About ArkansasThe University of Arkansas opened the 2005 Southeastern Conference season with a split this weekend falling to Tennessee and edging South Carolina. Junior Denitza Koleva tallied a near career best 24 kills and hit .304 while teammates Amy Allison and Kele Brewer added 12 kills each against the Gamecocks. Arkansas native freshman Kristin Seaton had a career best match with eight kills, a .412 hitting percentage and five blocks. SEC action continues for the Lady’Backs at Alabama and Auburn this weekend.
Lady’Backs in the SEC WestThe 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 in SEC OpenersSEC openers have been tough on Arkansas and the Lady’Backs are an even 5-5 in the first league match of the season. Arkansas dropped the opener last year to fifth-ranked Florida in Barnhill and the Lady’Backs are 5-1 when the SEC opener is at home. The Lady’Backs have faced Alabama the most in the league opener with a 2-1, followed by a 1-2 mark with Kentucky and a 2-0 mark with LSU. Arkansas is 0-2 in SEC openers against the Gators and 1-1 against Tennessee when they meet in the first conference match of the year.
|1994||at Kentucky||L||3-0||2000||at Alabama||L||3-2|
|1996||at Kentucky||L||3-1||2002||at LSU||W||3-1|
|1998||Tennessee||W||3-0||2004||No. 5 Florida||L||3-1|
|1999||at No. 6 Florida||L||3-0||2005||Tennessee||L||3-0|
SEC Road OpenersWe know that Arkansas is 6-6 in SEC openers. We also know the Lady’Backs are 3-4 in the first SEC road match of the season. The good news for Arkansas, however, is that the Lady’Backs have won their last three road SEC openers.
Arkansas and the SEC Western DivisionThe Lady Razorbacks have dominated the SEC Western Division since adding volleyball in 1994. During the regular season, Arkansas is hitting .261 against divisional teams holding their opponents to a .162 mark in 108 meetings. The Lady’Backs are 101-7 all-time against the West during the regular season and a perfect 8-0 against divisional teams during the SEC Tournament.
Arkansas against the Tigers and TideThis year’s senior class (Iva Docekalova and Karla Crose) are a perfect 13-0 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. Here’s a year-by-year look at the Arkansas stats against Alabama and Auburn over the last three years.
|*Oct 11, 2002||at Auburn Tigers||W||3-0||30-25,30-15,30-27||775|
|*Oct 13, 2002||at Alabama||W||3-1||30-25,30-20,20-30,30-23||483|
|*Nov 01, 2002||ALABAMA||W||3-1||30-24,30-28,26-30,31-29||475|
|*Nov 03, 2002||AUBURN||W||3-0||30-16,30-26,30-22||551|
|Nov 23, 2002||ALABAMA||W||3-0||30-21,30-20,30-14||690|
|*Oct 03, 2003||ALABAMA||W||3-1||33-31,24-30,30-27,35-33||515|
|*Oct 05, 2003||AUBURN||W||3-1||30-20,27-30,30-14,30-13||536|
|*Nov 16, 2003||at Auburn||W||3-0||30-21,30-25,30-26||201|
|4Nov 22, 2003||vs #3 Alabama||W||3-0||30-16,30-21,30-24||507|
|*Oct 08, 2004||at Auburn||W||3-2||27-30,30-24,30-32,30-25,15-10||412|
|*Oct 10, 2004||at Alabama||W||3-1||30-28,22-30,30-23,30-28||259|
|*Oct 29, 2004||ALABAMA||W||3-0||30-26,30-25,30-26||770|
|*Oct 31, 2004||AUBURN||W||3-0||30-28,33-31,30-19||663|
About AuburnThe Auburn Tigers evened their Southeastern Conference record to 1-1 with a three game win over Kentucky last week improving to 7-3 overall. Their conference loss came at the hands of in-state rival Alabama to open the year. The Tigers are hitting .220 as a team with Jennifer Amobi and Rachel Shanks getting most of their touches. Shanks is averaging 3.19 kills per game with a team-leading 115 kills this year while Amobi is averaging 3.42 kpg with 106 kills.
Arkansas versus the TigersThe Lady’Backs are 22-1 all-time against the Tigers. The lone loss came in 1996 in Fayetteville and the Lady’Backs have won 16 in a row, including a five-game, come-from-behind victory at Auburn last year.
About AlabamaAlabama’s 13 match win streak ended last weekend with a four-game loss to Kentucky as the Tide fell to 13-2 overall and 1-1 in the league. Crystal Hudson leads teh team hitting .406 and averaging 3.53 kills per game. Hudson is one of four Tide players hitting better than .300 on the year. Alabama is blocking well again paced by Hudson with a 1.13 block per game average and 53 total blocks.
Arkansas versus the Crimson TideArkansas is 22-2 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 seven contests.
A Double-HeaderThe Lady Razorbacks hosted LSU last weekend serving as the Tigers “home” venue. LSU typically competes in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center but the PMAC and surrounding areas are still being used for the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. LSU defeated South Carolina in five Friday and downed Tennessee in three on Sunday.
Lady’Backs Return to AirwavesArkansas volleyball returns to the airwaves again this year both on the internet and on KXUA, 88.3 FM. Arkansas is set to go live on KXUA at Auburn and Alabama next weekend. The matches this weekend with Tennessee and South Carolina are scheduled for an internet broadcast.
Up NextSoutheastern Conference play continues for Arkansas with the Lady’Backs hosting LSU Oct. 5 and traveling to Kentucky Oct. 7. Arkansas takes a non-conference break Oct. 11, hosting St. Louis but returns to SEC action hosting Mississippi and Mississippi State Oct. 14 and 16, respectively.