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Tough serves from Gators bites Lady’Backs

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Tough serves from Gators bites Lady’Backs

Jump to Florida box GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The 10th-ranked Florida Gators used nine service aces and countless other rocket serves downing the University of Arkansas in four games in Southeastern Conference volleyball action in Gainesville, Fla., Sunday. The Lady Razorbacks were not without success in the 29-31, 30-17, 30-25, 30-14 loss that dropped Arkansas to 7-10 overall and 5-3 in the league. The game one win was the first for Arkansas in Gainesville against any team since 1994 when the Lady’Backs fell to Kentucky in five in the first round of the SEC Tournament in the inaugural season of play. “We showed a lot of heart in the first game win,” said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. “We have to continued to focus on cutting down on our unforced errors but I like the continued improvement that we make with each outing. We’re going back to work this week. It’s been a tough weekend but we have 13 matches left and we want to make a run at the end of the season.” The Lady’Backs finished the match with three players in double-digit kills paced by 13 each from sophomores Denitza Koleva and Kele Brewer. Brewer finished with two digs for the Lady’Backs while Koleva added two assists and nine digs. Fort Smith, Ark., senior added 10 kills for Arkansas along with six assists, five digs, two aces and three blocks in one of the lowest blocking efforts of the season for the Lady’Backs as they finished with just five. The Gators were paced by Jane Collymore with a match-best 22 kills, .308 hitting percentage, 10 digs and two blocks. The points were not easy to come by from the first serve of the match but Arkansas stayed close in game one. The Gators lead 15-13 at the first television timeout (the match was televised by the Sunshine Network) and Poole called the team’s first timeout with Florida up 19-16. It was Florida’s largest lead of the game. Arkansas responded to the timeout with a kill from Brewer and a solo block from Haaser. Koleva tied the game at 19 with a slicing kill down the left line Haaser added a change up kill that fell in the middle of the Gator defense giving Arkansas its first lead and prompting Florida head coach Mary Wise to take a break. The Gators tied the game after the timeout and regained the lead on a kill from Collymore as Poole took his final timeout. It was up to the players on the court at that point and they rose to the challenge for the Lady’Backs. Arkansas squeaked out a two-point, 27-25, lead but Florida came back leading by a pair, 29-27. Junior Karla Crose recorded one of her four kills in the match pulling the Lady’Backs within one and Brewer knotted the score at 29 with a left-line attack. Haaser stepped up to the net with a booming shot straight down inside the 10-foot line after the Gators over passed the ball and Brewer finished things off with a glancing blow off the Gator block in the first frame win. The Lady’Backs struggled in the second game hitting negative in the frame as the Gators evened things heading into the locker room. Arkansas was better in game three but Florida had all the momentum sailing to victories in the final two frames.” “Florida is a very balanced team,” said Poole. “They have so many ways to hurt you and they really went after it after game one. We know this is one of the toughest venues to play in with great fans and a fun atmosphere and we’re looking forward to coming back in November.” Arkansas returns to Gainesville, Fla., Nov. 19-21, for the 2004 SEC Tournament. The Lady Razorbacks return to Barnhill Arena as SEC action continues with Kentucky Oct. 22, at 7:00 p.m. Arkansas breaks from league play Sunday, Oct. 24, hosting Valparaiso at 1:30 p.m. For more information and tickets please call the Lady Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK or log on to www.ladybacks.com.



Sports Category : Volleyball (W)