The University of Arkansas returned to the win column with a pair of victories at Auburn and Alabama last weekend. Arkansas continues SEC play hosting LSU Wednesday and traveling to Kentucky on Friday for a single weekend match.
Crose leads to win at Auburn
Senior Karla Crose paced the University of Arkansas to their second Southeastern Conference volleyball victory with a four-game win at Auburn Friday. The Lady Razorbacks won 29-31, 30-17, 30-28, 30-22. Crose finished the night with 12 kills, hit .381 and had seven blocks leading Arkansas to a 16-block night. Junior Denitza Koleva also added 12 kills while junior Kele Brewer tallied 1 and hit .214 for the Lady’Backs.
Allison blocks Bama attack
Junior Amy Allison recorded a school-record 14 blocks in a five-game Southeastern Conference thriller over Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Sunday. Allison paced Arkansas to a 24-30, 30-24, 30-29, 25-30, 15-11 win overall Alabama with 14 total blocks in a five-game match bettering teammate Jessica Dorrell’s five-game record of 12 set last year. The win helps Arkansas climb near the top of the Western Division standings after No. 24 LSU suffered a four-game loss against Alabama last Friday. Allison finished the day with 12 kills, a .550 hitting percentage and 14 blocks while teammate Denitza Koleva added 14 kills, hit .324 and had a career-best eight blocks. Sophomore Christina Lawrence also stepped up with eight kills and hit .462 while recording five blocks as the Lady’Backs out-blocked the Tide 19.0-2.0.
Allison earns SEC Defensive Player of the Week
Arkansas junior Amy Allison earned her first honor from the Southeastern Conference capturing SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors Monday. Allison set a personal record and was one shy of the school record recording 14 total blocks versus Alabama. She paced Arkansas to a 19 block day, also hitting .550 with 12 kills. In addition, she collected 8 blocks at Auburn, leading Arkansas to a 3-1 win.
Koleva nears 1,000
Junior outside hitter Denitza Koleva is fast approaching her career 1,000th kill. Koleva enters the week with 942 career kills (prior to LSU match) needing just 58 more kills to reach the 1,000-kill plateau. Should she reach it, Koleva will become the 10th Lady Razorback in the program’s history to do so. There are several other Lady’Backs in the top 20. They include Kele Brewer in 14th place with 836 kills, Karla Crose in 17th place with 515 and Jessica Dorrell in 19th place with 403.
Poole gets 200th conference win
Arkansas head coach Chris Poole netted his 200th conference win with the Lady’Backs four-game victory overall Auburn on Friday. Poole came to Arkansas with a 65-4 conference record and added a 133-35 mark in SEC play bringing his preseason total to 198-39. Poole and the Lady’Backs are 3-1 this year bringing his all-time conference record to 201-40.
LSU enters the week with a 13-2 overall mark and a 3-1 record in the SEC tying Arkansas for the lead in the West. The Tigers, who have not played at home yet this season, are hitting .252 paced by Ivan Kuzmic hitting .349 with 129 kills. Jelena Mijatovic leads the team with 254 kills and 4.46 kills per game this year. The Lady’Backs and Tigers have faced the same four SEC opponents with nearly the same results. Both defeated South Carolina and Auburn while LSU defeated Tennessee and lost to Alabama. Arkansas defeated the Tide and lost to the Lady Vols.
Arkansas versus the Tigers
Arkansas leads the all-time series with the Tigers 21-3 but the teams split their regular season meetings last year with Arkansas winning in Baton Rouge and losing in Fayetteville. The Lady’Backs avenged the home loss with a five-game win in Gainesville in the first round of the SEC Tournament eliminating LSU.
Kentucky meets Arkansas with a 9-5 overall record and a 2-2 SEC mark with a much-improved Wildcat team. Kentucky opened the SEC season with a 3-0 loss to Auburn but rebounded with back-to-back wins over Alabama and Georgia in Athens. They fell in three at No. 5 Florida last weekend. Kentucky is hitting .237 as a team paced by Amy Kaplan and Danielle Wallace. Kaplan is hitting a team-best .350 with 140 kills and 2.98 kpg while Wallance checks in hitting .269 with a team-leading 213 kills and 4.44 kpg. Middle Queen Nzenwa leads the team in blocking with 61 total blocks and a 1.27 bpg average.
Arkansas versus the Wildcats
The Lady’Backs lead the all-time series record with Kentucky 11-4 and has won the last 11 meetings. Kentucky pushed the Lady’Backs to five games last year in Fayetteville with Arkansas winning, 15-11, in game five.
A look at the numbers (Overall/SEC)