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Great effort falls short at NCAA Tournament

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Great effort falls short at NCAA Tournament

Jump to Missouri box score COLUMBIA, Mo. – The University of Arkansas put together one of its best efforts of the year falling just short against No. 24 and 16-seeded Missouri in the first round of the 2004 NCAA Volleyball Tournament in Columbia, Mo., Friday. Arkansas wrapped up the 2004 season with a 17-16 record after dropping the 28-30, 21-30, 30-25, 26-30 match to Missouri who improved to 20-8 overall. The Tigers face Louisville in the second round Saturday at 6:00 p.m. “When you get to the NCAA Tournament every team’s a great team,” said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. “I’m very pleased with our effort and the intensity and we’re going to walk away from this just trying to learn from it.” Sophomore Kele Brewer paced Arkansas with 17 kills while sophomore Denitza Koleva and lone senior Jennifer Haaser each added 10 in the loss. The Lady’Backs out-blocked the Tigers 14 to 12 behind seven from junior Karla Crose and five from Haaser. Haaser finishes her Lady Razorback career as one of the most well-recognized faces in program history. The Fort Smith, Ark., native was the first in-state player to don the Cardinal and White and has been a role model for players who followed. “Jennifer meant a lot to the program,” said Poole. “She played hard and represented us well both on and off the court. She should be very proud of her career as a Lady Razorback.” Arkansas had several opportunities in each of the games but seemed to come up just short at inopportune moments. The first game was tight going back-and-forth until a 28-all tie late. The Tigers got a tip kill from their offensive leader Shen Danru to take the lead and an Arkansas hitting error handed them the win. The Lady’Backs were flat in the second game dropping the contest by nine points but rallied to win game three, out-hitting Missouri .209 to .109. The final frame could have also gone either direction with several ties and lead changes before the Tigers took the lead on an Arkansas net violation followed by a Lady’Back hitting error. “We had a few unforced errors at bad times and that took us out of our rhythm. It was a good college match and the fans saw a pair of good teams go at it.” Arkansas’ trip to the NCAA Tournament was the seventh in the 11-year history of the program and the ninth postseason appearance (NIVC) for the program.



Sports Category : Volleyball (W)