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Ole Miss shocks Arkansas on the road

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Ole Miss shocks Arkansas on the road

Jumpto Ole Miss box OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Arkansas volleyball team suffered a three–game upset on the road at Ole Miss in Southeastern Conference action in Oxford, Miss., Friday. The 25-30, 21-30, 16-30 loss drops Arkansas to 16-11 overall and 9-10 in the SEC while the Rebels improved to 18-12 overall and 9-10 in league play. It was the first time in program history Ole Miss swept the series from the Lady Razorbacks. “We just never got ourselves into it at all tonight,” said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. “Ole Miss elevated their game and we didn’t play well at all.” The match was filled with solid hitting by Ole Miss and controversy and struggles on the Arkansas side of the net. The Lady’Backs finished the night hitting just .101 behind a 12-kill performance from senior Denitza Koleva. She was the only player in double-figures. More troubling for the Lady’Backs was a pair of red cards including the match-ending call in game three. As Arkansas’ offensive and passing woes continued throughout the match so too did the frustration eventually resulting in the red cards. With both teams believing their were playing for their NCAA Tournament lives, it was Ole Miss who got out of the gate firing opening an 8-3 lead in game one and forcing Poole into a quick timeout. The Rebels blistering performance continued after the break and Arkansas was outmatched and outscored 16-6 as Poole burned his final timeout of the game. Arkansas was completely out of sorts through out the game finally waking up as sophomore Christina Lawrence stepped back to serve with Ole Miss leading 26-16. Lawrence, who traditionally doesn’t serve, paced Arkansas for seven consecutive as the Lady’Backs closed the gap. Koleva and senior Amy Allison came to life as did the Arkansas block during the run but the early-game hole was too much for the Lady’Backs to overcome. Arkansas hit just .206 in the frame out-paced by the Rebels’ .242 performance. Koleva lead Arkansas with six kills and a .364 performance and Lawrence had three kills and two service aces in the late-game run. “It was a tale of two halves in the first game,” said Poole. “We were so bad for the first half but played the way I know we’re capable of late in the game. Ole Miss is a much better team and they beat us on their home court so we knew it would be a tough match.” The Lady’Backs began the second game in much the same manner as the first spotting Ole Miss an 11- lead before Poole took the first break. Arkansas’ unforced errors and a balanced Rebel attack accounted for the Ole Miss scoring as the Lady’Backs couldn’t get the offense started. Arkansas tried another mid-frame run but the early game deficit proved too much to overcome. Arkansas hit just .171 with eight hitting errors and three service errors while Ole Miss exploded hitting .364 in a balanced attack with six different players contributing to the offense. Poole shuffled the lineup in all three games trying to spark some offensive production but a solid and sustained attack never came for the Lady’Backs. Things got heated in the third frame when, with the game separated by a point ,Arkansas’ defense ran into a line judge and that was followed by a ball handling error. The miscues brought Poole up off the bench eventually resulting in a red card and a point for Ole Miss. The Rebels went on a 21-7 run to end the game and Poole’s anger continued resulting in a second red card for Ole Miss’ match point. The Lady Razorbacks wrap up SEC regular season action with their final match at Mississippi State Sunday at 1:30 p.m. The match airs live in Fayetteville on KXUA, 88.3 FM. For more information about Arkansas volleyball, log on to LADYBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Volleyball (W)