Lady’Backs win Arkansas Invitational
Arkansas captured the 2005 Arkansas Invitational title last weekend downing North Texas, Belmont and Memphis in straight sets. The Lady’Backs surrendered 28 points in one game but otherwise gave up 24 or less points in the remaining eight games.
Allison earns MVP
Junior middle Amy Allison earned her first collegiate honor after being named the Arkansas Invitational MVP. Allison hit .438 with a team-leading 27 kills and 3.00 kpg. She added 19 blocks to average 3.11 bpg.
Allison wasn’t the only Lady Razorback honored this week. Teammates Karla Crose, Denitza Koleva and Christina Lawrence were also selected to the all-tournament team. Crose hit .292 with 10 blocks while Koleva hit .185 but tallied a team and tournament-leading 31 kills. Lawrence added 24 kills, hit .367 and had eight blocks for Arkansas.
Lawrence earns inaugural award
Redshirt freshman Christina Lawrence became a part of history Monday earning the Southeastern Conference’s inaugural volleyball freshman of the week honor. Lawrence, an outside hitter from Sullivan, Mo., earned the honor after being selected to the Arkansas Invitational all-tournament team and leading the Lady Razorbacks to a perfect 3-0 start last weekend.
Lawrence and the Lady’Backs opened the season with a 3-0 win over North Texas Friday. Lawrence hit .222 with seven kills, two digs and three blocks for Arkansas. She added a career-best 10 kills and a .643 hitting percentage in a three-set win over Belmont and capped off her debut with seven kills, a .294 hitting percentage and three blocks against Memphis giving Arkansas the tournament crown.
The points add up
Arkansas out-scored its opponents 270-206 last weekend. The Lady’Backs were dominate in the first game holding a 90-66 margin. Arkansas out-scored its opponents 90-71 in the second game and 90-69 in game three.
Arkansas’ statistics were better than their opponents throughout the weekend. The Lady’Backs recorded more kills (152-107), assists (131-97) and total blocks (58-6) in the three matches played. Opponents, however, got the best of Arkansas serving with 16 service aces compared to 12 for the Lady’Backs.
Koleva’s presence felt
Although junior outside hitter Denitza Koleva didn’t finish the weekend with the team’s highest hitting percentage, she certainly leads Arkansas in several statistical categories and is an offensive threat on the court. Koleva holds the top spot on the team for kills with 31 and kills per game with a 3.44 average
Set it to me
Arkansas ran a 6-2 offense last weekend rotating a pair of setters in and out. Senior Iva Docekalova and sophomore transfer Nicole Miller shared the quarter-backing duties with equal success. Docekalova finished the weekend with 62 assists and 6.89 assists per game while Miller tallied 55 assists and has a 6.11 apg average.
The big wall of Arkansas
Always known as a top blocking team, Arkansas lived up to its billing in the opening weekend recording 32.0 total blocks to its opponents’ nine. The Lady’Backs posted three block solos and 58 block assists behind the stellar play of junior Amy Allison. Allison lead the team with 19 total blocks (2-17) and a 2.11 block per game average. Sophomore Jessica Dorrell was next with 15 total blocks followed by senior Karla Crose with 10 to round out the double-digit blockers last weekend.
Win the first one
With the victory over North Texas, Arkansas improved to 9-3 all-time in season openers. The Lady’Backs won the first six openers in program history before suffering a loss to second-ranked Penn State in the first match of the 2000 season.
Three in a row
Arkansas opened this season with three consecutive wins over North Texas, Belmont and Memphis. Arkansas also began the 1995 campaign with three wins in a row and stretched that to six in a row to start the year in 1996. The best start ever was seven consecutive wins to open the 2002 season.
Where’s the offense?
Arkansas has generated good offense in the first three matches of the season but where are those points coming from? The Lady’Backs scored points with 152 kills, 12 service aces and 32 blocks. Arkansas’ additional 74 points came from opponent mistakes.
About the C&C Services Invitational
Arkansas hosts the second annual C&C Services this weekend with Kansas State, Nicholls State and Utah State. The Wildcats reached the NCAA Tournament second round and finished the year ranked 23rd in the country and enter the tournament as one of the top teams in the country.
About Kansas State
Kansas State enters the weekend with a 3-0 record with wins over UALR, St. Louis and Missouri State, all in three games. The Wildcats are hitting .272 as a team paced by Agata Rezende hitting .478 and averaging 4.89 kills per game. Rezende is also one of the defensive leaders with 1.33 digs per game and 1.44 blocks per game. Stacey Speigelberg leads the team in blocking with 2.33 bpg.
Arkansas versus the Wildcats
Kansas State holds a 3-1 series advantage over Arkansas. The teams have met three times during the regular season with the Wildcats winning two. K-State’s other win came in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Manhattan, Kan.
About Utah State
Utah State comes to Fayetteville with a perfect 4-0 record with victories over Fordham, Lamar, Texas-Pan American and Tulsa. The Aggies are hitting .283 as a team paced by their go-to player Zuzana Cernianska with a team-best 77 kills and 5.92 kills per game. Beth Hodge is a close second with 60 kills and 4.00 kpg. Erin Graybill leads the team with 22 total blocks and a 1.47 block per game average. Setter Dominique Arsenault is leading the team with a .450 mark with 10 kills and 131 assists.
Arkansas versus the Aggies
Arkansas and the Aggies are tied at one match each in the previous two meetings. Utah State won a four-game thriller in 2001 at Fort Collins, Colo., in tournament action while Arkansas avenged the loss in 2002 in Springfield, Mo.
About Nicholls State
The Lady Colonels are 0-1 on the year after opening with a 3-0 loss at Tulane before Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. Colonel freshman outside hitter Sara Radosevic posted 25 kills and senior libero Kelli Dickson tallied 25 digs in the match. The Tulane defense held the Lady Colonels to a .048 attack percentage.
Arkansas versus the Lady Colonels
This is the first meeting for these teams.
Lady’Backs let the SEC West
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.