comscore script

Lady’Backs battle for SEC Western Division title at LSU Wednesday

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Lady’Backs battle for SEC Western Division title at LSU Wednesday

BATON ROUGE, La. – The University of Arkansas volleyball faces one of its toughest road challenges of the year as they fight for the Southeastern Conference Western Division title with a league match at LSU Wednesday. Arkansas enters the week with a 19-8 overall mark and an 11-3 record in SEC play. Those numbers put the Lady’Backs on top of the Western Division ahead of 9-5 LSU and 9-5 Alabama. Eleven wins in SEC play also puts Arkansas in second place overall behind a 13-1, fifth-ranked Florida Gator team and ahead of Tennessee who is 10-3. But the Lady’Backs’ position in the West and overall is precarious with a pair of big matches remaining on the schedule. First, Arkansas must face an LSU team that was displaced early in the season by a pair of hurricanes. In fact, the Tigers opened their “home” schedule at Arkansas with wins over Tennessee and South Carolina in Barnhill Arena. Since returning to the Baton Rouge campus, LSU is 4-0 and has not lost a game on their home court. “LSU is very big, physical and experienced,” said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. “As we know, every match on the road has been a tough battle for us this year and we’re going to have to play well Wednesday.” Arkansas follows up with the final home match of the 2005 season hosting Kentucky Sunday at 1:30 p.m., while celebrating senior day as Karla Crose and Iva Docekalova wrap up their final season in the Cardinal and White. Crose, the SEC Defensive Player of the Week, along with junior middle Amy Allison, have their work cut out for them in Baton Rouge first. The due of middles were key in Arkansas’ four game win over the Tigers in early October. Crose and Allison helped Arkansas to 20.0 team blocks with Allison getting one solo and 12 block assists. Crose added six block assists in the win. Arkansas’ offense was a bit off in the first meeting hitting just .178 as a team despite having four players in double-figure kills. One the plus side, however, is the Lady’Backs out-hit LSU as the Tigers managed just a .136 mark. “If we can get the same play out of our middles and improve the offense we should be in good shape,” said Poole. The SEC season is quickly winding down with the regular season matches ending this weekend. Arkansas and LSU host Kentucky in both teams’ final matches of the year. Alabama and Auburn faced South Carolina and Tennessee while Florida and Georgia host Mississippi and Mississippi State in alternating weekend matches. For more information about Arkansas volleyball log on to LADYBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Volleyball (W)