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Horned Frogs rally to win in five

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Horned Frogs rally to win in five

Jumptto TCU box score FORT WORTH, Texas – The University of Arkansas saw their post-season hopes dwindle with a five-game loss over host Texas Christian Saturday at the Fort Worth Plaza Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas. The loss sees Arkansas fall to 16-15 overall while TCU improves to 22-9 on the year in the 30-17, 30-23, 23-30, 25-30, 11-15 loss. Sophomore Kele Brewer paced Arkansas with 17 kills and a .438 hitting percentage. Senior Jennifer Haaser had her eighth double-double of the year with 13 kills and 11 digs. Arkansas out-blocked TCU 14 to 5 and out-hit the Horned Frogs .199 to .161 in the loss. “It’s a very disappointing loss,” said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. “To have a team down two games and let them come back, well, it’s just disappointing.” The Lady Razorbacks dominated the first frame out-hitting TCU .524 to .031 with only two offensive miscues by Arkansas. Brewer’s four kills led Arkansas while the Horned Frogs recorded nine kills and eight hitting errors in the opening stanza. Arkansas won the first point on a TCU error and never trailed in the game sailing to the 13-point win. TCU closed within one point, 9-8, after an ace serve from setter Loren Barry but the Arkansas offense answered with a kill from Jessica Dorrell shutting down the opposition. “We were very focused in the first game,” said Poole. “We limited our mistakes and took advantage of TCU’s mistakes. That’s what we’ve been working for all season.” Arkansas bolted out of the gate to start game two taking an 8-2 lead thanks, mostly, to TCU hitting errors. The game reached the midway point and TCU began to climb back into the contest behind tough serving from the Horned Frogs. Up by 10, 26-16, TCU took a timeout then ran off six in a row against the Lady’Backs. Arkansas answered with a timeout of its own slowing the tough serve and moving on to the win. Brewer again paced Arkansas with a 3-for-4 performance and the block stepped up for the Lady’Backs with five in the second game alone led by Haaser’s three block assists. TCU changed uniforms from grey to black to start game three and the difference sparked the home team’s offense as they opened with their first lead of the match. The Lady’Backs kept the score close until TCU opened a three-point, 10-7, lead prompting Poole to burn his team’s first timeout of the frame. TCU continued to roll out of the break outscoring Arkansas 6-2 forcing Poole to take the final timeout. Arkansas continued to struggle with the aggressive TCU serve as the Horned Frogs collected three aces in the third game. In addition TCU improved its offensive production as well hitting .450 with 11 kills and just two errors at the mid-way point of the game. The Lady’Backs made a late-game run but the early TCU lead was too much to overcome as Arkansas fell 23-30. “We let up a bit in the third game,” said Poole, “but you also have to credit TCU. They didn’t give up and took advantage of our mistakes.” Arkansas hit just .188 in game three with 11 kills and seven hitting errors. Arkansas was also plagued by three service errors, three reception errors and a blocking error in the game-three loss while the Horned Frogs stepped up hitting .237 in the frame. Arkansas crossed into double-digit blocks for the 21st time this season with 11.0 by the close of game three. In addition, Brewer crept over the 10-kill mark with 11 at that point. TCU carried the momentum over into the fourth game opening with a 5-0 run as Poole took a quick timeout early in the frame. The serving of Talaya Whitfield had Arkansas rattled with Whitfield recording three aces in the first five points. The Arkansas timeout worked as Whitfield’s first serve out of the break was in the bottom of the net giving the Lady’Backs the ball back. But as the Horned Frog’s serve heated up Arkansas’ went south and the Lady’Backs struggled to put the ball in play. The block also abandoned Arkansas with just two in the fourth game. Down by as many as eight, 20-12, in the game Arkansas managed a comeback closing within three points but the TCU momentum was hard to stop as the Horned Frogs controlled the tempo of the game. Arkansas hit just .108 in the fourth game with nine hitting errors. As the Lady’Backs entered game five they found themselves on familiar ground with a 7-2 record when going the distance. In fact, three of Arkansas’ last four matches went five games with the Lady’Backs victorious in each one. Poole changed the starting rotation in the fifth frame trying to match up differently with TCU and it seemed to work in the early going. TCU scored first but Arkansas used a Horned Frog service error and an ace of their own from freshman setter Amanda Eskridge to take the early lead. The home team was far from done, however, with a back-and-forth battle following. TCU held a one-point, 8-7, lead when teams changed sides at the half-way point and the sea-saw battle continued. TCU took a 10-9 lead on a kill from Emily Allen and the Horned Frogs would keep the lead from that point on. The Lady Razorbacks wrap up the 2004 regular season Saturday facing Southern Methodist in the final match of the Fort Worth Plaza Invitational at Texas Christian University. Match time is set for 4:00 p.m. Arkansas returns to Fayetteville awaiting word of a possible NCAA Tournament bid via a selection show Sunday afternoon. For more information about Arkansas volleyball log on to www.ladybacks.com.



Sports Category : Volleyball (W)