About the University of Arkansas
Arkansas made it three in a row this weekend defeating Mississippi and Mississippi State, both in four games, in Barnhill Arena. The wins are the second and third consecutive victories for the Lady Razorbacks and run Arkansas’ overall record to 5-8, 3-1 in the Southeastern Conference.
Back on top
With the sweep of the Magnolia State, the University of Arkansas returns to the top of the Southeastern Conference Western Division standings with a 3-1 record. Alabama had held the top spot but losses at Georgia and No. 5 Florida this weekend by the Crimson Tide helped the Lady’Backs move up. Arkansas was tied with Mississippi State but the Lady’Backs defeated the Bulldogs to secure the top position in the West. Tennessee and No. 5 Florida are atop the Eastern Division with neither program suffering a loss in league play at this point of the season. October 22 is a red-letter day for the Lady Vols and the Gators as the teams meet in Knoxville for the first time this season. See page four for the complete SEC standings.
Sophomore Amy Allison is not the most flashy player on the floor for Arkansas but she’s getting it done on the court for the Lady’Backs. Allison had a solid weekend against the Magnolia State with just two hitting errors in eight games. She leads Arkansas in SEC only matches hitting .390 with 30 kills and 2.00 kills per game. She is also first among the hitters in all matches with a .241 hitting percentage that includes 111 kills and 2.22 kpg this year.
First Game Blues
Arkansas has only won the first game of the match four times all year. The Lady’Backs won game one against Michigan State but lost the match. They won game one against No. 5 Florida but also lost the match. Arkansas notched a game-one win against Georgia and again against Mississippi winning both of those matches.
Arkansas has recently switched to a 6-2 offense with six hitters and two setters in the lineup. The setting tandem of junior Iva Docekalova and freshman Amanda Eskridge has been good for both players as the hitting efficiency continues to improve. Docekalova has recorded 400 assists this year and is averaging 8.16 assists per game while Eskridge has 168 assists and a 5.25 apg average.
Junior Karla Crose had a good weekend against the Magnolia State posting 20 blocks in the two matches. The Lincoln, Neb., native recorded a career-best 12 against Mississippi adding eight versus Mississippi State. Crose leads the Lady’Backs with 1.28 blocks per game. She has six block solos and 58 block assists for 64.0 total blocks. She’s also been careful at the net with just two blocking errors this year.
Point Me In The Right Direction
Points and points per game isn’t a statistic that gets much talk in volleyball. However, it’s nice to know who is on the court when the points are scored. Arkansas is currently paced by senior Jennifer Haaser with 218.5 points and a 4.36 point per game average this year. Sophomore Denitza Koleva is second with 161.0 points and 3.22 ppg. As a team, Arkansas’ opponents have out-scored the Lady’Backs 940.0 to 921.5.
Can You Dig It?
Freshman Ashley Miller stepped up early in her career and currently leads the Lady’Backs with 180 digs and a 3.60 dig per game season. Junior Iva Docekalova is chasing Miller with 113 digs and a 2.31 dpg average.
The Western Wall
Arkansas has always been a strong blocking team. That trend is continuing this year despite the slow start. Arkansas has posted seven matches with double-digit blocks including a season-best 20 against Mississippi. The Lady’Backs have had three double-digit block matches in a row including Georgia (15), Mississippi (20) and Mississippi State (13.5).
Hey, get in the game
Arkansas head coach Chris Poole has had the opportunity to play 12 of 13 players on this season’s roster. The only player not to see court time is redshirt freshman Christina Lawrence. The Lady’Backs have used five other freshman in the lineup and Poole likes the confidence of the newcomers. Jessica Dorrell has been among the team’s leaders on the offense. She ranks among the team leaders with 96 kills and a 2.34 kill per game average in her first season of collegiate play.
Amanda Eskridge has been seeing more court time as well. She has 135 assists and three blocks. The other freshmen are all defensive specialists. Kelli Cole, Ashley Miller and Ashley Wiechman have all contributed this year.
Tough schedule to start the year
The Lady Razorbacks open 2004 with nine of their 10 first opponents ranked or getting votes in the USA Today/American Volleyball Coaches Association. Here’s a look at how those 10 teams have fared to date.