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Arkansas falls to Missouri State at NCAA Championship

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Arkansas falls to Missouri State at NCAA Championship

Jump to Missouri State box score FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas season and the careers of three seniors officially came to a close Friday as the Lady Razorbacks suffered a four-game loss to Missouri State in first round action at the NCAA Tournament in Fayetteville, Ark. Arkansas finishes the year with a 16-13 record after the 30-28, 21-30, 27-30, 28-30 loss to Missouri State (27-8). The Bears advance facing the winner of No. 13 Oklahoma/Oral Roberts Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in Barnhill Arena. Seniors Amy Allison, Kele Brewer and Denitza Koleva played in their final matches for the Cardinal and White leading Arkansas to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. They are the first senior class in program history to accomplish that feat. Arkansas struggled offensively with junior Jessica Dorrell providing the lone bright spot. Dorrell hit .406 with 16 kills but the Lady’Backs hit just .119 as a team as they struggled. “Missouri State did a great job tonight,” said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. “They never let us get into a rhythm. Jess was the only hitter who was successful tonight. There was no balance and we just had a very off match. There’s just no way to explain that.” Arkansas didn’t look good offensively in the first game but six team blocks balanced the hitting woes. The Lady’Backs hit just .132 and were out-hit by Missouri State who recorded a .256 mark for the game. The home team was more out of sync in game two and seemed to again struggle in the third frame. Trailing 28-19 Arkansas made an improbable run behind the serving of Koleva. The Lady’Backs got back-to-back senior kills from Koleva and Brewer followed by a third from Brewer as Missouri State took a timeout with a 28-23 lead. The run continued out of the break with an MSU hitting error followed by a pair of blocks. Missouri State committed three hitting errors and the Lady’Backs had closed within one trailing 28-27. MSU awoke from their funk, however, and finished the game with the 30-27 win. “I think game three was a turning point,” said Missouri State head coach Melissa Stokes. “I think if you lose that it’s a different match.” Arkansas played better in the fourth game actually holding the lead for much of the stanza. Missouri State began closing the gap at the mid-point mark catching Arkansas after a Lady’Back hitting error that tied the game at 24. It was back-and-forth from there but Missouri State hung on for the win. Arkansas hit just.119 for the match behind Dorrell’s solid performance. Koleva also had 16 kills, while Allison added eight and Brewer had seven. Arkansas’ block was it’s best offense as the Lady’Backs out-blocked MSU 19.0 to 13.0.



Sports Category : Volleyball (W)