About ArkansasThe University of Arkansas returned to the win column with a pair of victories at Auburn and Alabama last weekend. Arkansas continues SEC play hosting LSU Wednesday and traveling to Kentucky on Friday for a single weekend match.
Crose leads to win at AuburnSenior Karla Crose paced the University of Arkansas to their second Southeastern Conference volleyball victory with a four-game win at Auburn Friday. The Lady Razorbacks won 29-31, 30-17, 30-28, 30-22. Crose finished the night with 12 kills, hit .381 and had seven blocks leading Arkansas to a 16-block night. Junior Denitza Koleva also added 12 kills while junior Kele Brewer tallied 1 and hit .214 for the Lady’Backs.
Allison blocks Bama attackJunior Amy Allison recorded a school-record 14 blocks in a five-game Southeastern Conference thriller over Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Sunday. Allison paced Arkansas to a 24-30, 30-24, 30-29, 25-30, 15-11 win overall Alabama with 14 total blocks in a five-game match bettering teammate Jessica Dorrell’s five-game record of 12 set last year. The win helps Arkansas climb near the top of the Western Division standings after No. 24 LSU suffered a four-game loss against Alabama last Friday. Allison finished the day with 12 kills, a .550 hitting percentage and 14 blocks while teammate Denitza Koleva added 14 kills, hit .324 and had a career-best eight blocks. Sophomore Christina Lawrence also stepped up with eight kills and hit .462 while recording five blocks as the Lady’Backs out-blocked the Tide 19.0-2.0.
Allison earns SEC Defensive Player of the WeekArkansas junior Amy Allison earned her first honor from the Southeastern Conference capturing SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors Monday. Allison set a personal record and was one shy of the school record recording 14 total blocks versus Alabama. She paced Arkansas to a 19 block day, also hitting .550 with 12 kills. In addition, she collected 8 blocks at Auburn, leading Arkansas to a 3-1 win.
Koleva nears 1,000Junior outside hitter Denitza Koleva is fast approaching her career 1,000th kill. Koleva enters the week with 942 career kills (prior to LSU match) needing just 58 more kills to reach the 1,000-kill plateau. Should she reach it, Koleva will become the 10th Lady Razorback in the program’s history to do so. There are several other Lady’Backs in the top 20. They include Kele Brewer in 14th place with 836 kills, Karla Crose in 17th place with 515 and Jessica Dorrell in 19th place with 403.
Poole gets 200th conference winArkansas head coach Chris Poole netted his 200th conference win with the Lady’Backs four-game victory overall Auburn on Friday. Poole came to Arkansas with a 65-4 conference record and added a 133-35 mark in SEC play bringing his preseason total to 198-39. Poole and the Lady’Backs are 3-1 this year bringing his all-time conference record to 201-40.
About LSULSU enters the week with a 13-2 overall mark and a 3-1 record in the SEC tying Arkansas for the lead in the West. The Tigers, who have not played at home yet this season, are hitting .252 paced by Ivan Kuzmic hitting .349 with 129 kills. Jelena Mijatovic leads the team with 254 kills and 4.46 kills per game this year. The Lady’Backs and Tigers have faced the same four SEC opponents with nearly the same results. Both defeated South Carolina and Auburn while LSU defeated Tennessee and lost to Alabama. Arkansas defeated the Tide and lost to the Lady Vols.
Arkansas versus the TigersArkansas leads the all-time series with the Tigers 21-3 but the teams split their regular season meetings last year with Arkansas winning in Baton Rouge and losing in Fayetteville. The Lady’Backs avenged the home loss with a five-game win in Gainesville in the first round of the SEC Tournament eliminating LSU.
About KentuckyKentucky meets Arkansas with a 9-5 overall record and a 2-2 SEC mark with a much-improved Wildcat team. Kentucky opened the SEC season with a 3-0 loss to Auburn but rebounded with back-to-back wins over Alabama and Georgia in Athens. They fell in three at No. 5 Florida last weekend. Kentucky is hitting .237 as a team paced by Amy Kaplan and Danielle Wallace. Kaplan is hitting a team-best .350 with 140 kills and 2.98 kpg while Wallance checks in hitting .269 with a team-leading 213 kills and 4.44 kpg. Middle Queen Nzenwa leads the team in blocking with 61 total blocks and a 1.27 bpg average.
Arkansas versus the WildcatsThe Lady’Backs lead the all-time series record with Kentucky 11-4 and has won the last 11 meetings. Kentucky pushed the Lady’Backs to five games last year in Fayetteville with Arkansas winning, 15-11, in game five.
A look at the numbers (Overall/SEC)
|Arkansas (10-5/3-1)||LSU (14-3/3-1)||Kentucky (9-5/2-2)|
Arkansas picked to win SECThe 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 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.
Moving on upArkansas has moved up to third place in this week’s AVCA regional rankings (see complete list on next page). The Lady’Backs trail No. 5 Florida and Tennessee but are ahead of LSU, South Carolina and Alabama as the SEC dominates the South region. Kentucky checks in in the No. 10 spot with Georgia at No. 12, Mississippi State at No. 13 and Auburn at No. 15.
Also upArkansas has also moved up to No. 22 in the RichKern.com RKPI rankings. That is the highest Arkansas has been all season. The RKPI is not the official rpi rating used by the NCAA but uses a similar fomula and is widely used until NCAA Tournament time.
Arkansas in the NCAAThe Lady Razorbacks rank 16th in the country in blocking this week. South Carolin is 15th with 3.22 bpg, followed by Arkansas at 3.10 bpg. Florida is No. 23 and LSU is 28th rounding out the SEC representating in the blocking categories. Junior Amy Allison ranks 13th in the country for individual blockers as well with a 1.66 bpg average at the time of the ranking.
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 Kentucky next weekend. The midweek match with LSU will air live and have a webcast on LADYBACKS.COM.
Up NextArkansas 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.