comscore script

Lady’Backs escape with five set win at Auburn

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Lady’Backs escape with five set win at Auburn

Jump to Auburn box score AUBURN, Ala. – A career night for freshman Jessica Dorrell and four huge blocks in game five lifted the University of Arkansas volleyball team to a five-game Southeastern Conference win at Auburn Friday. The victory sees Arkansas improve to 6-8 overall and 4-1 in the SEC while Auburn fell to 6-7 and 1-4 in league play as the Lady’Backs picked up the 27-30, 30-24, 30-32, 30-25, 15-10 win. “We are very lucky the block came alive for us as the end of game five,” sighed a relieved Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. “This was the best crowd we’ve played in front of all year and they really helped to take us out of our game plan early in the match. You also have to give Auburn a lot of credit for the way they played. They are a pretty good team and they are getting better with each match.” Dorrell finished the match with 12 kills and an Arkansas’ best .474 hitting percentage. She added career-best seven blocks and eight digs in the Lady’Back win. As a team, the Lady’Backs rallied late finishing with 19 blocks and a .201 hitting percentage. Junior Karla Crose paced Arkansas with 15 kills and was again in double-digits with 10 blocks for the Lady’Backs. “I’m really proud of Jessica,” said Poole. “That is the best overall match she’s had this year. We’re very lucky the freshman came through for us.” The Lady’Backs looked shell-shocked in the first game as Auburn’s loud crowd and tight quarters unsettled Arkansas. The Lady’Backs hit just .054 to Auburn’s .243 as the much-improved Tigers won the first game of the match for the first time since 1996. Arkansas lost the match that year – the only loss in program history to the Tigers. Arkansas has only lost one other game since 1996. Arkansas rebounded in the second frame hitting .375 behind five kills each from Crose and senior Jennifer Haaser. Auburn was still strong hitting .345 and held the lead for much of the game forcing Arkansas to catch up after a 4-1 deficit to start the game. Haaser finished the night with 10 kills and eight blocks. Arkansas played chase until the 19-point mark when a Tiger hitting error gave the Lady’Backs the lead for good. Haaser added a kill for the two-point edge forcing Auburn to burn the first timeout. The game remained close until Arkansas found itself with a four point margin, 28-24, and rattled off the final two scores for the win. The Lady’Backs were again slow in starting the third frame spotting Auburn an early lead. Arkansas tied the game at six but fell behind chasing the Tigers until ting the game at 13 on a kill from Amy Allison. It was Arkansas turn to lead for a while but the Tigers never went away. Poole burned his final timeout with the score knotted at 25 and the Lady’Backs seemed to respond taking a 27-25 lead after an Auburn service error and a block from the Arkansas front row. Auburn then took their final timeout and the Tigers answered the call tying things at 27. A back-and-forth battle followed until Auburn was able to put the game away after an Arkansas hitting error. Arkansas hit just .171 in the third game to Auburn’s .296 offense and balanced attack. The Tigers had a play of players in double-digit kills at the finish of the third game paced by 17 for Ashlee Johns. Arkansas did not have any players with 10 or more kills. Dorrell continued to pace Arkansas at that point leading the team with a .545 hitting percentage with eight kills in 11 attempts. The Lady’Backs seemed to fire up in the fourth game taking a commanding 10-3 lead, their first lead to start a game in the entire match. Auburn took a timeout and responded to the break with an 8-1 run closing the gap to a two-point, 12-10, Arkansas lead that prompted the Lady’Backs to burn a timeout of its own. The Tigers’ Johns, on her way to a career night, eclipsed the 20-kill mark midway through game four as Auburn’s attack had Arkansas on its heels. Johns finished with a match-best 30 kills and hit .222 for the Tigers. Arkansas was able to hang on to the lead, although slim at times finally opening a five-point, 20-15 margin that forced Auburn to burn its final timeout. The Tigers made good use of the break storming back within a point and prompting Poole to call the Lady’Backs’ final timeout. Crose took over the game after the final timeout with four kills down the stretch as Arkansas hung on for the game four win. The Lady’Backs hit .282 holding Auburn to a .213 mark in the frame. Crose had six kills in the game for the Lady’Backs. Arkansas’ block returned in game four as the Lady’Backs sent the ball back four times running their match total to 13.0 compared to just 8.0 for the Tigers. Auburn scored first in the final frame and moved out to a 5-3 lead when Poole stopped play as three of the Tiger points came from Lady’Back miscues. The score remained tight with Auburn tying things at seven on a kill from Jelena Sekulic who finished with 17. Auburn scratched out to a bit of a lead until they were whistled for a back row attack again evening the score at nine. Then, it was Arkansas’ turn to eek out an advantage. A kill from sophomore Denitza Koleva was followed by four consecutive blocks from Crose, Koleva, Dorrell and Haaser that sealed the Arkansas win. The Lady’Backs return to SEC action at Alabama Sunday, Oct. 10, in a 1:30 p.m., match. For more information about Arkansas volleyball log on to www.ladybacks.com.



Sports Category : Volleyball (W)