Second Time’s the Charm
Arkansas and the of the league starts back through the Southeastern Conference schedule meeting teams for the second time this year. The Lady’Backs opened the 2006 SEC season at Kentucky followed by a match at then No. 13 Tennessee. Arkansas dropped both of those matches and has an opportunity to change their fortunes this week.
Senior Amy Allison has hit better than .500 twice this year. The first came against LSU with an individual season-best .571 performance in which Allison tallied 14 kills, had two errors and 21 attempts. The second was an even .500 with 15 kills, three errors and 24 attempts at No. 13 Tennessee.
Another Tennessee High
Senior Denitza Koleva also hit well (see Allison note above) against No. 13 Tennessee. In fact, it was her second-best hitting percentage of the season with Koleva hitting .405 with 18 kills, three errors and 37 attempts.
Koleva the offensive break spot
Senior Denitza Koleva has been a consistent go-to player for Arkansas despite the struggled to win. She holds eight of the top 10 single-match kill totals including a season-best 21 kills at Auburn last Sunday.
A lotta kills in a lotta tries
In addition to her impressive kill numbers, senior Denitza Koleva usually leads the team in total attempts. She has had 54 attempts twice this year, first against Mississippi and again against Auburn, both of which were five-game matches. She holds four of the top five total attempt marks for the year and nine of the top 10. (Jessica Dorrell is in the fifth spot with 46 versus Stephen F. Austin.)
More about Koleva
Denitza Koleva also holds the top five spots for points in a match this season highlighted by a pair of 22.5 point performances. The first came against Sacramento State and the second came at Auburn. She had 22.0 against Mississippi and 20.0 against nationally-ranked LSU and Tennessee.
The doubles continue for Koleva
Arkansas senior Denitza Koleva continues to both hit and dig well. Koleva has had seven consecutive double-doubles and 14 in Arkansas’ 18 matches. She began the year with six consecutive doubles. Koleva posted a then- season-best 19 kills twice this year (Sacramento State and Mississippi) and a then-season-high 20 digs against Stephen F. Austin. Koleva improved on the season-bests with 21 kills and 22 digs at Auburn.
Junior Ashley Miller is diggin’ it with all five of the top season dig marks. Miller set a school record against Mississippi with 36 and had 28 at Kansas both five-game matches. She had 25 against North Carolina and LSU and 24 against Stephen F. Austin.
Vanilla Ace, Ace Baby
Senior Denitza Koleva and sophomore Caira Daughtery have both had four service aces in a match this year. Koleva’s four came against Georgia and Daugherty’s against Southeast Missouri State and again against Idaho.
Top blocking efforts
You would expect the Arkansas middle blockers to hold the top spots for single-match blocks this year and it’s true that Destiny Clark had a school record 18 total blocks against Mississippi. But the second-best single-match blocking effort came from outside hitter Christina Lawrence who had 13 against Mississippi. Clark has the number three spot with 12 against South Carolina.
OK numbers against the ranked teams
Arkansas’ record isn’t what the Lady’Backs would like but the team’s stats are necessarily bad against their ranked opponents. The Lady’Backs hit .307 against No. 13 Tennessee, fourth-best mark of the season. Arkansas’ 67 kills against the Lady Vols, a mark that is the third-best of the year.
More about the ranked teams
Arkansas is 0-4 this year against the ranked teams they have played. Those teams include BYU, Florida, LSU and Tennessee. Interesting, Arkansas is hitting .212 as a team for the season but the team’s hitting percentage jumps to .220 against the ranked teams.
Allison is the leader against the ranked opponents
Senior Amy Allison is hitting .384 versus the “big four” with 39 kills and 2.79 kills per game. She has scored 45.5 points in those four matches. Freshman Destiny Clark is next with a .310 mark with 20 kills and senior Denitza Koleva leads the team with 4.50 kills per game while hitting .264 against the 2006 ranked opponents.
The negative stats
Although Arkansas is statistically better against the ranked teams, the ranked teams do have some advantages. Ranked opponents have more assists (237-200), more service aces (21-12), more digs (258-226) and more blocks (36.0-28.0) than the Lady’Backs.
Five in a row
Arkansas has lost five SEC matches in a row and that is the longest losing streak in school history. It surpasses the previous long of four consecutive losses set in 2004 when Arkansas lost at No. 22 Santa Clara, versus Michigan State, No. 6 Washington and at Wichita State. The longest SEC losing streak? Three matches in 2004 (No. 15 Tennessee, South Carolina and LSU).
Tennessee might characterise their last week as an under-achievement with back-toback losses first to Kentucky then Alabama. Tennessee is 15-5 overall and 6-4 in the SEC falling to number 25 in the national poll. Yuliya Stoyanova leads the team with 253 kills and 3.89 kills per game this year.
Arkansas versus the Lady Vols
Arkansas is 12-7 all-time against the Lady Vols but the Lady’Backs have lost the last four meetings and Tennessee has been ranked for two of those meetings.
