ON THE ROAD AGAINThe University of Arkansas hits the road for its final road matches of the 2008 season. Arkansas travels to Mississippi State Friday and is at Alabama Sunday. Arkansas is just 2-9 on the road this year winning at Georgia State and at Auburn.
BEST AND WORSTArkansas played one of its best matches of the season Friday against Tennessee. The first two sets went “extra” frames with Arkansas falling 27-29, 29-31. The Razorbacks suffered its worst loss since the inception of rally scoring against No. 19 Kentucky losing the third set 7-25.
LAWRENCE REACHES MILESTONEUniversity of Arkansas senior Christina Lawrence reached a career milestone at No. 11 Florida recording her 1,000th-career kill. Lawrence’s career 1000th kill was her second in the first set at No. 11 Florida. She had nine kills at South Carolina and nine against the Gators giving her 1,007 for her career. Lawrence is the 13th player in Razorback volleyball history to reach her 1,000th career kill. Krystal Osborne (1994-98) is the all-time kills leader with 2,185. Lawrence now has 1025 heading into the Mississippi State/Alabama weekend and ranks 13th trailing the No. 12 spot by 100 kills.
OTHERS MOVING UPIn addition to Lawrence, several other Razorbacks continue to climb in the career numbers. Here’s a look: Kelli Stipanovich ranks 11th for kills-per-set with 2.88; Lawrence ranks 16th (2.59) and Heather Royal is 17th (2.52). Lawrence ranks 14th in total attempts (2454, followed by Royal who is 20th (1674). Lawrence ranks sixth for hitting percentage (.278). Caira Daugherty Dortch ranks eighth with 1,103 career assists and is 11th in assists-per-set with 4.10. Lindsay Scanlan is sixth (6.24) and Phoebe Bautista is 14 (0.57) Scanlan ranks13th in service aces (71) and is 16th in service-aces-per set (0.25) Royal (0.26) is 12th and Stipanovich is 17th (0.23) in SAPS. Bautista ranks fourth in digs-per-set (3.42) followed by Royal who is 10th (2.49). Yun Tang is tied for 19th in block solos (18) and Lawrence is 10th (309) in block assists. Lawrence is 12 (321) in total blocks.
SEC SEASON PART IIThe Razorbacks are in the midst of the second half of the 2008 Southeastern Conference schedule. Arkansas opened SEC play Sept. 19 with a five-set win at Auburn and repeated that feat with a five-set win against the Tigers in Fayetteville Oct. 26. Arkansas has five regular season matches remaining.
ARKANSAS IN THE SEC STATS (as of 11/6)The Razorbacks continue to move around in the SEC stats. This week, Arkansas ranks sixth in SEC only matches for hitting percentage. They are 11th in opponent hitting percentage, seventh in assists, and eighth in kills, blocks and service aces and 10th in digs. In league-only matches, senior Christina Lawrence ranks fifth in hitting percentage and seventh in kills. Caira Dortch (No. 9) and Lindsay Scanlan (No. 7) both rank in the assists category and Phoebe Bautista is ninth in digs. In all matches, Arkansas checks in eighth in hitting percentage, 10th in assists, kills and service aces. Arkansas is seventh in blocks and 10th in digs this week. Individually Lawrence is eighth in hitting percentage and 10th in kps. Dortch ranks seventh and Scanlan is ninth in aps, senior Yun Tang ranks fifth in blocks and Bautista is ninth in digs.
A LOOK AT SOME NUMBERSArkansas’ offense has struggled this year. The Razorbacks’ opponents have had more kills 18 times this year and Arkansas has been out-dug in 21 of the team’s 25 matches. Interestingly, the Razorbacks have out-blocked or had the same number of blocks in 14 matches this year.
ARKANSAS SCORES WHEN?The Razorbacks are 6-19 in set one, 7-18 in set two, 8-17 in set three, 4-4 in set four and 2-3 in the fifth set. Arkansas is 4-13 in three sets, 0-3 in four and 2-3 in five set matches this year.
SHOW ME THE POINTSThe Razorbacks have been out-scored in all five sets this year. Arkansas has been out-scored 514-598 in set one, 522-604 in set two, 488-588 in set three, 176-187 in set four and 60-62 in the fifth set for a 1760-2039 total.
FRESHMAN LEADS THE NUMBERS RACEFreshman Kelli Stipanovich leads Arkansas in several statistical categories this year. She ranks first in kills with 248, serve percentage with a 0.23 saps and first in total points with 277.
A SEASON OF BESTSSenior Christina Lawrence has led the Razorbacks all year and she holds most of the season individual “bests.” Here’s a quick look: Hitting percentage .500 (15-3-24) at LSUKills 22 vs. Auburn Kills by set 3: 15 at LSU; 4: 17 at Tennessee; 5: 22 vs. AuburnPoints 25.0 vs. Auburn Points by set 3: 17.0 at LSU; 4: 18.5 at Tennessee; 5: 25.0 vs. Auburn
ABOUT MISSISSIPPI STATEMississippi State has struggled lately losing 12 in a row. The Bulldogs last win came Sept. 28 with a five-set victory over Auburn. The Bulldogs are hitting .130 on the year and the Razorbacks have a statistical advantage in nearly ever category (see the box). Ioana Demian leads the team with 226 kills, 2.96 kills-per-set and a .158 hitting percentage. Demian, however, did not play well in the first meeting with Arkansas, netting just six kills, six digs and hitting .037. Faith Steinwedell lead MSU against Arkansas with 12 kills and a .320 hitting percentage.
ARKANSAS VERSUS THE BULLDOGSArkansas leads the all-time series with the Bulldogs 27-3. The Razorbacks lost three in a row prior to notching a three-set win over State in Fayetteville Oct. 12.
ABOUT THAT FIRST MEETINGThe win over Mississippi State Oct. 12 was the fifth of six victories for Arkansas this year. Arkansas hit .308 in that contest paced by 10 kills from Yun Tang who hit .412 for the contest. Arkansas out-blocked State 7-6) and had more kills, 41-28, in the win. Kelli Stipanovich hit .467 with nine kills and Christina Lawrence led the team with 11 digs. State hit just .080 in the match with 12 kills from Fiath Steinwedell.
ABOUT ALABAMAAlabama is coming off a big five-set win against Georgia Sunday. The Crimson Tide are paced by Brooks Webster who leads the team with 357 kills, 4.01 kills-per-set and is hitting .259 for the year. The Tide have the statistical advantage in nearly every category but Arkansas leads Alabama in blocking at this point in the season.
ARKANSAS VERSUS THE CRIMSON TIDEArkansas is 25-6 all-time against the Crimson Tide. The Tide have won the last three meetings including a four-set win in Fayetteville Oct. 10.
ABOUT THAT FIRST MEETINGArkansas hit just .196 in the first meeting with Alabama. Trailing 0-2, the Razorbacks rallied to win set three 25-21 but could not hold on for the match win. Kelli Stipanovich had a team-best 15 kills and Christina Lawrence added 14 kills in the loss. The Razorbacks out-blocked Alabama, 9-8) but the Crimson Tide hit .313with three players in double-figures. Bama was paced with Brooks Webster with22 kills and a .409 hitting percentage.
RAZORBACKS ON THE RADIOThe Arkansas Razorback volleyball team returned to the KXUA airways this season for their single match at Auburn. The Razorbacks went live at 6 p.m. Central from Auburn, Ala. KXUA is 88.3 FM on the dial in Northwest Arkansas. The broadcast also aired live on ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Jeri Thorpe provides the play-by-play along with Stephen McGowan for your color analysis. Here is the complete KXUA broadcast schedule for 2008:DATE OPPONENT TIME RESULTSept. 19 at Auburn 6 p.m. W, 3-2Oct. 10 Alabama 7 p.m. L, 1-3Oct. 12 Mississippi State 1:30 p.m. W, 3-0Oct. 17 at Kentucky 6 p.m. L, 0-3Oct. 19 at Tennessee 12:30 p.m. L, 1-3Nov. 7 Tennessee 7 p.m. L, 0-3Nov. 9 Kentucky 1:30 p.m. L. 0-3Nov. 14 at Mississippi State 7 p.m.Nov. 21 LSU 7 p.m.Nov. 23 Ole Miss 7 p.m.All Postseason matches
UP NEXTArkansas wraps up the regular season hosting LSU, Georgia and Ole Miss.