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Midweek matchup at No. 12 LSU

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Midweek matchup at No. 12 LSU

FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas volleyball team takes to the court Wednesday evening for a midweek matchup with No. 12 LSU. First serve of the Southeastern Conference contest is scheduled for 8 p.m. (CT) at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, La. The match will be televised by ESPNU as part of the network’s Wednesday’ Night Women’s Volleyball lineup.

"We need to serve well (against LSU), head coach Robert Pulliza said. "LSU is very, very fast and very dynamic and balanced so serving will be important for us to try to slow them down as much as we can. We also need to be able to pass the ball to run our offense. The emphasis for us will be on serving and passing in the match and we’ll see where that takes us."

Arkansas enters the match with a 9-10 overall record and a 3-5 mark in conference play. In their last outing, the Razorbacks dropped a four-set decision to Kentucky at Barnhill Arena. On the season, Jasmine Norton leads the team with 3.86 kills per set, the second-best figure in the SEC. Janeliss Torres-Lopez leads the team’s defensive charge as the league’s top blocker averaging 1.30 blocks per set.

The Razorbacks lead the all-time series with LSU, 22-12, but have lost the last nine meetings with their divisional rival. In the last match between the two teams, Arkansas nearly upset then-No. 19 LSU in a five-set contest in Fayetteville. Norton powered the offense with a career-high 29 kills while Kelli Stipanovich had 10 kills in the match.

LSU (16-1, 7-1) enters the midweek matchup with the Razorbacks as the 12th-ranked team in the nation, Arkansas’ third ranked opponent in its past four matches. Collectively, the Tigers are second in the SEC with their .281 hitting percentage while the defense is holding opponents to a .161 mark, the lowest figure in the league. Angela Bensend leads the team, and the SEC, with 4.40 kills per set and preseason All-SEC selection Michele Williams is second on the LSU roster with 3.32 kills per set. Setter Brittany Johnson directs the offense and leads the league with 10.95 assists per set.

Against the Tigers, Arkansas is making its second television appearance of the season. Chris "Geeter" McGee and Kelli Tennant will handle the play-by-play and color commentary duties for the ESPNU broadcast. The Razorbacks are scheduled for one more television match this season; their Nov. 14 meeting with No. 23 Tennessee in Knoxville will be carried by Comcast Sports.

"We keep growing as the weeks go by," Pulliza said. "We played some of our best volleyball this past weekend which is what you want to see as the season goes on-playing your best volleyball at the point in hand, not regressing."

Beginning with LSU, Arkansas will play three consecutive divisional foes. The Razorbacks return to action Sunday for a road match at Ole Miss. First serve of the Western Division matchup is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. (CT) at the Gillom Sports Center in Oxford, Miss. To follow along with the weekend’s action, an audio stream, interactive blog and live stats will be available at ArkansasRazorbacks.com.

Download: Notes 10_LSU.pdf



Sports Category : Volleyball (W)