The University of Arkansas is coming off a tough weekend at Missouri State dropping a match to the host Bears and defeating Utah (RV) and Iowa State. Arkansas had to come from behind in the win over the Utes but more easily handled the Cyclones to close out the weekend.
Dorrell makes it two in a row
Arkansas sophomore Jessica Dorrell made it two in a row this week earning her second selection to an all-tournament team. Dorrell hit .387 including a nearly perfect .424 mark with 15 kills and just one error against Missouri State. The Aledo, Texas, native added 13 total blocks and 3.54 points per game.
Miller sets record
Sophomore libero Ashley Miller set a Lady’Back record with 32 digs in a five-game, come-from-behind win over Utah last weekend. One of the oldest records still on the books at Arkansas, Miller’s 32 digs edged passed Amanda Sweatt who had 31 digs Nov. 13, 1994, against Alabama in a five-game win. Miller has posted double-digit dig totals in each of Arkansas eight matches this year and has 148 on the year for a 4.77 dig-per-game total. She tallied 67 of those digs over the weekend averaging 5.58 dpg over three matches. Miller flirted with the record last year posting 29 against Kentucky en route to 510 digs for the season, also a record.
Arkansas out-does opponents
Arkansas has been solid in nearly every statistical category this year. The Lady’Backs have outhit opponents .269-.167, with more kills; 484-429. The Lady’Backs have more assists (430-390), more digs (486-468) and more blocks (98.0-51.5) this year. Arkansas is also close in service aces with 32 to their opponent’s 41 this year.
Good in game one
Arkansas has played very well out of the gates winning all five of their first games in matches. Currently, Arkansas 6-2 in game one, 5-3 in game two, 7-1 in game three, 1-3 in the fourth game and 2-1 in game five.
Point me in the right direction
Although overall points don’t really matter much in volleyball, Arkansas has outscored its opponents in many games this year (obvious by the win-loss record). Here’s how it breaks down. Arkansas has outscored opponents 225-190 in game one, 229-210 in game two, 233-193 in game three and 43-37 in game five. The Lady’Backs have been outscored in the fourth game 119-102 this year.
The Western Wall of Arkansas
Always a strong blocking team, the Lady’Backs have worked hard early this year to maintain that reputation. The Lady’Backs have out-blocked opponents 98.0 to 51.5 with 170 block assists and 13 solos to their opponents 79 and 12 respectively.
More on the block
Junior Amy Allison leads Arkansas in blocking with 51 total blocks and a 1.76 block per game average. Senior Karla Crose is second with 38 blocks (1.23 bpg) followed by sophomore Jessica Dorrell with 37 (1.19 bpg). Freshman Christina Lawrence checks in with 25 total blocks (0.81 bpg) while junior Denitza Koleva has 18 (0.58 bpg).
Sharing the setting
Arkansas has been running a 6-2 offense rotating setters this year. Senior Iva Docekalova and sophomore transfer Nicole Martin have split time as the team’s setter and both have played very well. Docekalova has a slight statistical edge with 209 assists and a 6.74 assist-per-game average while Martin checks in with 180 assists and 5.81 apg. Martin has gotten all eight starts the duo have been on the court about the same amount of time.
Her time will come
Junior Kele Brewer has gone under the radar screen this year in what has been a very balanced start to the season. She has significantly elevated her hitting percentage to a .269 mark from .214 last year. Brewer’s early season numbers have been good enough to earn selection to most all-tournament teams but her teammates have also improved their numbers keeping Brewer off the map – so far. Brewer is third on the team with 82 kills and a 2.16 kill-per-game average through the first eight matches.
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. (see the poll on page 3).
On the road
Arkansas is 91-56 all-time in road matches and 44-32 in neutral site matches. The Lady’Backs are 8-4 all-time in the first contest away from Barnhill (either away or neutral site). Arkansas is 6-3 in neutral openers and 6-6 in road match openers.
The season is just five matches old but Arkansas has posted some impressive numbers early. The Lady’Backs have a season-best 86 kills against Kansas State. That is one shy of last year’s single match best of 87 that came in a five-game with against Missouri State. Arkansas has hit better than .300 in four matches with a team-high .368 in a five-game loss to Kansas State. Here’s the season numbers so far: