About the University of ArkansasArkansas notched its second win of the season with a 3-1 victory over Houston in the opening round of the C&C Services Invitational. The Lady’Backs dropped the other matches to Ball State and No. 9 Illinois. Jennifer Haaser earned her second all-tournament team honor in as many weeks for her play.
Hey, get in the gameArkansas 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 81 kills and a 2.38 kill per game average in her first season of collegiate play.Amanda Eskridge has been seeing more court time as well. She has 92 assists and three blocks. The other freshmen are all defensive specialists. Kelli Cole, Ashley Miller and Ashley Wiechman have all contributed this year.
First honor of the yearJennifer Haaser earned Green Mill Restaurant Classic all-tournament team honors at Wichita State last weekend. It is the first honor of the year for the Lady’Backs. It is the fifth all-tournament team honor for the Fort Smith, Ark., native. Haaser earned all-tournament team honors at the 2001 SEC Tournament as well as the Morning News Invitational (2002), the SMS Fall Invitational (2002) and the Quality Inn Tiger Invitational (2003).
Make it two in a rowHaaser continued to play well at the C&C Services Invitational earning her second all-tournament team selection in row. Haaser hit .300 with 44 kills and a 4.00 kill per game. She also had 15 digs and 22 blocks for Arkansas.
Hasser part threeJennifer Haaser became the ninth player to reach the 1,000 kill plateau. She currently has 1009 career kills in her four year career reaching her 1,000th in the fourth game against No. 9 Illinios at the C&C Services Invitational. Her 1,000th-kill made it 29-29 in the second game against the Illini. Arkansas went on to win the game. Here’s a look at the top 20 career kills list:
|1.||2185||Krystal Osborne (.221)||1994-97|
|2.||1471||Kim Storey (.365)||1995-98|
|3.||1409||Libby Windell (.355)||1999-02|
|4.||1377||Denise Baez (.268)||1994-96|
|5.||1342||Yarleen Santiago (.270)||1997-99|
|6.||1268||Jessica Field (.331)||1995-98|
|7.||1259||Eftila Tanellari (.239)||1999-01|
|8.||1125||Jamie Rohme (.244)||1996-98|
|9.||1009||Jennifer Haaser (.237)||2000-04|
|10.||898||Anna Velikanova (.201)||2000-02|
|11.||874||Michelle Coens (.258)||1999-02|
|12.||863||Sara Kincaid (.341)||2002-03|
|13.||780||Tina Rico (.292)||1994-97|
|14.||587||Jaimie Torromeo (.178)||1994|
|15.||471||Ashanti Taylor (.222)||1998-99|
|16.||465||Denitza Koleva (.206)||2003-04|
|17.||383||Melanie Davis (.244)||1994-96|
|18.||377||Kele Brewer (.196)||2003-04|
|19.||337||Sandy Martin (.259)||1997,99|
|20.||254||Ning Zhao (.252)||1998-99|
Can you dig it?Freshman Ashley Miller paced the Lady Razorbacks with a career-best 26 digs against Houston at the C&C Services Invitational. That ties the Vacaville, Calif., native for sixth all-time and is also sixth in four game matches at Arkansas.
Amy in the sky with diamondsSophomore Amy Allison snuck up on No. 9 Illinois hitting a career-best .647 against the Illini. Allson did not commit a hitting error and finished the match with 11 kills in 17 attempts.
Better blocking for ArkansasThe Lady Razorbacks stepped up witha season-best 18 blocks against No. 9 Illinois at the C&C Services Invitational Sept. 17-18. It was the fourth time in nine matches Arkansas has posted double-digit block totals. The Lady’Backs recorded 10 in the opener against Kansas and had 11 at No. 22 Santa Clara. Arkansas has 13 blocks against Houston in the first match of the C&C Services Invitational followed by the 18-block performanced against No. 9 Illinois.
About the team recordThe 2-7 start is the worst start in the 11-year school history. Arkansas was 2-6 in both 2000 and 2001. Arkansas finished the 2000 season with a 16-14 record while the Lady’Backs were 21-12 in 2001.
Welcome back BrewerSophomore all-SEC player Kele Brewer made her return against Michigan State after nearly three weeks on the DL. Brewer was battling a stress fracture in her foot but is expected to again play this weekend.Also returning to the lineup was freshman Amanda Eskridge. Eskridge suffered from shoulder pain but was called upon to set last weekend.
Home on the RangeBarnhill Arena has always been a friend to Lady Razorback teams. Since its birth as one of the top basketball facilities to its new home for volleyball and gymnastics Barnhill has provided its teams with winning records.The Lady’Back volleyball team is 125-29 (prior to the Florida match) in Barnhill all-time. Arkansas’ best season at home was a 17-2 season in 1998 – the year the Lady’Backs reached the Sweet 16 in the postseason. The Lady’Backs have never had a losing season in Barnhill.
