Arkansas continues SEC play this weekThe Lady Razorbacks dropped their SEC openers falling to Ole Miss and No. 24 LSU at home this weekend. Arkansas continues SEC play with the first of two back-to-back road weekends traveling to Mississippi State (5-6, 0-2 SEC) and Alabama (5-6, 2-0 SEC) Friday and Sunday, respectively. Arkansas next travels to Kentucky and Tennessee. Five in a rowArkansas has lost five contests in a row matching the longest losing streak in school history. It ties last year’s five-match skid that ran from Oct. 1-Oct. 15. Those losses were all conference matches. Non-Conference schedule over – almostArkansas’ 2007 non-conference schedule seemed to fly by. The Lady Razorbacks played to a 6-4 non-conference mark. After starting the year 6-1, Arkansas dropped its last three non-SEC matches. The Lady’Backs have one more non-conference match remaining during the regular season. Arkansas hosts Connecticut Nov. 24, prior to the start of the NCAA Tournament. Arkansas in SEC road openersArkansas is 4-2 in the first SEC road match of the season. Dorrell needs four moreSenior Jessica Dorrell is just outside the 1,000-kill milestone. The Aledo, Texas, native heads into the Mississippi State match with 996 career kills and ranks 12th all-time. Dorrell’s numbers have been consistent over her first three seasons. She recorded 266 kills as a freshman, 271 as a sophomore and 266 as a junior coming into 2007 with 803 career kills. She has 193 kills – twice her average – this season and will likely reach the 1,000-kill mark against Mississippi State. Dorrell leads ArkansasJessica Dorrell leads the Lady Razorbacks in kills per game (4.29), kills (193), points scores (228.0) and points per game (5.07) this year. Dorrell’s streak endsSenior Jessica Dorrell has tallied double-digit kills for 10 consecutive matches. Her streak came to an end Friday with nine kills against Ole Miss. Also a good number
Arkansas has used two setters to run the offense for several seasons and not since the first four years of the program have the Lady Razorbacks had a setter who set nearly every ball for four seasons (Tina Rico). That being said, reaching statistical milestones as a setter is difficult when you split time. Both of Arkansas current setters, Nicole Martin and Lindsay Scanlan, are approaching, and surpassing, the 1,000-assist milestone. Although no where near the record of 5,886 assists held by Rico, 1,000 is still a good number. In fact, only six setters have 1,000 or more assists. Martin slid over 1,000 career assists during the Northern Iowa match and has 1,049 entering the Mississippi State/Alabama weekend. Scanlan stands at 937, just 63 the 1,000 mark. Pretty even recordArkansas is 6-6 overall. The Lady’Backs are 3-3 at home, 1-1 on the road and 2-2 at neutral sites. Arkansas is also 3-3 in three-game matches. They are 1-2 in four games and 2-1 in five games this year. Numbers not that far offArkansas’ numbers might seem a bit low this year but the Lady Razorbacks’ stats are similar to last year’s digits. For example, Arkansas hit just .216 as a team in 2006, but the Lady’Backs are hitting .226 at this point of 2007. Arkansas’ kills per game are down a bit – 15.09 in 2006 compared to 14.91 this year – but the service aces are way up – 2.20 in 2007 compared to 1.31 in 2006. Here’s a closer look:
Arkansas’ 2007 season bestsAs the season continues, Arkansas has established its season-bests. The season-best for kills is 80 in the five-game win over Pepperdine. Arkansas also recorded 198 total attempts and 72 assists against Pepperdine as well. The season-best for aces is 19 (NSU), digs is 78 (FSU) and blocks is 15.0 (3x, FSU). Arkansas is better statistically in nearly every category than their opponents this year as well. Here’s a look at the team numbers.
Arkansas has one of its biggest classes of newcomersThe Lady Razorbacks welcome a class of six newcomers to start the 2007 season. Although the six are new to the fans and media, a couple are pretty familiar with the team. Yun (Karen) Tang, Sarah Freudenrich and Heather Royal all joined the team at semester in January and have gone through the spring workouts. Phoebe Bautista, Lauren Feilding and Hillary McCormick all arrived on campus this summer and worked Chris Poole’s summer camps. Arkansas is the SEC’s odd team outThe SEC has 11 teams that sponsor volleyball (Vanderbilt does not have a team). Each year there is one team who does not rotate through the conference schedule with a travel partner. This year, that team is Arkansas. As a result, the Lady Razorbacks do not play a mid-week conference match. In fact, Arkansas has only one match this year that does not fall on a weekend and that is a Tuesday match against Oral Roberts Aug. 28. It also means that instead of facing Mississippi and Mississippi State in the same weekend or Alabama and Auburn, the schedule is much more varied – and travel is much more interesting. Another SEC reminderThe SEC eliminated the conference tournament last year instead opting for a double-round robin format in which teams play each other twice during the course of the season. That format continues for the 2007 season. Poole returns for 14th seasonArkansas head coach Chris Poole enters his 14th season at the helm of the Lady Razorbacks. Poole is the only coach Arkansas has ever known and he has guided the Lady’Backs to a 309-148 (through 9/17/07) record during his tenure. Holly Watts returns has Poole’s associate head coach and the Lady’Backs welcome the addition of Gokhan Yilmaz who joins the team as an assistant coach this fall. Arkansas picks up TV matchAlthough the Lady Razorbacks were not selected for an SEC match of the week, Arkansas is still making a television appearance. Sun Sports will pick up the Fayetteville match between the Lady Razorbacks and Florida. More details will follow on the times and talent. Can I get on the internet please? Every Lady Razorback volleyball match will be carried on the internet in some capacity this year. Every Lady Razorback home match will have live stats, a live audio broadcast and a live video broadcast of the event. Fans can find those at LADYBACKS.COM. All road SEC matches will have audio on LADYBACKS.COM and most will have live stats on either the host site or LADYBACKS.COM. The radio broadcasts for all road SEC matches can also be heard in the Fayetteville area on KXUA, 88.3 FM.