2014 Arkansas Invitational Champions
The Razorbacks capped their opening weekend with a five-set victory (17-25, 25-23, 25-15, 19-25, 15-11) Saturday night over Michigan in the title game of the Arkansas Invitational. The win was also the program’s first-ever against Michigan. Arkansas registered 16.0 total team blocks—including the match winner—in the victory. In recognition of their individual performances, Chanell Clark-Bibbs earned MVP honors while Monica Bollinger and Meredith Hays were named to the all-tournament team.
Rockin’ the Barn(hill)
In the 2014 season opener, Arkansas swept Tennessee State in front of 1,463 fans at Barnhill Arena. The figure marks the No. 3 home crowd in program history and represents the largest season-opening crowd, surpassing the previous high of 1,407 in attendance in the Arkansas-Colorado State opener in 2011. The top-three home crowds in Barnhill Arena history have now come over the past three seasons. Arkansas averaged more than 1,000 fans during its 2014 season-opening weekend.
Top-Five Attendance at Barnhill Arena
1. 3,015 vs. #13 Florida – Sept. 14, 2012
2. 1,672 vs. Missouri – Oct. 2, 2013
3. 1,463 vs. Tennessee State – Aug. 29, 2014
4. 1,407 vs. #15 Colorado State – Aug. 26, 2011
5. 1,362 vs. #5 Florida – Nov. 22, 1998
Career Milestones & Movement
•Monica Bollinger: Collected 400th career dig vs. Michigan (Aug. 30); currently with 404 career digs
•Meredith Hays: Moved into 28th on career kills list; currently with 477 career kills
•Ana Sofia Jusino: Collected 100th career block vs. Michigan (Aug. 30); currently with 104 career blocks
Coming off a 3-0 start to the regular season, Arkansas was receiving votes in Monday’s release of the AVCA Coaches’ poll. The program was last mentioned among the nation’s best when it was earning votes during the 2012 season. Five of the Razorbacks’ opponents are currently ranked or receiving votes this week. Arkansas is 1-0 against those teams with Saturday’s win over Michigan.
SEC Stats Rankings
Through the first weekend of the season, several Razorbacks are positioned within the SEC’s top-20 individual statistical rankings. On the strength of the team’s blocking performance at the Arkansas Invitational, three Razorbacks—Chanell Clark-Bibbs, Ana Sofia Jusino and Danielle Harbin—are ranked among the top-10 individual blockers.
11. Chanell Clark-Bibbs – .327
T18. Barbara Dapic – .267
T6. Meredith Hays – 3.27 k/s
10. Bailee Hankenson – 8.45 a/s
T12. Chanell Clark-Bibbs – 0.36 sa/s
T17. Krista Kolbinskie – 0.30 sa/s
5. Chanell Clark-Bibbs – 1.64 b/s
8. Ana Sofia Jusino – 1.36 b/s
10. Danielle Harbin – 1.27 b/s
8. Monica Bollinger – 3.73 d/s
Leading up to its Aug. 29 season opener, the Razorbacks set a goal of reaching 3,000 Twitter followers (@RazorbackVB) before the first serve of the season. In typical style, the Razorback fans responded in kind and helped Arkansas get to—and beyond—its goal. The team’s Twitter account gained more than 500 followers in the five days prior to the season opener. During the push, the team was active in engaging their fans and making appearances around campus including a stop by the Aug. 27 freshman pep rally at Razorback Stadium.
The Razorbacks travel to Manhattan, Kan., to play in the K-State Varney’s Invitational starting Thursday against the host Wildcats. During the three-day event, Arkansas will also play UCF and Middle Tennessee. Playing away from the usual volleyball facility, the tournament will be contested at Bramlage Coliseum which is the home facility for the KSU men’s and women’s basketball teams.
For more information about Arkansas volleyball, follow @RazorbackVB on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.