Home stand continuesThe University of Arkansas remains home in the midst of the longest home stand of the season. Arkansas defeated Georgia and South Carolina last weekend and hosts Mississippi State, Mississippi and LSU Friday, Sunday and Wednesday, respectively, as the home stand continues.
About last weekThe Lady Razorbacks picked up a pair of SEC wins at home last weekend defeating Georgia in three and South Carolina in four games. The wins even Arkansas’ SEC record to 2-2 heading into the weekend.
Clark steps upArkansas redshirt freshman Destiny Clark had a solid weekend hitting .667 in two matches earning Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week honors Monday. The Manhattan, Kan., native recorded seven kills, no errors and eight attempts in the Georgia win hitting a season/career-best .875. She was 7-0-13 against South Carolina hitting .538 and added a season/career-best 12 total blocks in the win. Her 12 blocks ranks tied for seventh by an individual in a match.Clark is leading the team with a .343 hitting percentage in all matches (technically behind setter Caira Daugherty with a .424 mark and only 15 kills). Her numbers jump to a .524 mark in SEC-only matches with 23 kills and a team-leading 23 blocks for a 1.65 block-per-game average.
Speaking of the blockArkansas blocked well against South Carolina recording a season-best 20.0 team blocks. That mark ranks tied for fifth all-time at Arkansas.Arkansas has collected double-digit blocks in seven of their 12 matches highlighted by Sunday’s 20 against Carolina. Arkansas has had 15 or more four times.
Play me at homeArkansas enjoys playing in the friendly confines of Barnhill Arena. The Lady’Backs are a perfect 5-0 on their home court this year. The Lady’Backs are 2-2 at road venues and 2-1 at neutral sites. Arkansas is out-hitting opponents .241 to .144 at home with 306 kills and a 16.11 kill-per-game average. Opponents, hitting .144 with 247 kills and 13.00 kpg.
The wild, wild SECThe Southeastern Conference is in for a wild ride in 2006. As teams play the home-and-away series for the first time, there have been some upsets early in the year. No. 18 LSU downed No. 13 Tennessee in Knoxville in a five-game come-from-behind win. Un-ranked South Carolina also knocked off their ranked opponent, No. 6 Florida, in Columbia in four-set win. Last week, Mississippi picked up a four-game win over Kentucky in Oxford.
Looking for Number 300The Arkansas volleyball program began in 1994 and began the 2006 season with 288 total wins. The Lady’Backs have nine wins in 2006 bringing the total to 297 – just three shy of 300. Arkansas is 146-42 all-time in Southeastern Conference matches and head coach Chris Poole’s career record is 531-201.
Five-gamers favor ArkansasArkansas has always played well when the match goes five games and the Lady’Backs are a perfect 3-0 in five-game matches this year. The Lady’Backs are 2-2 in three-game matches and 2-1 in four-game matches in 2006.
Moving on upSophomore Christina Lawrence continues to improve with each match. Lawrence has worked her way up the statistics chart and is hitting .286 to lead all hitters this year. She has 95 kills and 2.46 kills per game. Lawrence’s numbers jump to .295 in SEC play with 2.43 kpg through the first four matches.
Point me the right directionSometimes volleyball fans look at the kill totals of a player and think that also means points scored but that is not the case. Points per game is a stat we hear much more about in basketball but here’s a look at some of the Arkansas volleyball numbers. Denitza Koleva leads the team with 4.24 ppg this year. She has scored a team-high 195.5 points. Jessica Dorrell ranks second with 3.54 ppg and 163.0 points followed by Amy Allison with 3.33 ppg and 153.5 points this year.
Killer instinctSenior Denitza Koleva holds six of the top 10 spots for single-match kills this year. She tallied a season-best 19 kills against Sacramento State and had 18 versus No. 13 Tennessee. Junior Jessica Dorrell holds three of the other four marks highlighted by a season-best 18 kills against Stephen F. Austin. Senior Amy Allison rounds out the top 10 with a season-high 15 at No. 13 Tennessee.
Hit me againIn addition to some high kill totals, senior Denitza Koleva has hit above .300 in five matches including a season-best .444 against Southeast Missouri. Sophomore Christina Lawrence has done it four times as well.
Dig thisJunior Ashley Miller holds four of the top five single-season dig marks this year. Her season-best is 28 at Kansas. Senior Denitza Koleva jumps in with the fourth-best single-match did total with 20 against Stephen F. Austin, breaking up the Miller sweep. Miller has posted double-digit digs in all 12 of the Lady’Backs matches this year highlighted by a season-best 28 at Kansas. Koleva has had eight double-digit dig matches and junior Jessica Dorrell has had four.
Double your pleasureSenior Denitza Koleva has posted double-figure kills in 11 of 12 matches this year (Kentucky, Georgia). In addition, Koleva has recorded a double-double (kills and digs) in eight of 12 matches in 2006. Junior Jessica Dorrell has collected double-figure kills in seven matches, senior Amy Allison has had six matches and sophomore Christina Lawrence has had three double-figure kill matches this year.
