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Lady’Backs travel North for first road test

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Lady’Backs travel North for first road test

FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas volleyball team packs its bags for the first of two consecutive road tournaments traveling to Springfield, Mo., for the Results Advertising Invitational Friday and Saturday. Arkansas enters the week with a 4-1 overall record taking on three quality teams in host Missouri State (2-4), Iowa State (6-1) and Utah (3-2). "This is another very competitive weekend for us," said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. "Missouri State has most of their starters returning from last year in a match that was very close. We expect the same from them on their home floor. Utah is very physical but they’re young. The have a 6-7 middle blocker who will challenge us. Iowa State is playing well under a new coach who’s doing a great job of turning around that program. We know that we’re going to have to continue to play hard to have a shot at winning." Arkansas is coming off successful back-to-back home tournaments and has had several players step up in a very balanced offense. Junior Amy Allison earned tournament MVP honors at the Arkansas Invitational and was joined by teammates Denitza Koleva, Christina Lawrence and Karla Crose on the all-tournament team. Koleva made it two in a row the following week and was joined by Jessica Dorrell on the awards stand. Dorrell, a sophomore from Aledo, Texas, leads the team with a .404 hitting percentage. She has recorded 47 kills, is averaging 2.47 kills per game and has 24 blocks this year. Allison is next with a .391 hitting percentage with 45 kills and a team-best 32 total blocks as the strong tradition of middles at Arkansas continues. Lawrence checks in with a .348 hitting percentage and 45 kills, followed by Crose with a .322 mark and 25 blocks for a team-leading 1.32 blocks per game. Junior Kele Brewer is hitting .285 followed by Koleva with a 2.80 mark. Some of that offensive production is due to the balance in this year’s setting duo. Senior Iva Docekalova and sophomore transfer Nicole Martin are sharing the setting duties in Arkansas’ 6-2 offense and spreading the ball around the court. "Our setters have been doing a great job," said Poole. "We are equally successful with either setter in the lineup and they both give us a lot of options." The Lady’Backs open tournament play facing the host Missouri State Bears on Friday at 7:00 p.m. Action continues Saturday when Arkansas takes on Utah at 10:00 a.m., followed by a 5:00 p.m., match-up with Iowa State. Arkansas travels to the San Diego Invitational Sept. 15-17, before returning home to open Southeastern Conference play with No. 16 Tennessee and South Carolina, Sept. 23 and 25, respectively. For more information about Arkansas volleyball or for ticket information please call the Lady Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK or log on to LADYBACKS.COM



Sports Category : Volleyball (W)