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Unforced errors cost Arkansas against No. 25 Long Beach State

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Unforced errors cost Arkansas against No. 25 Long Beach State

Jump to Long Beach State box SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The University of Arkansas volleyball team put together a valiant effort but couldn’t overcome the 25th-ranked Long Beach State 49ers in the final match of the San Diego Tournament in San Diego, Calif., Saturday. Arkansas (7-4) fell to No. 25 Long Beach State (7-2) 28-30, 23-30, 24-30 in one of the best matches of the season for the Lady’Backs against a team stepped in tradition and success. A pair of native Arkansans in Kelli Cole and Kristin Seaton, made the first starts of their career in the match. “They are very good athletes,” said Arkansas head Chris Poole. “We didn’t take advantage of the opportunities they gave and that was the difference in the game. We committed too many unforced errors and allowed them to take advantage of them. We have some things to look at and work on this week and I think we can make some improvement before we begin conference play.” The Lady Razorbacks surrendered a five point, 26-21, lead late in the first game behind some bone-jarring serves from the Beach’s Nicole Vargas. Vargas served LBSU back into the lead, 27-26, and Arkansas couldn’t overcome the late charge for the win. “We had so many chances late in that game,” said Poole. “We were outscored 9-4 and just couldn’t close out the game.” Arkansas had Long Beach State rattled early in the contest and forced a pair of quick timeouts holding a four-point, 16-11, lead at the mid-way point of the frame. The Lady’Backs seemed to be in good shape as Jenks, Okla., native Amy Allison heated up with a behind-her-back dump followed by a tip as Arkansas opened what they thought was a comfortable lead. LBSU tied the game at 26 and took the lead on a kill that split the Arkansas block. They outscored the Lady’Backs 4-2 to win the game. The second game began the same way with Arkansas able to squeak out an early lead but the Beach again roared back out-hitting Arkansas .412 to .267 in the second frame. The Lady’Backs opened an 11-7 lead and Long Beach took the first timeout of the game. Arkansas continued to control the tempo for a few more points up, 15-10, but the lead was short-lived as Beach’s Erika Chidester heated up and the long rallies went Long Beach’s way. It was Long Beaches’ turn to lead early in game three but Arkansas kept it close until the mid-point. The Lady’Backs were plagued by several unforced errors as the Beach stretched the lead to five. Arkansas managed a mini-run, closing within three but couldn’t overcome the early Beach lead. Arkansas finished the match hitting .182 paced by 14 kills from Denitza Koleva who hit .286 and posted 13 digs. Allison was also in double-digit kills with 10 and hit .400 with four blocks. Long Beach hit .322 in the win with three players in double-figures led by Alexis Crimes with 15. Arkansas returns home opening Southeastern Conference play with No. 16 Tennessee at 7:00 p.m., Friday followed by a match with South Carolina at 1:30 p.m., Sunday. Fans are reminded that LSU will be using Barnhill Arena for a home venue this weekend. The Tigers host South Carolina at 4:00 p .m. Friday followed by a 10:30 a.m., match with Tennessee Sunday. For more information or tickets please call the Lady Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK or log on to LADYBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Volleyball (W)