comscore script

Lady’Back volleyball hosts Auburn Sunday

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Lady’Back volleyball hosts Auburn Sunday

FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas volleyball team continues Southeastern Conference play hosting Auburn Sunday at 1:30 p.m., in Barnhill Arena. The Lady Razorbacks are coming off a tide-turning three-game win over Alabama Friday and are looking for their fifth win in a row. Friday’s victory improved the Lady’Backs to an SEC Western Division-leading 8-3 in league play and bettered the team’s record to 11-10 overall – the first time Arkansas has been better than .500 all year. The Lady’Backs face an Auburn team who enters the contest with an 8-11 overall record and a 3-8 SEC mark. Despite Auburn’s record, the Tigers are playing better volleyball than in recent years and pushed Arkansas to five games in Auburn, Ala., earlier this year. Arkansas needed a career night from freshman Jessica Dorrell to escape with the win "We know that we are going to have to play at a high level the rest of the season to meet some of our goals," said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. "We’re young this year and every team is going to come out and try and challenge us. We have elevated our play since starting SEC play and we seem to really be getting our timing down in recent matches." Arkansas has struggled offensively all season with lower hitting percentages and fewer kills than in recent seasons. The Lady’Backs have relied heavily on their block which currently leads the SEC and their digging which ranks seventh. The block is paced again this year by senior Jennifer Haaser. The Fort Smith, Ark., native ranks fourth in all matches with a 1.55 block-per-game average. Junior Karla Crose is a close second averaging 1.50 bpg while Dorrell checks in a 1.09 this year. Freshman Ashley Miller has also been key for Arkansas’ defense. The Vacaville, Calif., native leads Arkansas with 3.91 digs per game in SEC matches and 3.64 dpg in all matches. Poole and the Lady’Backs have also made some changes in recent matches changing the looks their opponents are used to. "We’ve made some adjustments just to try new things," admitted Poole. "Sometimes it’s to counter what our opponent might be doing and sometimes it’s just to try and spark our offense." The road ahead is a long one for the Lady’Backs. Arkansas wraps up the weekend with Auburn Sunday followed by a non-conference match hosting Oral Roberts Tuesday, Nov. 2, at 7:00 p.m. The schedule continues with the Lady’Backs traveling to No. 16 Tennessee Nov. 5, and South Carolina Nov. 7. Arkansas hosts LSU Nov. 12, travels to Mississippi State Nov. 14 and winds down with Southwest Missouri State Nov. 16 before the SEC Tournament in Gainesville, Fla., Nov. 191-21. Arkansas concludes the regular season with a holiday tournament at Texas Christian Nov. 26-27. For more information about Arkansas volleyball log on to www.ladybacks.com.



Sports Category : Volleyball (W)