Arkansas returns home
The Lady Razorbacks host Alabama and Mississippi State as Southeastern Conference action continues. The Lady’Backs play their next two weekends on the road before coming home to close the season Nov. 16, Nov. 18 and No. 24.
Royal continues to contribute
Arkansas freshman Heather Royal has played well this season. The Plano, Texas, native has collected eight double-doubles this year including two in a row last weekend. Royal had 14 kills and 10 digs to lead Arkansas at No. 25 LSU and added 11 kills and a team-best 12 digs at Ole Miss.
Numbers are misleading
Arkansas’ stats have not been up to their usual numbers this year but neither have the opponents. The Lady’Backs enter the week hitting just .202 this year but opponents are hitting just .215 against Arkansas.
Blocking numbers good
Arkansas is out-blocking its opponents again this year. Blocking has been one of the strengths of the program since its inception and the numbers are again good. The Lady’Backs are out-blocking their opponents 239.0-189.5 this year.
Non-Conference schedule over – almost
Arkansas’ 2007 non-conference schedule seemed to fly by. The Lady Razorbacks played to a 6-4 non-conference mark. The Lady’Backs have one more non-conference match remaining during the regular season. Arkansas hosts Connecticut Nov. 24, prior to the start of the NCAA Tournament.
Setters move up on career lists
Arkansas has used two setters to run the offense for several seasons and not since the first four years of the program have the Lady Razorbacks had a setter who set nearly every ball for four seasons (Tina Rico). That being said, reaching statistical milestones as a setter is difficult when you split time. Both of Arkansas current setters, Nicole Martin and Lindsay Scanlan, have surpassed, the 1,000-assist milestone. Although no where near the record of 5,886 assists held by Rico, 1,000 is still a good number. In fact, only seven setters have 1,000 or more assists. Martin slid over 1,000 career assists during the Northern Iowa match and has 1,275 while Scanlan stands at 1,171.
Miller owns Arkansas digs record
Senior Ashley Miller holds the Arkansas record for digs with 1919 (through 10-23). In fact, she holds all of Arkansas’ dig records. Miller has the match record with 36 against Ole Miss (10-1-06), single season with 548 (2005), career with 19191 and climbing, career digs per game with 4.32 (through 10-23-07) and was the digs per game leader in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
But where do those numbers rank in the NCAA? The single-match record for digs is 62 (Jessica Strama, McNeese St. vs. Texas-Arlington, Oct. 13, 2006); the single-season record under the current scoring system is 924 (Paula Gentil, Minnesota, 2004 [138 games]); the career record is 2,791 (Paula Gentil, Minnesota, 2002-05 [506 games]; season digs per game is 7.68 (Amanda McCormick, Ball St., 2006 [852 digs in 111 games]) and career 5.80 (Amanda McCormick, Nebraska/Ball St., 2003-04; 05-06 [2,297 digs in 396 games]).
An SEC bottleneck
As teams work their way passed the mid-point of the season, the SEC standings are still a mess. The winners continue to win with Florida atop the standings with an 11-1 mark. LSU and Alabama lead the West with 9-3 marks. Kentucky and Mississippi are tied for fourth at 8-4 overall. Georgia is sixth with a 5-7 overall record followed by Mississippi State and Arkansas who are tied with 4-8 league records. South Carolina and Tennessee are tied at 3-9 with Auburn’s 2-10 record wrapping up the standings.
Arkansas in the SEC stats – SEC-Only matches
The Lady’Backs’ 4-8 mark in the SEC, not surprisingly, finds the team at the bottom of most of the SEC statistics as well. Here’s a look at where Arkansas ranks: 11th for hitting percentage (.169); seventh in opponent hitting percentage (.218); ninth in assists (12.93), ninth in kills (14.00); 10th in service aces (1.02); and 10th in digs (15.47). On the bright side, Arkansas is third overall in blocks with a 3.04 block per game average.
Arkansas in the SEC stats – All matches
Arkansas’ numbers are a bit better in all matches (conference and non-conference). The Lady’Backs are eighth in hitting percentage (.202); ninth in assists (13.27); eighth in opponent hitting percentage (.215); eighth in kills (14.54); sixth in service aces (1.61) and 11th in digs (14.49). Surprisingly, the Lady’Backs fall to fourth in all-match blocks with a 3.01block per game average.
Freudenrich tops in the SEC
Despite Arkansas’ win-loss woes, freshman Sarah Freudenrich is making a name for herself. The Broken Arrow, Okla., native ranks first in the SEC (in SEC-only matches) for blocks per game with a 1.64 bpg average. Freudenrich has 11 solos and 63 block assists for 74.0 total blocks this year. Freudenrich is second in all matches averaging 1.51 blocks per game with 21 solos and 104 assists for 125.0 total blocks.
Dorrell ranks in kills per game
Senior Jessica Dorrell finds herself ranked fourth this week in kills per game. The Aledo, Texas, native is averaging 4.04 kills per game in all matches. Dorrell ranks sixth in SEC-only contests with 3.71 kpg this year. Dorrell is also seventh in league matches with 0.41 service aces per game.
Miller ranks in digs per game
Senior Ashley Miller leads Arkansas in digs and ranks seventh in the SEC for digs per game. The Vacaville, Calif., native is averaging 4.47 dpg with 201 digs in SEC only matches. Miller ranks sixth in all matches as well averaging 4.54 dpg with 363 total digs this year.
Arkansas is the SEC’s odd team out
The SEC has 11 teams that sponsor volleyball (Vanderbilt does not have a team). Each year there is one team who does not rotate through the conference schedule with a travel partner. This year, that team is Arkansas. As a result, the Lady Razorbacks do not play a mid-week conference match. In fact, Arkansas has only one match this year that does not fall on a weekend and that is a Tuesday match against Oral Roberts Aug. 28. It also means that instead of facing Mississippi and Mississippi State in the same weekend or Alabama and Auburn, the schedule is much more varied – and travel is much more interesting.
Another SEC reminder
The SEC eliminated the conference tournament last year instead opting for a double-round robin format in which teams play each other twice during the course of the season. That format continues for the 2007 season.
Can I get on the internet please?
Every Lady Razorback volleyball match will be carried on the internet in some capacity this year. Every Lady Razorback home match will have live stats, a live audio broadcast and a live video broadcast of the event. Fans can find those at LADYBACKS.COM. All road SEC matches will have audio on LADYBACKS.COM and most will have live stats on either the host site or LADYBACKS.COM. The radio broadcasts for all road SEC matches can also be heard in the Fayetteville area on KXUA, 88.3 FM.