About ArkansasThe University of Arkansas split a road SEC weekend with a three-game loss at No. 4 Florida and a five-game win at Georgia last weekend. Arkansas continues SEC action hosting Alabama Friday and Auburn Sunday before breaking from league play hosting Oral Roberts Nov. 1, in Barnhill Arena
Koleva gets 1,000Arkansas junior outside hitter Denitza Koleva became the 10th player in Lady Razorback history to record her 1,000th-career kill in game one at Georgia. Koleva entered the year with 717 kills and has added 292 this year (prior to the Alabama match) for a total of 1009. Junior Kele Brewer is also fast-approaching 1,000, entering the week with 910 career kills. She needs just 90 more for her 1,000th.
Another way to get 1,000Sophomore Ashley Miller is also fast-approaching 1,000 — digs that is. The Vacaville, Calif., native enters the Alabama weekend with 901 career digs, needing just 99 more for the magic number. Should she reach 1,000, Miller will be the sixth player in that exclusive club joining Krystal Osborne, Yarleen Santiago, Kim Storey and Tina Rico. Osborne holds the record with 1659.
A helping handSenior setter Iva Docekalova has played setter and defensive specialist and has run both a 5-1 and a 6-2 offense in her four seasons at Arkansas. Despite the changes in her role, she too, is on the verge of a record-setting season nearing 2,000 career assists. The Brno, Czech Republic native has 1578 career assists heading into the Alabama match needing just 22 more for 2,000. She will become the fourth player to reach that milestone joining Tina Rico who leads all setters with 5,886, Ning Zhao and Roberta Tarnauskaite.
Another record for
Docekalova?Iva Docekalova is also one of the team’s top servers and is currently fourth on the all-time service ace list with 128 unreturnable serves. The record is 160 held by Tina Rico in 539 games over her four-year career. Docekalova also holds the record for most service attempts with 2237 in her career for a .956 service percentage.
Blocking records in jeopardyAmy Allison currently ranks 11th for career block solos with 28 prior to the Alabama match. She is 10th overall for block assists with 281 and 11th for total blocks with 309. Allison is fifth for blocks per game averaging 1.19 for her career. Senior Karla Crose is also moving up the blocking records list ranking sixth for block assists with 362 and she is seventh for total blocks with 382 for her three-year career as a Lady’Back. She is seventh for blocks per game with a 1.14 bpg average.
The Western WallArkansas has had 18 of their 22 matches with double-digit blocks this year highlighted by 23.0 team blocks at Georgia last week. Arkansas traditionally is a solid blocking team ranking in the top 50 in the country for blocks-per-game and this year is no exception. Arkansas ranked 12th averaging 3.34 in last week’s NCAA rankings with the new numbers due out midweek. Junior Amy Allison leads Arkansas and is third in the country with a 1.86 block-per-game average last week.
About AlabamaThe Alabama volleyball team improved to 20-3 overall for the first time since 1977 with a five-game victory over Ole Miss last week. The Southeastern Conference West leading Crimson Tide also improved to 8-2 in league play, the best conference start in program history. Arkansas and Alabama battled to a thrilling five-game Lady’Back win in Tuscaloosa earlier this year with Arkansas squeaking out a 24-30, 30-23, 30-29, 25-30, 15-11 road win. Junior Amy Allison set a career-best with 14.0 blocks as the Lady’Backs recorded 19.0 as a team.
Arkansas versus the Crimson TideArkansas is 23-2 all-time versus the Crimson Tide. The Lady’Backs won 13 straight beginning in 1994 before falling in Tuscaloosa in 2000. The Lady’Backs won the next two, dropped a match at Alabama and has won the last eight contests.
About AuburnThe Tiger volleyball got a second chance against Mississippi State on Sunday afternoon and its second attempt was successful as Auburn defeated the Bulldogs in four, 30-25, 22-30, 30-25, 30-23. Auburn was swept by MSU in the team’s first meeting on Oct. 7 in Starkville, Miss. The Tigers improved to 8-10, 2-8 (SEC) and the Bulldogs fell to 11-8, 2-7 (SEC) with less than a month until the SEC Championship and at a crucial point in the season when every conference win is critical for both AU and MSU.
Arkansas versus the TigersThe Lady’Backs are 23-1 all-time against the Tigers. The lone loss came in 1996 in Fayetteville and the Lady’Backs have won 17 in a row, including a four-game victory in Auburn earlier this year.
Arkansas against the Tigers and TideThis year’s senior class (Iva Docekalova and Karla Crose) are a perfect 15-0 against Alabama and Auburn. Docekalova played as a freshman in 2002 helping Arkansas to a 5-0 mark meeting each team twice during the regular season and Alabama once at the SEC Tournament. Crose redshirted that season after transferring in from Indiana. Arkansas was 4-0 in each of the next two seasons after meeting Alabama and Auburn twice each during the regular season. The duo helped Arkansas to wins over both on the road earlier this year.
Arkansas picked to win SECThe 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).
Arkansas and the SEC Western DivisionThe Lady Razorbacks have dominated the SEC Western Division since adding volleyball in 1994. Arkansas was 109-7 all-time against the Western Division entering the year and is a perfect 5-0 (Auburn, Alabama, LSU, Miss and MSU) this year bringing their winning percentage to .942 (114-7).
Double Me UpJunior Denitza Koleva leads the team with 18 matches with double-digit kill totals. Her season best 27 kills came against nationally-ranked Kansas State where she hit .442. Koleva has also had double-digit digs in 13 of Arkansas’ 22 matches this year with double-doubles (kills and digs) in 11 matches as well.
More about doublesJessica Dorrell has posted nine matches with double-digit kills. Christina Lawrence has had eight , Amy Allison eight, Kele Brewer 12 and Karla Crose seven matches with double-figure kill totals.
A double in another wayJunior Amy Allison has recorded five matches this year with double-digit block totals highlighted by a career-best 14.0 at Alabama. She followed up with 13.0 against LSU in the very next match and had 13.0 against SLU.
I can dig itSophomore Ashley Miller has posted double-digit dig totals in 20 of Arkansas’ 22 matches. Her lone single-digit dig total was seven against No. 25 Long Beach State in a three-game Arkansas loss in San Diego, Calif. Miller’s high is a school-record 32 digs against Utah in a five-game win at Missouri State in tournament action the third weekend of the year. Miller has been at plus 20 digs in nine matches and collected 29 at Georgia last week.
Moving on upArkansas remained in third place in this week’s AVCA regional rankings (see complete list on next page). The Lady’Backs trail No. 4 Florida and Tennessee but are ahead of the rest of the Southeastern Conference in the standings.
Also upArkansas has also moved to No. 29 in the RichKern.com RKPI rankings. The RKPI is not the official rpi rating used by the NCAA but uses a similar formula and is widely used until NCAA Tournament time.
Turkey Day surpriseArkansas was scheduled to host Tulsa over the Thanksgiving break in a single match Nov. 26, but the Golden Hurricane are unable to attend. The match has officially been cancelled with no make up or replacement scheduled.
Up NextArkansas continues its SEC schedule traveling to Mississippi State Nov. 4, Mississippi Nov. 6 and LSU Nov. 9. Arkansas concludes the SEC regular season hosting Kentucky Nov. 13, in the final home match of the year.