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Lady’Backs host LSU in SEC Western Division bout

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Lady’Backs host LSU in SEC Western Division bout

FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas volleyball team takes on LSU in a Southeastern Conference Western Division battle in Barnhill Arena Wednesday. Arkansas (10-5, 3-1 SEC) and LSU (13-2, 3-1 SEC) both come in with identical 3-1 league marks and are tied for the lead in the Western Division. "Whoever wins this match has an upper hand in the Western Division," said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. "This is the best team LSU has had since we’ve joined the conference and we’re going to have to play well to win the match." Arkansas and LSU are no strangers this year. The Tigers have yet to play a match in Baton Rouge, using Barnhill as a home-away-from-home venue earlier this year. "Our fans got to see LSU a few weeks ago at our place and they know they are a very good team," said Poole. "We need to take advantage of this being a home match. We still have to travel to LSU and that makes this a very important match." The Lady Razorbacks have won or tied for 10 of 11 SEC Western Division titles since adding volleyball in 1994. The Lady’Backs, Tigers and Alabama have traditionally battled it out for the top spot in the division and this year, LSU seems to have a slight advantage. But the league is seeing much more parity than in recent seasons and the title is truly anyone’s to win. Arkansas lost to Tennessee who had been ranked as high as 16th in the country this year in three games but LSU downed the Lady Vols in the same weekend in three games. Arkansas notched a four-game win at Auburn while LSU fell in four at Alabama, a team the Lady’Backs defeated in five the following Sunday. "The block was a focal point for us last week in practice," said Poole. "and it showed last weekend. We are going to have to again block well against the strong offense of LSU. There are a lot of similarities between our teams but I think they have an edge in passing and serving. We’re going to have to make the most of every opportunity Wednesday." The Lady’Backs come into the match riding a blocking high in which the team tallied a season-best 19.0 blocks at Alabama paced by 14 blocks from junior middle Amy Allison. The Jenks, Okla., native earned SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors for her play and she will be a key element in the Arkansas attack against LSU. In addition to the match with LSU on Wednesday, the Lady’Backs are preparing for an Eastern Division tilt with Kentucky on Friday. Arkansas travels to Lexington to face a much-improved Wildcat team who has been tough on their home floor. "Right now, every match is a must-win," said Poole. "The SEC is better top-to-bottom than it’s ever been." For more information or tickets to the next home event, please call the Lady Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK or log on to LADYBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Volleyball (W)