SEC PLAY CONTINUESArkansas returns to Fayetteville and what they hope is the friendly confines of Barnhill Arena hosting a pair of SEC matches. The Razorbacks open with Alabama Friday and host Mississippi State Sunday. All three teams are 1-4 in the league this year and this weekend’s matches could be pivotal in the SEC race.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 .455 at Georgia on Friday. She added nine kills, hit .348 and had three digs in a three-set contest at LSU on Sunday and finished the weekend hitting .400.
NINE IN A ROWFreshman Kelli Stipanovich made it nine in a row this weekend with nine consecutive matches with double-figure kills. Her streak was broken with nine kills at LSU Sunday.LAWRENCE LOOKS GOOD THIS WEEKENDSenior Christina Lawrence also enjoyed a solid weekend of play at Georgia and LSU. The Sullivan, Mo., native tallied 10 kills and hit .364 against the Bulldogs and lead the team with 15 kills, a .500 hitting percentage with one service ace, one dig and one block at LSU.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 13 with 911 career kills and needs just 89 kills to reach 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 eight matches with double-digit digs including six matches in a row. Her 24 digs against South Carolina is a career-best.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 10 matches with double-digit kills including nine 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.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.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.ABOUT ALABAMAThe Crimson Tide dropped a 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-19) decision to South Carolina Sunday at the CAVE. With the loss, the Crimson Tide slipped to 8-6 on the season and 1-4 in the SEC, while the Gamecocks up their season standing to 13-2 overall and 5-1 in conference play. Brookes Webster has been the leader for Alabama hitting .273 with a team-best 3.80 kills-per-game. Calli Johnson leads the block with 0.92 blocks-per-gameARKANSAS VERSUS ALABAMAArkansas leads the all-time series 25-5 over the Crimson Tide. Alabama, however, has won the last two meetings, once in Fayetteville and once in Tuscaloosa.ABOUT MISSISSIPPI STATEMississippi State enters the weekend with a 6-10 overall record and a 1-4 mark in Southeastern Conference play. The Bulldogs most recently, are coming off losses to No. 10 Florida and South Carolina. Ioana Demian leads the team with 164 kills and a 2.83 kill-per-game average. Teammate Ashley Newsome is hitting a team-best .225 with 108 kills this year.ARKANSAS VERSUS MISSISSIPPI STATEArkansas leads the all-time series record 26-3 with the Bulldogs but MSU has won the last three meetings between these teams. State picked up a 3-0 win in Starkville in 2006 and again in 2007 and won in four in Fayetteville last year.SHORT AND SWEETAlthough Arkansas doesn’t like the taste. The Razorbacks have played 15 matches, 11 of which have gone the minimum three sets. Arkansas is 3-8 in three set contests. Their wins have come against Georgia State, Lamar and Tennessee-Martin.BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE NUMBER FOURArkansas has played 15 matches this year. The Razorbacks are 3-8 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.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 matchesUP NEXTThe Razorbacks haveroad matches at Kentucky and Tennessee and a mid-week road match at Ole Miss.