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GAINESVILLE, Fla. –A valiant effort by the University of Arkansas volleyball team wasn’t enough to lift the Lady Razorbacks to victory against No. 10 Florida in Southeastern Conference action in Gainesville, Fla., Sunday.
Arkansas (10-16, 4-12 SEC) fell 28-30, 23-30, 25-30 to the Gators (22-1, 15-1) who avenge an earlier loss in Fayetteville.
Arkansas was paced by junior Christina Lawrence who hit .474 with 10 kills and four blocks. Senior Jessica Dorrell lead Arkansas with 13 kills and freshman Heather Royal added 10 kills and 10 digs in a double-double effort.
“We again proved that we can play with the best teams in the country,” said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. “But we continue to make mistakes that cost us in the end. We’ve got to learn to be aggressive but play smart at the end of games.”
The Lady Razorbacks led by as many as four points, 20-16, in both games one and three but couldn’t overcome the balanced Gator attack.
In the first game, Florida managed to tie the game at 23 and the teams exchanged points with the Gators clinging to the lead. Arkansas was able to cut the lead to one, 28-29, but a kill from Gator senior Amber McCray put the game in the books with a Florida win.
Arkansas struggled in the second game hitting just .029 as a team with eight kills and seven hitting errors but the Lady’Backs still found themselves with opportunities to win the game.
Game two was tied at 12 when the Lady’Backs took a brief lead. But again the Gators found a way to win. Their first strategy was to go back to McCray and it worked with back-to-back kills that took the wind out of Arkansas’ sails.
The Lady’Backs found renewed energy in the third game after Poole shuffled the lineup starting two middles. It threw Florida off for a bit and again the Lady’Backs found themselves up 20-16 late in the game.
But again the Gators roared back closing with a 12-5 run over Arkansas to win the match.
Arkansas returns to SEC road action traveling to Auburn and Georgia next weekend. For more information about Arkansas volleyball, log on to LADYBACKS.COM.