Arkansas opens SEC play this week
The Lady Razorbacks open Southeastern Conference play this weekend hosting SEC West-leading Ole Miss who is 10-1 on the year on Friday at 7:00 p.m. The weekend continues with LSU Sunday. The Tigers are 8-1 and in second place in the SEC West.
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. After starting the year 6-1, Arkansas dropped its last three non-SEC matches. 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.
Dorrell makes it three in a row
Senior Jessica Dorrell made it three in a row earning all-tournament team honors at the Varney’s KSU Invitational. Dorrell earned tournament MPV honors at both the Arkansas Clarion Inn Invitational and the Jefferson Cup. Dorrell leads the team with 168 kills, 4.42 kills per game and is hitting .299 for the year.
Arkansas enjoys SEC openers – sort of
The Lady Razorbacks have a 7-6 record in SEC season openers. Although its nice to have more wins than losses, the Lady’Backs are just above .500 in the first league match of the year. On the plus side, however, is that despite the slow start, Arkansas finishes well having won 11 SEC Western Division titles.
Is it better at home?
A little. Arkansas is 4-3 in SEC home openers and 4-2 in the first SEC road match of the season.
SEC starts strong
The Southeastern Conference is out to a great start in 2007. The league has a combined 76-26 record for the non-conference schedule. The Eastern Division is 36-7 paced by Florida who is 7-0. The Gators are closely followed by Georgia who is 8-1. The Bulldogs were in the Eastern Division basement last year.
The Western Division has played more matches and has a 40-19 (.678) mark. Arkansas’ Friday night opponent, Ole Miss, leads the West with a 10-1 mark followed by Sunday’s foe LSU at 8-1. Auburn is third with an 8-3 mark followed by Arkansas, Mississippi State and Alabama. The Crimson Tide are the only team in the SEC to start the year below .500. Alabama is 3-6 this year.
Miller gets record
Senior Ashley Miller started the season with 1556 career digs and was in second place among all of Arkansas’ players. Miller surpassed the previous mark in the first game against No. 22 Kansas State and finished the weekend in the top spot. Miller has 162 heading into the start of SEC play giving the Vacacaville, Calif., native 1,7181 career digs. The previous record was 1,659 held by Krystal Osborne (1994-97). Osborne played in 543 career games and was a member of the inaugural team in 1997 – before the collegiate game recognized the libero position.
Also moving on up
Senior Jessica Dorrell is just outside the 1,000-kill milestone. The Aledo, Texas, native heads into the Ole Miss/LSU weekend with 971 career kills and ranks 12th all-time.
Also a good number
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, are approaching, and surpassing, 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 six setters have 1,000 or more assists. Martin slid over 1,000 career assists during the Northern Iowa match and has 1,008 entering the start of SEC play. Scanlan stands at 898, nearing the 1,000 mark.
Dorrell ranks among SEC leaders
Senior Jessica Dorrell ranks second in the SEC this week for kills per game. The Aledo, Texas, native is averaging 4.42 kpg trailing Georgia’s Maria Taylor who leads the league with 5.54.
KILLS (Minimum 2.00 per game)