Arkansas continues SEC play this weekThe Lady Razorbacks continue the Southeastern Conference play this week hosting Florida and South Carolina as the four-match home stand continues.
About last weekThe University of Arkansas played to a weekend split with a five-game win over Georgia and a five-game loss to Auburn. The Georgia victory saw several Lady’Backs post career or season bests including a career-best 20 kills and 10 digs from sophomore Kristin Seaton. In addition, freshman Sarah Freudenrich tallied a season/career-best 12 kills while sophomore Catherine Fowler tied her career-best with eight total blocks. Fowler also played well against Auburn recording a career-best 18 kills and hitting .378.
Sarah Freudenrich plays wellFreshman Sarah Freudenrich helped Arkansas to a weekend split with a five-game win over Georgia and a five-game loss to Auburn. She recorded a season/career-best 12 kills in the win over the Bulldogs and tied her season/career-best with a .500 hitting percentage against Auburn. Freudenrich paced Arkansas with 14.0 total blocks for the weekend. Freudenrich leads Arkansas with a .332 hitting percentage that includes 106 kills. She leads the team with 99 total blocks including 14 block solos, 85 block assists and 1.43 blocks per game.
Seaton has double-doubleSophomore Kristin Seaton collected career numbers for kills and digs with 20 and 10, respectively, in the win over Georgia. It was her first double-double of the season. Seaton’s 20 kills bettered her previous mark of 14 set against Pepperdine. Her 10 digs was one better than nine against Northern Iowa.
Middles playing betterArkansas head coach Chris Poole was worried about the youth of his middle blockers. A true freshman (Sarah Freudenrich), sophomore (Catherine Fowler) and junior transfer (Yun Tang) make up the middles and their early-season experience is starting to pay off. In the last four matches, Freudenrich has recorded 33 kills, is hitting .373, has seven digs, 33 total blocks and a 1.83 block per game average. She had a career-best 12 kills against Georgia last weekend. Fowler tied her career-best with eight total blocks against Georgia. She has 44 kills, a 2.44 kill per game average, a .261 hitting percentage, two digs, 24 total blocks and a 1.33 bpg average in the last four matches. Tang, who has not played as much as the others, has five kills, 22 total blocks and a 2.00 bpg average posting a career-best 11 total blocks against Georgia.
Lawrence doubtful for this weekendJunior Christina Lawrence is a question mark for this weekend. Lawrence injured her back in practice prior to the Georgia match Friday and did not play against the Bulldogs or against Auburn on Sunday. She is listed as day-to-day.
Non-Conference schedule over – almostArkansas’ 2007 non-conference schedule seemed to fly by. The Lady Razorbacks played to a 6-4 non-conference mark. 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.
Setters move up on career listsArkansas 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, have surpassed, 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 seven setters have 1,000 or more assists. Martin slid over 1,000 career assists during the Northern Iowa match and has 1,197 while Scanlan stands at 1,062.
Miller owns Arkansas digs recordSenior Ashley Miller holds the Arkansas record for digs with 1859 (through 10-8). In fact, she holds all of Arkansas’ dig records. Miller has the match record with 36 against Ole Miss (10-1-06), single season with 548 (2005), career with 1859 and climbing, career digs per game with 4.32 (through 10-8-07) and was the digs per game leader in 2004, 2005 and 2006. But where do those numbers rank in the NCAA? The single-match record for digs is 62 (Jessica Strama, McNeese St. vs. Texas-Arlington, Oct. 13, 2006); the single-season record under the current scoring system is 924 (Paula Gentil, Minnesota, 2004 [138 games]); the career record is 2,791 (Paula Gentil, Minnesota, 2002-05 [506 games]; season digs per game is 7.68 (Amanda McCormick, Ball St., 2006 [852 digs in 111 games]) and career 5.80 (Amanda McCormick, Nebraska/Ball St., 2003-04; 05-06 [2,297 digs in 396 games]).
An SEC bottleneckAs teams work their way into the seventh week of the season, the SEC standings are still a mess. The winners continue to win with Florida atop the standings with an unblemished 8-0 makr. LSU leads the West and is second overall at 7-1. Kentucky is respectable with a 6-2 mark followed by 5-3 records for both Ole Miss and Alabama. Georgia is sixth overall with a 4-4 mark and four teams are tied in the seventh spot with 2-6 records. Those teams are Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee and Auburn. Mississippi State is 11th overall with a 1-7 record.
Arkansas in the SEC stats – SEC-Only matchesThe Lady’Backs’ 2-6 mark in the SEC, not surprisingly, finds the team at the bottom of most of the SEC statistics as well. Here’s a look at where Arkansas ranks: 10th for hitting percentage (.175); eighth in opponent hitting percentage (.224); 10th in assists (12.74), 10th in kills (13.81); 11th in service aces (1.00); and 11th in digs (14.68). On the bright side, Arkansas is first overall in blocks with a 3.16 block per game average.
Arkansas in the SEC stats – All matchesArkansas’ numbers are a bit better in all matches (conference and non-conference). The Lady’Backs are seventh in hitting percentage (.212); eighth in assists (13.25); ninth in opponent hitting percentage (.217); seventh in kills (14.57); sixth in service aces (1.72) and 11th in digs (13.94). Surprisingly, the Lady’Backs fall to third in all-match blocks with a 2.90 block per game average.
Freudenrich tops in the SECDespite Arkansas’ win-loss woes, freshman Sarah Freudenrich is making a name for herself. The Broken Arrow, Okla., native ranks second in the SEC (in SEC-only matches) for blocks per game with a 1.55 bpg average. Freudenrich has four solos and 44 block assists for 48.0 total blocks this year. Freudenrich is fourth in all matches averaging 1.43 blocks per game with 14 solos and 85 assists for 99.0 total blocks.
Dorrell ranks in kills per gameSenior Jessica Dorrell finds herself ranked eighth this week in kills per game. The Aledo, Texas, native is averaging 3.61 kills per game in SEC only contests.
Miller ranks in digs per gameSenior Ashley Miller leads Arkansas in digs and ranks seventh in the SEC for digs per game. The Vacaville, Calif., native is averaging 4.55 dpg with 141 digs in SEC only matches. Miller ranks sixth in all matches as well averaging 4.59 dpg with 303 total digs this year.
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 310-153 (through10/9/07) 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.