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Lady’Backs survive pre-Halloween scare

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Lady’Backs survive pre-Halloween scare

Jump to Kentucky box FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas survived a pre-Halloween scare outlasting Kentucky 30-23, 29-31, 25-30, 30-26, 15-11 in Southeastern Conference volleyball action in Barnhill Arena Friday. The win improves the Lady’Backs to 8-10 overall and 6-3 in the SEC while the Wildcats fall to 11-9 and 2-7in the league. “I’m just happy to get out with the win,” said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. Statistically, the match was one of the best of the season with the Lady’Backs hitting .249 behind a season and career-best 20 kills from sophomore Kele Brewer. Brewer hit .304 with two digs and three blocks for the Lady’Backs. Senior Jennifer Haaser added 15 kills and seven blocks while freshman Jessica Dorrell recorded 12 kills, hit .346 and had six blocks. Freshman Ashley Miller recorded a five-game best 29 digs and just missed the school record of 31 held by Amanda Sweatt set in the inaugural season in 1994. As a team the Lady’Backs out-hit Kentucky .249 to .188 and out-blocked the Wildcats 14.0 to 8.5. “Statistically we were solid,” agreed Poole, “but mentally we just were flat.” Arkansas dominated the first frame hitting .313 with 16 team kills in a balanced attack paced by Brewer with six kills. The Lady’Backs carried the momentum into game two opening an early lead but the Wildcats stormed back. Kentucky stayed close finally tying the game at 29 on an Arkansas hitting error. A second Lady’Back hitting error allowed the Wildcats to take their first lead of the frame and Kentucky put the game in the book with an unreturnable serve for the 31-29 win. It was the Wildcats’ turn to feed off the momentum as they controlled the pace of game three from the first serve. Arkansas played chase much of the frame behind by as many as five before falling by that margin. No stranger to forcing a fifth game, Arkansas came out on fire in the fourth game looking to climb back into the match. The Lady’Backs opened a 13-6 lead behind more efficient attacking forcing Kentucky to burn an early timeout. Arkansas continued to roll after the break and got out with the four-point win. The Lady’Backs entered game five for the fifth time this year and stepped up their play hitting .263 with nine kills in the final stanza. Kentucky scored first in the last game but Arkansas quickly knotted things with a kill from Haaser. The Lady’Backs added a block from Haaser and Dorrell and grabbed the momentum on the floor. The energy continued for Arkansas despite the back-and-forth score. Kentucky even managed to take the lead when the teams changed benches at the eight-point mark going up by one before Arkansas again rallied to tie it at nine-all. It was all Arkansas after that as Haaser posted a solo block for the lead forcing Kentucky to call a timeout. A kill from Dorrell followed by another big Arkansas block pushed the Wildcats to burn their final timeout but it was too late. Arkansas breaks from SEC play hosting Valparaiso Sunday at 1:30 p.m., in Barnhill Arena. For more information about Arkansas volleyball log on to www.ladybacks.com.



Sports Category : Volleyball (W)