FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – After a three-match homestand, the University of Arkansas volleyball team returns to the road for a pair of weekend contests at Mississippi State and Alabama. The Razorbacks open the trip with a Nov. 13 match at Mississippi State scheduled for a 7 p.m. (CT) start at the Newell-Grissom Building. The weekend finale, a Nov. 15 meeting with Alabama, will be televised by Fox Sports South at 1 p.m. (CT)."I think if we play the kind of volleyball we’ve played in the last four matches, we can compete with anybody in the conference," head coach Robert Pulliza said. "LSU is the 19th-ranked team in the nation and we battled them to a five-set match, so that tells us we can be a very good volleyball team. We just have to stay tough down the stretch to keep moving forward."On the heels of a 29-kill, 17-dig performance against LSU in Arkansas’ last match, Jasmine Norton was named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week for a fifth time. Norton leads the Razorbacks and is second in the conference with 4.02 kills per set. During conference play, however, she is averaging 4.46 kills per set, the high mark in the league. She has recorded double-digit kill totals in 11-consecutive matches for Arkansas, and has posted a double-double in each of the past three matches.Adding to the Razorback offense attack are Amanda Anderson, Kelli Stipanovich and Kristin Seaton. Anderson leads the team in hitting percentage with a .311 mark from her middle position. She is also Arkansas’ top presence at the net with 0.84 blocks per set. Stipanovich is second on the team with 2.49 kills per set, while Seaton rounds out the primary attackers with 2.13 kills per set. The senior outside hitter tallied 13 kills and 10 digs against LSU for her second double-double effort of the season.In the last four matches, Lindsay Scanlan has registered a double-double. Against LSU, the senior setter had 55 assists and 14 digs to go along with a pair of blocks-one solo-and a service ace. Scanlan has recorded at least 50 assists in eight matches this season, five of which have come during conference play. This season, she is averaging 9.97 assists per set, the third-best mark in the SEC. Libero Phoebe Bautista is ninth in the conference with 3.88 digs per set. In the Razorbacks’ last match, Bautista had 21 digs, her fourth 20-dig performance of the year and third during the conference season. Rounding out the defensive effort for Arkansas are Janeliss Torres-Lopez and Allison Johnson. Torres-Lopez is second on the team with 0.81 blocks per set, and Johnson posted four total blocks against LSU. "We’re much more mature as a team and individually," Pulliza said. "Each player has grown, whether they are a freshman or a senior, in their respective positions for us to be a good team. Each individual has worked hard at strengthening their weaknesses as we’ve gone through the season and now it’s starting to show as a collective unit."
Arkansas leads the all-time series with Mississippi State, 29-3, including a four-set victory over the Bulldogs earlier this season in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks also defeated Sunday’s opponent, Alabama, earlier this season in a five-set thriller at Barnhill Arena. Arkansas holds the 26-7 advantage in that all-time series. Both matches this weekend will also be broadcast on KXUA 88.3 FM in Fayetteville. Log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com for more information.
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