 in the country for blocks-per-game and this year is no exception. Arkansas ranked 12th averaging 3.34 in last week’s NCAA rankings with the new numbers due out midweek. Junior Amy Allison leads Arkansas and is third in the country with a 1.86 block-per-game average last week.
Allison leads the block
Junior Amy Allison leads the team in blocking with a 151.0 blocks and a 2.01 block-per-game average. She has posted five matches with double-digit block totals and Allison collected a career-best 14.0 at Alabama.
Day Rest To Face Lady Backs After playing four matches in eight days, the No. 4 Florida volleyball team enjoyed some well-earned rest, but will return to action when the Gators battle Arkansas at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21 at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in a Friday Night With Gators and SEC-TV match broadcast on FSN Florida.
The Gators have won 24 straight games in Southeastern Conference play through
the midway point of league action and control their own destiny in the race for the top
seed of the SEC Tournament as no other school has fewer than two losses. The Gators will be looking to start 9-0 in the SEC for the 15th straight season.
Arkansas versus the Gators
Florida has dominated the series against the Lady’Backs winning 19 of the 20 meetings. The Lady’Backs’ only win came at the 1997 SEC Tournament in the championship match when Arkansas notched a three-game win in Athens. Arkansas has lost the last 13 meetings.
Arkansas’ match at Florida is the SEC match of the week. The Lady’Backs are 11-19 all-time when appearing on television including 1-0 this year in a match that was locally televised at Alabama. Friday’s match will be called by Kevin Henslee with Phil Bush as the analyst.
The Bulldogs return to Athens this weekend with matches against LSU and Arkansas. Georgia is 6-5 in the Ramsey Center this year. The Bulldogs have four SEC home matches and four road matches remaining on the schedule. On Sunday at Kentucky, freshman Maria Taylor set a career high with 21 kills. Senior Julia Petruschke leads the team with 4.62 kills per game and her .268 hitting percentage is on pace to be the highest of her career.
Arkansas versus the Bulldogs
The Lady’Backs led the series with Georgia 8-4 lifetime but Georgia managed the win in Athens last year in five games. Arkansas had won the previous four matches and the series is even, 3-3, in Athens.
Arkansas picked to win SEC
The University of Arkansas was voted to tie LSU for the 2005 Southeastern Conference Western Division title in a poll from the league’s coaches. Arkansas received five first-place votes while LSU garnered six. Florida was again selected to win the SEC Eastern Division title and the overall title despite dropping two matches to upstart Tennessee last year and surrendering the titles. (see the poll on page 3).
Arkansas and the SEC Western Division
The Lady Razorbacks have dominated the SEC Western Division since adding volleyball in 1994. Arkansas was 109-7 all-time against the Western Division entering the year and is a perfect 5-0 (Auburn, Alabama, LSU, Miss and MSU) this year bringing their winning percentage to .942 (114-7).
Double Me Up
Junior Denitza Koleva leads the team with 16 matches with double-digit kill totals. Her season best 27 kills came against nationally-ranked Kansas State where she hit .442. Koleva has also had double-digit digs in 11 of Arkansas’ 17 matches this year with double-doubles (kills and digs) in 11 matches as well.
More about doubles
Jessica Dorrell has posted eight matches with double-digit kills. Christina Lawrence has had six, Amy Allison eight, Kele Brewer 10 and Karla Crose six matches with double-figure kill totals.
A double in another way
Junior Amy Allison has recorded five matches this year with double-digit block totals highlighted by a career-best 14.0 at Alabama. She followed up with 13.0 against LSU in the very next match and had 13.0 against SLU.
I can dig it
Sophomore Ashley Miller has posted double-digit dig totals in 19 of Arkansas’ 20 matches. Her lone single-digit dig total was seven against No. 25 Long Beach State in a three-game Arkansas loss in San Diego, Calif. Miller’s high is a school-record 32 digs against Utah in a five-game win at Missouri State in tournament action the third weekend of the year.
Moving on up
Arkansas remained in third place in this week’s AVCA regional rankings (see complete list on next page). The Lady’Backs trail No. 4 Florida and Tennessee but are ahead of the rest of the Southeastern Conference in the standings.
Arkansas has also moved to No. 28 in the RichKern.com RKPI rankings. That is the second-highest Arkansas has been all season. The RKPI is not the official rpi rating used by the NCAA but uses a similar formula and is widely used until NCAA Tournament time.
Arkansas in the NCAA
The Lady Razorbacks rank eighth in the country in blocking this week. The Lady’Backs were averaging 3.44 blocks per game at the time of the ranking. Amy Allison has moved up to second in the national individually as well.
Lady’Backs Return to Airwaves
Arkansas volleyball returns to the airwaves again this year both on the internet and on KXUA, 88.3 FM. Both of Arkansas’ conference matches this week air live on the internet at LADYBACKS.COM and on the radio.
Arkansas continues its SEC schedule hosting Alabama in a match that could determine this year’s divisional winner Friday, Oct. 28, and welcomes Auburn Sunday, Oct. 30.