Arkansas looking to regroupThe University of Arkansas dropped its third consecutive Southeastern Conference match at Alabama Friday. The Lady Razorbacks are looking to regroup this week with a trip to No. 8 Florida and Auburn.
Friday The 13thArkansas plays national powerhouse Florida on the Gators home court on Friday the 13th – none of those factors are good omens. Add to that a match time changes to 7:00 p.m. central as the Gators are piggy-backing the match on top of the start of basketball season. Expect a big crowd for this one!
Making the turnArkansas takes on the Gators and Tigers then makes the turn as the schedule begins to repeat. The Lady’Backs take on the entire SEC schedule for the second time this year playing in the opposite venue.
No blocks?That’s right. Alabama held the Lady’Backs without a block on Friday. It is the first time in the program’s history that the Lady’Backs didn’t have a block in a match.
Clark leads offenseRedshirt freshman Destiny Clark leads the Lady Razorback offense hitting .278 with 79 kills and 1.30 kills per game. Clark is hitting a team-best .290 in SEC play.
Streaky Lady’BacksArkansas’ wins and losses are coming in groups this year. The Lady’Backs began the season winning six in a row and starting conference play with two consecutive losses. Then, the Lady’Backs won three SEC matches before dropping three league matches.
The doubles continue for KolevaArkansas senior Denitza Koleva continues to both hit and dig well. Koleva has had five consecutive double-doubles and 12 in Arkansas’ 16 matches. She began the year with six consecutive doubles. Koleva posted a season-best 19 kills twice this year (Sacramento State and Mississippi) and a season-high 20 digs against Stephen F. Austin.
Miller is diggin’ itJunior Ashley Miller is having a good year statistically. She is the first player in recent history to average more than 5.00 digs per game reaching that mark this weekend. Miller leads the team with 305 digs. She is averaging 4.29 career digs per game ranking first and is second with 1363 career digs this week.
Even StephenArkansas has collected more kills than their opponent in eight matches — that means that their opponents have had more kills in eight matches as well. Arkansas’ opponents have “out-killed” the Lady’Backs in the last three matches — all losses.
Allison holds top spotSenior Amy Allison holds the top two spots this year for single-match hitting percentage. Allison hit .571 (14-2-21) against LSU and .500 (15-3.24) at Tennessee – both ranked opponents.
Point me in the right directionSenior Denitza Koleva holds four of the top five single-match point totals this year. Koleva’s season-best is 22.5 points against Sacramento State. She had 22.0 versus Mississippi and 20.0 against LSU and Tennessee. Jessica Dorrell jumps into the number five spot with 19.5 points against Stephen F. Austin.
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 147-44 all-time in Southeastern Conference matches and head coach Chris Poole’s career record is 532-203.
Clark sets blocking recordRedshirt freshman Destiny Clark set a school record for blocks with 18 in a five-game match with Mississippi. 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 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 against Mississippi eclipsing the previous mark of 32 – a record Miller held from a five-game win over Utah in 2005. Miller leads the team with 289 digs this year and a 4.98 dig per game average. She has a team-best 135 digs in SEC matches with a 5.19 dpg average.
Play me at homeArkansas enjoys playing in the friendly confines of Barnhill Arena. The Lady’Backs are 6-2 on their home court this year. The Lady’Backs are 2-2 at road venues and 2-1 at neutral sites.
About FloridaFlorida (14-2 overall, 7-1 SEC) claimed its sixth consecutive win overall and its 23rd consecutive victory against Mississippi (11-7, 3-5) Sunday completing the Magnolia State sweep. The Gators finished with more kills (55-45), aces (7-5), digs (39-32) and blocks (7.0-4.0), while out-hitting Mississippi .385-.212. The Gators improved to 43-0 under Wise against teams from the state of Mississippi and 12-0 against the Rebels in Oxford in Wise’s tenure. Junior setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) matched her career high with 10 kills on .643 hitting in breaking the record for career points by a setter as she now has 502.0. Middles Kristina Johnson and Kelsy Bowers lead five players hitting above .300. Johnson checks in with a team-best .463 mark with 95 kills while Bowers is hitting .426 with 126 kills. Amber McCray leads the hitters with a .352 mark that includes 165 kills and 3.44 kills per game while teammate Kisya Killingsworth is hitting .232 with a team-leading 181 kills and 3.42 kills per game.
Arkansas versus the GatorsThis match up has never favored Arkansas. In fact, the Lady’Backs are 1-21 all-time against Florida. The lone Arkansas win came in 1997 in the championship match at the SEC Tournament. Arkansas has lost 15 in a row to Florida including a thrilling five-game loss to No. 4 Florida in last year’s SEC Tournament semifinals.
About AuburnAuburn dropped two matches last weekend to Mississippi and Mississippi State falling to 11-8 overall and 3-5 in SEC play. Middle Julie Bosler leads the team with a .367 hitting percentage and a 1.23 block per game average. She is the lone Tiger averaging more than one block per game. Rachel Shanks leads the team with 268 kills and is hitting .209 this year.
Arkansas versus the TigersArkansas leads the all-time series record 24-1 against the Tigers. The Tigers’ lone win was in Fayetteville in a five-game victory in 1996. Arkansas has won the last 18 matches although the Tigers are a much-improved team. Auburn pushed Arkansas to five games in 2004 and the last two matches have gone four games before Arkansas could win.
Days of the week/months of the yearArkansas has yet to win a match (this year) in the month of October. The Lady’Backs are 0-3 heading into the Florida/Auburn weekend. Arkansas faces Florida on Friday where they are 116-46 all-time. Arkansas takes on Auburn on Sunday when Arkansas is 82-29 all-time. Here’s a look at some of the numbers.
Career NumbersSeveral 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 tied for 10th. Also climbing: Jessica Dorrell is 16th with 747 and Amy Allison is 17th with 649.
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. Senior Denitza Koleva is the only other Lady’Back to rank in the top 20. She is ninth with 897 career digs.
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 397, followed by Jessica Dorrell who is 10th with 284, and Koleva who is 16th with 215. Allison leads the team in total blocks as well with 450 to rank fifth all-time. Dorrell is 13th with 294 and Koleva is 17th with 233.
Digs and KillsAthletes who finish their careers in the top 10 statistically in any given category can look back on their accomplishment with satisfaction. Arkansas has several players who rank in the top 10 in more than one category – specifically kills and digs. Senior Denitza Koleva is the most recent addition to the list.
How about three?If you look at the note above, you realize what an exclusive group it is to rank in the top 10 for both digs and kills. What if you throw in service aces? Kim Storey, Denitza Koleva, Jamie Rohme, Krystal Osborne and Yarleen Santiago remain.
That’s too much!Let’s add total blocks. Kim Storey and Yarleen Santiago are the only two Lady’Backs in the history of the program to rank in the top 10 in all four categories. However, Denitza Koleva, Denise Baez, Jamie Rohme and Krystal Osborne are all in the top 20 for total blocks with Koleva (the only current player on the list) ranking 17th in total blocks.
Some time changes to rememberThe Lady’Backs match at Alabama has moved to accommodate an FSN broadcast. Arkansas’ match at Florida has moved again. It was rescheduled to 7:30 central to accommodate a double-header with basketball but the Gators shifted things one more time to 7:00 p.m. central. Stay tuned!