About ArkansasThe University of Arkansas suffered a disappointing four-game loss at Kentucky on Friday in the lone match of the weekend. Arkansas breaks from conference play hosting St. Louis Tuesday before returning to SEC action hosting Mississippi and Mississippi State this weekend.Koleva nears 1,000Junior outside hitter Denitza Koleva is fast approaching her career 1,000th kill. Koleva enters the week with 974 career kills (prior to the St. Louis match) needing just 26 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. Kele Brewer is also in the top 15, currently in 13th place with 867 kills.About St. LouisSt. Louis enters the week with a 9-10 overall record and a 6-8 mark in the Atlantic 10 conference. The Bilikens are lead by Tatyana Menshikova hitting .241 with 5.41 kills per game while the team is hitting .239 on the year. St. Louis averages 2.34 blocks per game paced by Sutton Lasater with 1.09 bpg. The Bilikens have won four of their last five matches and have one common opponent, Kansas State, with Arkansas. Both Arkansas and SLU fell to the Wildcats this year.Arkansas versus the BilikensArkansas holds a 2-0 series advantage over St. Louis last defeating the Bilikens in three games in 2003.About MississippiThe Lady Rebels enter the week with a 7-11 overall record and a 1-5 mark in conference play after downing Auburn in three games at home. The Lady Rebels are hitting .199 lead by Nikki Hill hitting .228 with a team-best 275 kills this year. The Lady Rebels have lost nine of their last 10 snapping the losing streak at AuburnArkansas versus the Lady RebelsThe Lady Razorbacks hold a 21-1 series advantage over Mississippi and have won 15 in a row. Arkansas is a perfect 11-0 against the Lady Rebels in Fayetteville and have won five of the last seven meetings in three games.About Mississippi StateMississippi State flirted with its first SEC weekend volleyball series sweep since 1996, but the Alabama Crimson Tide thundered back to erase a 2-0 deficit and claimed a hard-fought 3-2 decision at the Newell-Grissom Building. State (10-5, 1-4 SEC), which topped Auburn 3-0 on Friday, claimed Sunday’s first two frames in impressive fashion, 30-28 and 30-23, and twice served at game match point in the pivotal third game. But Bama (16-3, 4-1 SEC) rebounded in time to win game three 35-33 and rode the momentum swing to match-sealing 30-26 and 15-11 wins in games four and five. Mississippi State is hitting .232 paced by Rachel Cooper and Orahi Kriegel. Cooper leads the team with 233 kills and a 4.16 kill-per-game average while Kriegel is second with 204 kills and a 3.71 kpg mark.Arkansas versus the BulldogsArkansas is a perfect 23-0 against the Bulldogs all-time. The Lady Razorbacks went five with State in Starkville last year pulling out a nail-biter with a 15-9 win in the fifth game. The Lady’Backs are 11-0 against Miss State in Fayetteville.A look at the numbers (Overall)
|Arkansas (11-6)||St. Louis (9-10)||Mississippi (7-11)||Miss State (10-5)|
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. Arkansas was 109-7 all-time against the Western Division entering the year and is a perfect 3-0 (Auburn, Alabama and LSU) this year bringing their winning percentage to .941 (112-7). This year, Arkansas has out-hit their Western Division foes .221 to .151 in three matches and out-blocked them 4.12 to 1.54 per game this year.Double Me UpJunior Denitza Koleva leads the team with 16 matches with double-digit kill totals. The only match in which Koleva did not post double-figure numbers came against Memphis Aug. 27, when she recorded nine kills. Her season best 27 kills came against nationally-ranked Kansas State where she hit .442. Koleva has also had double-digit digs in 11 of Arkansas’ 17 matches this year with double-doubles (kills and digs) in 11 matches as well.More about KolevaDenitza Koleva suffered an ankle sprain Sunday, Oct. 10, in practice. She is listed as day-to-day.More about doublesJessica Dorrell has posted six matches with double-digit kills. Christina Lawrence has had five, Amy Allison seven, Kele Brewer 10 and Karla Crose five matches with double-figure kill totals.A double in another wayJunior Amy Allison has recorded three matches this year with double-digit block totals highlighted by a career-best 14.0 at Alabama. She followed up with 13.0 against LSU in the very next match.I can dig itSophomore Ashley Miller has posted double-digit dig totals in 16 of Arkansas’ 17 matches. Her lone single-digit dig total was seven against No. 25 Long Beach State in a three-game Arkansas loss in San Diego, Calif. Miller’s high is a school-record 32 digs against Utah in a five-game win at Missouri State in tournament action the third weekend of the year.Moving on upArkansas remained in 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. 5 spot with Georgia, Mississippi State and Auburn all in the top 15.Also upArkansas has also moved up to No. 25 in the RichKern.com RKPI rankings. That is the second-highest Arkansas has been all season. The RKPI is not the official rpi rating used by the NCAA but uses a similar formula and is widely used until NCAA Tournament time.Arkansas in the NCAA (prior to Kentucky match)The Lady Razorbacks rank 16th in the country in blocking this week. South Carolina 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 representing 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. Both of Arkansas’ conference matches this week air live on the internet at LADYBACKS.COM. Arkansas next radio broadcast is at Florida, Oct. 21, and again at Georgia, Oct. 23.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.