Last time against the Lady Vols
University of Arkansas senior Denitza Koleva posted a season-best 18 kills but couldn’t lift the Lady Razorbacks to a Southeastern Conference win over No. 13 Tennessee in Knoxville, Sunday.
The Lady Razorbacks (7-3, 0-2 SEC) dropped the heart-breaker 30-32, 28-30, 30-24, 24-30 to the No. 13th-ranked Lady Vols who improve to 9-2 overall and 1-1 in the SEC.
Although the only stat that matters is the final score, Arkansas won the statistics battle for the match out-hitting Tennessee .307 to .261 and out-digging the Lady Vols 58-56. In addition to Koleva’s solid performance, senior Amy Allison added a season-best 15 kill and hit .500 while sophomore Christina Lawrence tallied 11 kills and hit .455 in the loss. Junior Jessica Dorrell was also in double-figure kills with 10 for Arkansas.
Kentucky snapped its three-match winning streak tonight, Oct. 13, with a 3-0 (30-26, 30-20, 31-29) loss at Alabama (12-6, 7-2 Southeastern Conference). The Wildcats fall to 12-6 and even their league record at 5-5 with the loss. For the second straight match, Kentucky was led by sophomore Ashlee Fisher who had a team-high 15 kills on .324 hitting. Sarah Rumley leads the team hitting .328 followed by Queen Nzenwa hitting .318.
Arkansas versus the Wildcats
Arkansas leads the all-time series with Kentucky 12-7 but the Lady’Backs have lost three of the last four.
Last time against Kentucky
LEXINGTON, Ky. The University of Arkansas dropped its Southeastern Conference volleyball opener at Kentucky falling in three in Lexington, Ky.
The 18-30, 28-30, 25-30 loss droped Arkansas to 7-2 on the year and 0-1 in the league while Kentucky improved to 8-1 and 1-0 in the SEC.
Arkansas shot itself in the foot with more than 30 unforced errors and hit just .044 for the match with no players in double-figures. Sophomore Christina Lawrence had a team-high eight kills and hit .182 while redshirt freshman Destiny Clark had three kills and hit .273. Sophomore setter Caira Daugherty was 2-0-3 and hit .667 for Arkansas.
Looking for Number 300
The Arkansas volleyball program began in 1994 and began the 2006 season with 288 total wins. The Lady’Backs have 10 wins in 2006 bringing the total to 298 – just two shy of 300. Arkansas is 147-46 all-time in Southeastern Conference matches and head coach Chris Poole’s career record is 532-205.
Days of the week/months of the year
Arkansas has yet to win a match (this year) in the month of October. The Lady’Backs are 0-5 heading into the Tennessee/Kentucky weekend. Arkansas faces Tennessee on Friday where they are 121-50 all-time. Arkansas takes on Kentucky on Sunday when Arkansas is 83-32 all-time. Here’s a look at some of the numbers.
Several Lady Razorbacks are climbing in the record books. The complete career top 10 is listed later in this release. Here’s a couple key categories of note.
Senior Denitza Koleva became the 10th player in school history to record her career 1,000th kill last year. Teammate and fellow senior Kele Brewer soon followed and is tied for 10th. Also climbing: Jessica Dorrell is 16th with 777 and Amy Allison is 17th with 664.
Junior Ashley Miller is on track to completely rewrite the Arkansas dig records. Miller holds the single match record with 36 recently set against Mississippi in 2006 and ranks first in career digs per game with a 4.25 average. She also became the six player in school history to reach 1,000 career digs and is currently second all-time and is on pace to rank first by the end of the 2006 season. Senior Denitza Koleva is the only other Lady’Back to rank in the top 20. She is ninth with 929 career digs.
Senior Amy Allison continues to move up the blocking records. Allison is ranked ninth in block solos with 54. Senior Denitza Koleva is 18th with 18. Allison is sixth on the block assists list with 404, followed by Jessica Dorrell who is 10th with 288, and Koleva who is 16th with 218.
Allison leads the team in total blocks as well with 458 to rank fifth all-time. Dorrell is 13th with 298 and Koleva is 17th with 236.
Digs and Kills
Athletes who finish their careers in the top 10 statistically in any given category can look back on their accomplishment with satisfaction. Arkansas has several players who rank in the top 10 in more than one category – specifically kills and digs. Senior Denitza Koleva is the most recent addition to the list.
How about three?
If you look at the note above, you realize what an exclusive group it is to rank in the top 10 for both digs and kills. What if you throw in service aces? Kim Storey, Denitza Koleva, Jamie Rohme, Krystal Osborne and Yarleen Santiago remain.
That’s too much!
Let’s add total blocks. Kim Storey and Yarleen Santiago are the only two Lady’Backs in the history of the program to rank in the top 10 in all four categories. However, Denitza Koleva, Jamie Rohme and Krystal Osborne are all in the top 20 for total blocks with Koleva (the only current player on the list) ranking 17th in total blocks.