SEC PLAY CONTINUESArkansas returns to the road this week traveling to Georgia Friday and LSU Sunday as Southeastern Conference action continues.
LSU MATCH IS TELEVISEDThat’s right. Arkansas head coach Robert Pulliza takes part in his first televised match as a head coach this weekend at LSU. The match will air live at 1:30 p.m. on COX. Lyn Rollins provides the play-by-play with Victor Howell as the color analyst. Fans in Northwest Arkansas can watch live if you have COX digital cable television with the sports package.
STIPANOVICH PUTS UP GOOD NUMBERSFreshman Kelli Stipanovich posted some great numbers this weekend. The true freshman from St. Louis, Mo. tallied 11 kills and hit .292 against the 10th-ranked Gators on Friday. She had seven digs and two block assists for Arkansas. She stepped it up a notch Sunday with a career-best 21 kills and 59 total attempts against South Carolina. Stipanovich tied her career-best with 11 digs against the Gamecocks as well.
EIGHT IN A ROWFreshman Kelli Stipanovich made it eight in a row this weekend with eight consecutive matches with double-figure kills.
LAWRENCE MOVES UP THE LISTSenior Christina Lawrence is on pace to become the 13th player in program history to reach 1,000 career kills. Lawrence moved up one spot this week to number 14 with 886 career kills and needs just 12 kills to move up into the 13th position. She is 114 kills away from 1,000. Here’s the top 16 list.
ARKANSAS IN THE SEC STATSAs the SEC stats continue to take shape, Arkansas remains ranked in several categories. In SEC-only stats, the Razorbacks are sixth for blocks, seventh for hitting percentage, eighth for assists, kills, service aces and digs. Individually, freshman Kelli Stipanovich ranks eighth in kills-per-game. Caira Dortch is fifth in assists-per-game and tied for ninth in service aces-per-game and Kristin Seaton is tied for seventh in blocks-per-game. In all matches, Arkansas is 10th in hitting percentage, assists and kills, and is seventh in digs and blocks. Stipanovich ranked ninth in kpg, Dortch is seventh in apg, Phoebe Bautista is seventh in digs-per-game and Yun Tang leads the SEC in bpg.
DIG THISPhoebe Bautista has had seven matches with double-digit digs including six matches in a row. Her 24 digs against South Carolina is a career-best.
LAWRENCE HITS WELLSenior Christina Lawrence has had four matches with double-digit kills this year. She hit .360 with 10 kills, one error and 25 attempts against No. 10 Florida and that is believed to be her best performance against a nationally-ranked team.
THE ROYAL TREATMENTSophomore Heather Royal has posted five matches with double-digit kills this year. She tallied a career-best 19 kills versus Tulsa and has five matches with double-digit digs. She tallied a career-best 20 digs versus Tennessee-Martin.
FRESHMAN SENSATIONFreshman Kelli Stipanovich has had nine matches with double-digit kills including eight in a row. She has had two double-doubles and her 21 kills against South Carolina is a career-best. She also tied her career-best with 11 digs against South Carolina.
SEASON GETS IT DONEJunior Kristin Seaton recorded a season-best 10 kills and six blocks versus South Carolina.
LET ME HELPCaira Dortch is one of two setters for Arkansas. In addition to setting, Dortch has tallied three matches with double-digit dig totals and had a career-best 23 digs against South Carolina.
A LOOK AT The TEAM NUMBERSArkansas played well against South Carolina. The Razorbacks posted season-bests for kills with 62, total attempts with 184, digs with 89, block assists with 20, total blocks with 12, points with 78 and the team’s 57 assists was the second-best of the season.
COMPARATIVELY SPEAKINGIn our first seven matches, Arkansas was… -1-6 overall -Hitting .127 -Had 242 kills -Averaged 10.52 kpg -9.57 assists per game -11.17 digs per game -2.17 blocks per gameIn our last six matches, we are… -3-3 Hitting .210 -Have 294 kills -Averaging 12.25 kpg -11.00 assists per game -14.83 digs per game -1.83 blocks per game
ABOUT GEORGIAThe Georgia Bulldogs enter the weekend with a 7-8 overall record and an 0-4 SEC mark with Eastern Division losses to Florida, South Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee. The Bulldogs opened the season 5-1 but have since gone 2-7. Maria Taylor is Georgia’s go-to player. She leads the team with 215 kills and 3.98 kills-per-game. Arkansas can expect Erika Clark and Lindsay Gehan to get a lot of touches as well.
ARKANSAS VERSUS GEORGIAArkansas and Georgia have faced each other 17 times with Arkansas winning 13 contests. The Razorbacks have won the last five meetings, winning the last two contests in five sets in 2007.
ABOUT LSULSU enters the weekend with a 6-4 overall record and a 1-2 mark in SEC action. The Tigers lost to Florida and South Carolina on the road, defeated Tennessee but fell to Kentucky in recent league action. Brittnee Cooper leads the team with 2.49 kills-per-game and a .349 hitting percentage while Kyna Washington leads the team with 127 kills and a 3.43 kpg average.
ARKANSAS VERSUS LSUArkansas leads the all-time series with LSU 22-8 but the Tigers have won the last five meetings against Arkansas. It is Arkansas longest current losing streak against an SEC opponent. The Razorbacks last win came Oct. 5, 2005 in Fayettevile when Arkansas posted a four-set victory.
SHORT AND SWEETAlthough Arkansas doesn’t like the taste. The Razorbacks have played 13 matches, nine of which have gone the minimum three sets. Arkansas is 3-6 in three set contests. Their wins have come against Georgia State, Lamar and Tennessee-Martin.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE NUMBER FOURArkansas has played 13 matches this year. The Razorbacks are 3-6 in three sets and 1-3 in five sets. Arkansas has yet to play a four-set match.
HOW’S THE SEC?In a word – good. The SEC finished pre-conference play with a 64-40 record for a .165 winning percentage. The Eastern Division was 35-12 (.745) while the Western Division finished 29-28 (.501) in matches played before the start of SEC play. One SEC team, Florida, is in this week’s top 25 poll. The Gators moved up one spot to No. 10 last week. LSU, South Carolina and Kentucky all received votes in this week’s poll.
WHERE’S SEATON?Great question. Junior Kristin Seaton has been moved between the middle blocker and outside hitter positions depending on Arkansas’ immediate needs against an opponent. Continue to look for her in either spot as the season continues.
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 McGown 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.Oct. 12 Mississippi State 1:30 p.m.Oct. 17 at Kentucky 6 p.m.Oct. 19 at Tennessee 12:30 p.m.Nov. 7 Tennessee 7 p.m.Nov. 9 Kentucky 1:30 p.m.Nov. 14 at Mississippi State 7 p.m.Nov. 21 LSU 7 p.m.Nov. 23 Ole Miss 7 p.m.All Postseason matches
UP NEXTThe Razorbacks are home against Alabama and Mississippi State, Oct. 10 and 12, respectively, followed by road matches at Kentucky and Tennessee and a mid-week road match at Ole Miss.