About Mississippi StateThe Bulldogs are out to a great start with a 10-4 record and a 1-3 mark in the SEC. MSU is hitting nearly .300 as a team paced by Cristina Jucan’s .273 with a team-best 180 kills and 4.00 kills per game. Orshi Kriegel is hitting .253 with 162 kills and 3.68 kpg this year. Defensively, MSU is averaging 1.61 blocks per game and 14.09 digs per game this year. They have lost their last three matches (Bama, UK, No. 17 Tennessee) but had a season-best six-match winning streak prior to the start of conference play.
Arkansas versus the BulldogsArkansas leads the all-time series with the Bulldogs, 25-0.
About MississippiThe Lady Rebels are also enjoying a good start to the 2006 season and come into the weekend with a 9-5 record and a 1-3 SEC record. Mississippi picked up a big SEC win over Kentucky, a team that defeated Arkansas, last weekend. The Lady Rebels are paced by Katie Kramer hitting .208 with a team-leading 224 kills and 4.31 kills per game.
Arkansas versus the Lady RebelsArkansas leads the series with Mississippi 23-1., and have won the last 17 meetings. Mississippi has never won in Fayetteville.
About LSUThe Tigers are the only SEC team undfeated in conference play this week. They are 4-0 in the SEC and 12-1 overall. LSU also hosts the Magnolia State opponents before traveling to Northwest Arkansas for the mid-week match-up.
Arkansas versus the TigersArkansas leads the all-time series record with LSU by a 22-4 margin but LSU has had the upper hand in recent years. The Tigers have won two of the last four meetings including one victory in Fayetteville.
Keep your eye on KolevaDenitza Koleva continues to climb the Arkansas record books as the season progresses. She ranks in the top 20 for career kills, digs and total blocks and is the only Lady’Back on the current roster to rank in the top 20 in all of those categories.
Chasing the impossible?Denitza Koleva ranks sixth all-time for career kills with 1303 heading into the Mississippi State/Mississippi weekend and has a chance to move up in the career standings as the season continues. But can she ever reach the top spot? Unfortunately, it isn’t likely. Krystal Osborne (1994-97) holds the top spot with 2,185 career kills and Koleva needs 882 more to catch her. Koleva could move into the No. 2 spot however. She is chasing all-American Kim Storey (1995-98) who has 1,471 career kills and Koleva trails her by 168.
Chasing Part IIThe same question could be asked about junior Ashley Miller and the top dig spot. Miller currently ranks third with 1,270 career digs. She trails Krystal Osborne (1994-97) who has 1,659 career digs. But Miller’s goal is closer than you think. She need just 389 to overtake Osborne. That number will be within Miller’s grasp if not this year then her senior season.
Arkansas versus the Southeastern ConferenceArkansas’ overall numbers are down a bit this year and so too, is the Lady’Backs’ rank within the SEC. This week, Arkansas ranks eighth in all matches for hitting percentage and assists. The Lady’Backs are third in blocking, sixth in opponent hitting percentage, eighth in kills, 10th in service aces and third in digs. How does Arkansas match up with this week’s opponents? Here’s a look: (overall):
|Opp. Hit. %||.179||.159||.206|
Individuals in the SECArkansas redshirt freshman Destiny Calrk leads the SEC in SEConly matches with a .524 hitting percentage. Senior Amy Allison ranks 10th with a .305 mark. Clark is fourth and Allison sixth in blocks per game while junior Ashley Miller is sixth in digs per game.
Some time changes to rememberArkansas’ home match with Mississippi Sunday, Oct. 1 is at 1:00 p.m. (not 1:30) to accommodate the Lady Rebels’ travel schedule. Arkansas’ match at Florida has moved to 7:30 p.m. central and is a double-header with their basketball team while the Lady’Backs match at Alabama has moved to accommodate an FSN broadcast.
Whose starting today?That’s a great question. In volleyball, coaches often change the starting lineup based on how a team matches up with their opponent. It is also common to change starters game-to-game. Arkansas has had six different starting lineups this year. The most utilized lineup features Denitza Koleva, Jessica Dorrell, Christina Lawrence, Amy Allison, Kele Brewer, Caira Daugherty and Ashley Miller. The Lady’Backs are 5-1 with that combination.
Write in candidateArkansas is being noticed by the RichKern.com poll for the third consecutive week. Although the Lady’Backs have not broken into the top 25, they are getting eight votes and rank 35th among the others listed.
What’s up with the schedule?Arkansas hosts its travel partner, LSU, Wednesday and then departs Thursday for a match at Alabama. Because of the uneven number of teams in the SEC, Alabama doesn’t have a travel partner this year so the Lady’Backs play just the one match in Tuscaloosa Friday. They return home for the rest of the weekend before traveling to Florida and Auburn Oct. 13 and 15, respectively. REMEMBER — the Alabama match will be televised live by FSN.