Home stand concludesThe University of Arkansas wraps up the longest home stand of the year Wednesday hosting nationally-ranked LSU in a 7:00 p.m. match. Arkansas travels to Alabama Friday for the first of three consecutive road matches.
Clark sets blocking recordRedshirt freshman Destiny Clark set a school record for blocks with 18 in a five-game match with Mississippi Sunday. The Manhattan, Kan., native erased the previous mark of 15 held by former Lady’Back Libby Windell set in 1999 against Mississippi State (four games). Clark collected three blocks each in the first two games, had five blocks in both the third and fourth games and finished with two in game five. Clark leads the team with 86 total blocks (11 block solos and 75 block assists) and has a team-best 1.59 block per game average. She had 46 in SEC play and is averaging 2.09 bpg in the SEC.
Clark leads Arkansas in tying school recordWhile Clark set the record with 18 blocks, the Lady’Backs collected 24.0 team blocks to tie the team record in the Sunday match. Arkansas had 24.0 blocks one other time – a four-game win over Mississippi State in 1999.
The blocks’ been very, very good to meArkansas has always been a strong blocking team and that element of their game has steadily improved all season. The Lady’Backs have had eight matches with double-digit team blocks highlighted by the record-tying 24.0 against Mississippi. Arkansas had 20.0 against South Carolina and 18.0 at Kansas just to name a few.
Another record?Yes. This time by libero Ashley Miller. Miller collected 36 digs in Sunday’s match eclipsing the previous mark of 32 – a record Miller held from a five-game win over Utah in 2005. Miller leads the team with 264 digs this year and a 4.89 dig per game average. She has a team-best 110 digs in SEC matches with a 5.00 dpg average.
Look out for LawrenceArkansas sophomore Christina Lawrence suffered a knee injury and had surgery the second day of official practice (around Aug. 10). She did not practice but played in the second match of the year. She has been in the lineup for every match since but has been fighting to regain her timing and catch up with teammates. Her improvement is evident in the fact that she leads the hitters with a .285 hitting percentage and 111 kills for a 2.22 kill per game average. She is hitting .291 in SEC matches. Lawrence recorded a career-best 13 blocks against Mississippi Sunday and has had three double-digit kill matches.
The doubles continue for KolevaArkansas senior Denitza Koleva continues to both hit and dig well. Koleva had back-to-back double-doubles again this weekend with 13 kills and 14 digs Friday followed by a season-best tying 19 kills and 17 digs Sunday. See the complete list of double-doubles for the Lady’Backs at the bottom of page two.
Play me at homeArkansas enjoys playing in the friendly confines of Barnhill Arena. The Lady’Backs are 6-1 on their home court this year. The Lady’Backs are 2-2 at road venues and 2-1 at neutral sites.
Looking for Number 300The Arkansas volleyball program began in 1994 and began the 2006 season with 288 total wins. The Lady’Backs have 10 wins in 2006 bringing the total to 298 – just two shy of 300. Arkansas is 147-43 all-time in Southeastern Conference matches and head coach Chris Poole’s career record is 532-202.
About LSULSU remains the lone undefeated team in the SEC and is most likely the best team in the league right now. The Tigers are 14-1 overall with their lone loss a five-game thriller to second-ranked Penn State. The Tigers have won 12 in a row and are in the midst of one of the longest winning streaks in program history. Middles Lauren DeGiralamo and Melody Clark lead the team’s offense this year. DeGiralamo has 171 kills, 3.23 kills per game, is hitting .338 and has 97 blocks for a 1.83 block per game average. Clark checks in with 168 kills, 3.11 kpg, a 3.29 hitting percentage, 59 blocks and 1.09 bpg. Libero Kassi Mikulik leads the team with 240 digs and a 4.44 dig per game average.
Arkansas versus the TigersThe Lady Razorbacks hold a 22-4 series advantage over LSU but this will be the first meeting between the teams when the Tigers were nationally-ranked. LSU has won two of the last four meetings including a win in Fayetteville in 2004.
Lawrence plays well against TigersChristina Lawrence hit well against LSU last year. In two matches, the redshirt sophomore recorded 11 kills, averaged 2.75 kills per game and hit .269. Senior Amy Allison is hitting .272 lifetime versus LSU while senior Kele Brewer is hitting .230 against the Tigers.
Wednesday are goodAlthough the LSU match is the first Wednesday match of the season it is certainly not the first match Arkansas has played on that day. In fact, the Lady’Backs are 9-6 all-time on hump day. Looking ahead to the Alabama match on Friday is good for Arkansas too. The Lady’Backs are 116-45 on Friday nights.
About AlabamaAlabama meets Arkansas with four Southeastern Conference wins and on a two-match winning streak Friday. The Crimson Tide have wins over Mississippi, Mississippi State, South Carolina and Georgia and are 6-2 on their home court. Bama has two players hitting above .300 in Lindsey Buteyn (.371) and Crystal Hudson (.356). Hudson and Bridget Fuentez are the go-to players with 215 and 214 kills each, respectively. Bama is hitting better (.222-.218) with more kills (847-787) than Arkansas but the Lady’Backs have the blocking advantage (3.19-2.48) and the digging edge (16.33-15.44).
Arkansas versus the Crimson TideArkansas leads the all-time series record 24-2 against the Crimson Tide but Alabama, like the rest of the league, is a better team this year. Arkansas has won the last nine meetings but Bama is coming off a big win at South Carolina last weekend and will be tough on their home court.
The match is televisedThe Lady Razorbacks’ match at Alabama Friday is the SEC -TV match of the week and will air live on FSN at 6:00 p.m. central.
Career Numbers Several Lady Razorbacks are climbing in the record books. The complete career top 10 is listed later in this release. Here’s a couple key categories of note.
KillsSenior Denitza Koleva became the 10th player in school history to record her career 1,000th kill last year. Teammate and fellow senior Kele Brewer soon followed and is 11th Lady’Back at 1,000. Also climbing: Jessica Dorrell is 16th with 692 and Amy Allison is 18th with 631.
DigsJunior Ashley Miller is on track to completely rewrite the Arkansas dig records. Miller holds the single match record with 36 recently set against Mississippi in 2006 and ranks first in career digs per game with a 4.25 average. She also became the six player in school history to reach 1,000 career digs and is currently second all-time and is on pace to rank first by the end of the 2006 season.
Total BlocksSenior Amy Allison continues to move up the blocking records. Allison is ranked ninth in block solos with 53. Senior Denitza Koleva is 18th with 18. Allison is sixth on the block assists list with 394, followed by Jessica Dorrell who is 10th with 289, and Koleva who is 16th with 213. Allison leads the team in total blocks as well with 447 to rank fifth all-time. Dorrell is 13th with 294 and Koleva is 17th with 231.