comscore script

Lady’Backs win in three; await NCAA selection show on Sunday

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Lady’Backs win in three; await NCAA selection show on Sunday

Jump to SMU box FORT WORTH, Texas – The University of Arkansas kept its NCAA Volleyball Tournament hopes alive with a three-game win over Southern Methodist at the Fort Worth Plaza Invitational Saturday. Arkansas improved to 17-15 overall with the 30-24, 30-14, 33-31 win while SMS fell to 14-14 overall in their final match of the season. “I’m very proud of the way the girls played today,” said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. “To come back after a very disappointing loss yesterday shows a lot of character on their part. Now it’s just a waiting game. When we play well we’re as good as anyone in the country. The key is to just be consistent.” The Lady Razorbacks finished the match hitting .333 for day behind a 12-kill, .333 hitting percentage from sophomore Kele Brewer. Junior Karla Crose added 11 kills and hit a season-best .588 with five digs and three blocks as the Lady’Backs recorded 11.5 team blocks. The SMS win marks the 22nd time in 32 matches Arkansas has recorded double-digit blocks. Senior Jennifer Haaser wrapped up her regular season career with seven kills, a .462 hitting percentage, four digs and seven blocks for the Lady’Backs. SMS was paced by Caitlin Rainbird with 12 kills in the loss. Arkansas turned up the offensive heat at the mid-point of the first game taking their first lead, 18-17, after an SMS hitting error. The momentum shift continued as Haaser and Jessica Dorrell teamed for a block spurring an 8-2 run as the Lady’Backs maintained control. The Lady’Backs continued making good decisions and took advantage of several SMS miscues down the stretch. SMS managed to hold off two game points but a block from Crose and Dorrell put the game in the book. The Lady’Backs were able to maintain the momentum in game two opening a quick, 6-2 lead and they never looked back. SMS took its first timeout with Arkansas up 9-4 and burned its final timeout after a booming shot from Haaser that stunned the Mustang defense and gave the Lady’Backs a 17-9 lead. SMU put together a pair of points out of the break but a timeout by Poole refocused the Lady’Backs and they outscored the Mustangs 13-5 to win game two. After hitting .312 in game one, The Lady’Backs were even better in the second stanza hitting .500 while SMU was negative in the game. Brewer paced the offense with six kills and no errors in game two as the Lady’Back defense stepped up with 5.5 blocks bringing the team total to 9.5 after two games. The final game was much closer than the previous two contests until Arkansas pulled away around the 16-point mark. Up by two, 16-14, Arkansas used a kill from Brewer and a rally-killing shot from Karla Crose on an overpass to extend the lead. Dorrell got into the offense with a block and a kill as Arkansas opened a 25-18 lead but SMU would not go quietly. A 3-1 mini-run closed the gap with Arkansas leading by five as Poole burned his final timeout. SMU got an ace out of the break but Haaser and Amy Allison teamed for a block to stop the rally. The game, however, was far from over. Arkansas surrendered a five-point lead letting SMU tie the contest at 28, 29 and again at 30 as the frame went long when the Mustangs got a block to go up 31-30, but the fight was still in Arkansas. Crose tied it with a cross court kill and final block from Haaser and Dorrell gave Arkansas the win. The Lady’Backs return to Fayetteville and await word of a possible selection to the NCAA Tournament via a selection show on ESPN News Sunday at 5:45 p.m. For more information about Arkansas volleyball log on to www.ladybacks.com.



Sports Category : Volleyball (W)