Longest home stand of the yearThe C&C Services Invitational marks Arkansas’ return to Barnhill Arena after two weekends on the road. It also signals the start of the longest home stand on the year. Arkansas hosts the C&C Services Invitational Sept. 17-18, followed by the start of Southeastern Conference action as No. 4 Florida comes to town Sept. 24. Georgia (Sept. 26), Mississippi (Oct. 1) and Mississippi State (Oct. 3) round out the home run.
About FloridaFlorida (8-1) won its 17th consecutive match against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents and extended its home match winning streak to 46 games this weekend with a win over Clemson. The Gators held the Tigers to a .088 hitting percentage and dominated all aspects of the match as Florida recorded more kills (60-34), assists (50-32), digs (43-30) and blocks (7.0-6.0). Despite the win, Florida fell one spot in this week’s coaches poll from No. 4 to No. 5.
Arkansas versus the GatorsThe Lady’Backs and Florida have a long history and th eGators have dominated the series winning 17 of the 18 meetings. Arkansas’ lone victory came at the Southeastern Conference Championship in Athens, Ga., in 1997
About GeorgiaGeorgia recently improved to 7-2 on the year with a 3-0 win over Bethune-Cookman last weekend. The Bulldogs travel to LSU prior to the Arkansas match on Sunday. As a team, Georgia is hitting .266 with a 15.03 kill-per-game average.
Arkansas versus the BulldogsArkansas holds a 7-3 advantage in the series with Georgia. The Lady’Backs have won the last three meetings, two of which were in Athens.
One, Two, Three, Four, FiveThe Lady Razorbacks have played two five-game matches this year and are 1-1 in those contests. Last year, Arkansas was 3-1 in five-game matches. The Lady’Backs are 26-25 all time (25-24 prior to the 2004 season) in five-game matches.
Career Records WatchJennifer Haaser, the lone senior on the Lady’Backs’ team this year, continues to climb up in the career records lists. She reached the 1000th career kill mark against Illinois Sept. 18th and is currently ninth with 1009 career kills. She ranks 10th for total attempts with 2480, seventh with 91 service aces, tied for third with 82 block solos, fourth in block assists with 425 and fifth for total blocks with 507.Other Lady’Backs in the top 10 include Denitza Koleva who is 10th in kpg with 2.92, Iva Docekalova who is sixth in assists with 524 and eighth in apg with 1.91. Docekalova is eighth in service aces with 89 and third in sapg with 0.31.
Arkansas picked to defend Western titleThe University of Arkansas volleyball team was selected to defend its Southeastern Conference Western Division title in a vote of the league’s coaches. Arkansas has dominated the Western Division winning nine of 10 possible titles. The Lady Razorbacks have been selected to win the West in 10 of 11 preseason polls earning nine first place votes and tallying 58 points. (See page two for the complete SEC preseason poll.)
All-Conference returners lead teamThe Lady Razorbacks return three all-SEC selections from a year ago. Back is lone senior and two-time all-SEC selection Jennifer Haaser. Sophomore Denitza Koleva was a second-team selection was the SEC co-freshman of the year last season while teammate Kele Brewer earned selection to the first-ever all-SEC team.
Poole begins 11th seasonArkansas head coach Chris Poole begins his 11th season as the only skipper the program has ever known. The Heber Springs, Ark., native has amassed a 252-108 record at Arkansas including a 123-29 record in Southeastern Conference play.
Lady’Backs dominate SEC Western DivisionTo say Arkansas is successful against Western Division teams is a bit of an understatement. Since adding volleyball in 1994 the Lady Razorbacks have won nine of 10 SEC Western Division titles (surrendering the crown to Alabama in 2000). Arkansas has a 93-6 record against the West during the regular season and is a perfect 7-0 against divisional opponents at the SEC Tournament. The Lady Razorbacks were perfect against the West the previous two seasons with a 10-0 record in 2002 and a 9-9 mark last year. The Lady Razorbacks lead in nearly every statistical category as well.
Speaking of the SECThe Lady Razorbacks finished the year ranked in every statistical category in the Southeastern Conference last year. Arkansas was first in the league in blocking averaging 3.21 blocks per game in 2003. The Lady Razorbacks were second in hitting with a .275 mark, in opponent hitting percentage at .169, in service aces with a 2.13 sapg mark and in win/loss percentage with a .938. Arkansas was fourth in assists averaging 14.05 apg, third in kills with a 15.84 mark and sixth in digs with a 14.22 average.
Up NextThe Lady Razorbacks begin Southeastern Conference play this weekend hosting No. 4 Florida Friday followed by a Sunday match with Georgia. Arkansas hosts Mississippi Oct. 1 followed by Mississippi State Oct. 3.