SEC PLAY CONTINUESArkansas hits the road this weekend for three consecutive SEC road matches. The Razorbacks begin the weekend at No. 23 Kentucky Friday followed by a match at Tennessee Sunday. Arkansas has a mid-week match next Wednesday traveling to its travel partner, Ole Miss.STIPANOVICH PUTS UP GOOD NUMBERS – AGAINTrue freshman Kelli Stipanovich hit a career-best .467 leading the University of Arkansas to its second Southeastern Conference win of the season. Stipanovich finished the weekend hitting .254 and her 15 kills against Alabama ties her fourth-best career mark.
NINE IN A ROWFreshman Kelli Stipanovich made it nine in a row with nine consecutive matches with double-figure kills. Her streak was broken with nine kills at LSU Sunday. She has 11 matches with double-digit kill totals this year.TANG PLAYS GOOD DEFENSEYun Tang collected a career-best 10 kills and to lead the University of Arkansas to its second SEC win of the season Sunday. Tang hit .412 for the weekend (actually hitting .412 in both matches) while collecting eight total blocks to average 1.14 blocks per game.LAWRENCE LOOKS GOOD THIS WEEKENDSenior Christina Lawrence also enjoyed a solid weekend of play against Alabama and Mississippi State. The Sullivan, Mo., native tallied 14 kills and hit .373 against Alabama and paced Arkansas with 11 digs in the win over Mississippi State.LAWRENCE MOVES UP THE LISTSenior Christina Lawrence is on pace to become the 13th player in program history to reach 1,000 career kills. Lawrence moved up one spot this week to number 13 with 930 career kills and needs just 70 kills to reach 1,000. Here’s the top 14 list.
ARKANSAS IN THE SEC STATSAs the SEC stats continue to take shape, Arkansas remains ranked in several categories. In SEC-only stats, the Razorbacks move up one spot to sixth for hitting percentage, and they are fifth blocks. Arkansas is eighth for assistsn and kills and tied for seventh in service aces this week. Individually, Caira Dortch is fifth in assists-per-game. Kelli Stipanovich ranks sixth in kills-per-game and Lawrence is ninth in hitting percentage. In all matches, Arkansas is seventh in bpg, eighth in hitting percentage, and ninth in assists, kills and digs. Stipanovich ranks eighth in kills, senior Yun Tang is second in blocks-per-game and Dortch is fifth in assists.DIG THISPhoebe Bautista has had nine matches with double-digit digs including six matches in a row. Her 24 digs against South Carolina is a career-best.THE ROYAL TREATMENTSophomore Heather Royal has posted five matches with double-digit kills this year. She tallied a career-best 19 kills versus Tulsa and has five matches with double-digit digs. She tallied a career-best 20 digs versus Tennessee-Martin. Royal was limited during the Alabama/Mississippi State weekend with a hand injury.FRESHMAN SENSATIONFreshman Kelli Stipanovich has had 11 matches with double-digit kills including nine in a row. She has had two double-doubles and her 21 kills against South Carolina is a career-best. She also tied her career-best with 11 digs against South Carolina.ABOUT No. 23 KENTUCKYKentucky enters the weekend with a 16-3 record and a 7-1 SEC mark after a 1-1 weekend. Sophomore Sarah Mendoza earned her season SEC Offensive Player of the Week honor leading the Wildcats to the second-place spot in the Eastern Division. Mendoza etched her fourth career double-double with 16 kills and 11 digs against the Gators, while leading the team with 20.5 points on the night. She recorded another double-double effort against South Carolina with 12 kills and 12 digs, good for 12 points. Mendoza averaged 2.88 digs per set and a team-high 3.50 kills for the week.OLD HOME WEEKArkansas travels to Lexington, Ky., this week and Razorback head coach Robert Pulliza returns to his former University for the first time as the lead dog. Pulliza is a former assistant and associate head coach for the Wildcats helping them with multiple ranked recruiting classes in recent years. Kentucky has enjoyed a lot of recent success and finds themselves ranked at No. 23 in this week’s AVCA Coaches poll. See the complete poll on the left of this page.ARKANSAS VERSUS KENTUCKYArkansas leads the all-time series 13-9 over Kentucky, however, the Wildcats have won the last two meetings between teams. Arkansas downed Kentucky in Fayetteville in 2006 but lost both contests last year.RANKED TEAMS FAMILIARArkansas is no stranger to facing ranked opponents. The Razorbacks opened the year at No. 17 Colorado and have also faced No. 25 Michigan and No. 10 Florida this season. Although Arkansas is 0-3 against those teams, a couple of individuals have played well. Senior Christina Lawrence leads the team hitting .222 with 15 kills and 3.00 kills-per game. Freshman Kelli Stipanovich has a team-high 22 kills against those opponentsABOUT TENNESSEETennessee enters the weekend with a 10-8 record and a 4-4 mark in league play. The Lady Vols have lost their last two matches against Florida and South Carolina. As a team, the Lady Vols are hitting . 211 with 855 kills paced by Nikki Fowler with 234 kills, 3.49 kills-per-game and a .207 hitting percentage.ARKANSAS VERSUS TENNESSEEArkansas leads the all-time series record 14-8 with the Lady Vols. Tennessee, however, has won four of the last six meetings between these teams. Arkansas and Tennessee split last year with the road team winning both contests.SHORT AND SWEETAlthough Arkansas doesn’t like the taste. The Razorbacks have played 17 matches, 12 of which have gone the minimum three sets. Arkansas is 4-8 in three set contests. Their wins have come against Georgia State, Lamar, Tennessee-Martin and Mississippi State.HOW’S THE SEC?In a word – good. The SEC finished pre-conference play with a 64-40 record for a .165 winning percentage. The Eastern Division was 35-12 (.745) while the Western Division finished 29-28 (.501) in matches played before the start of SEC play. Two SEC teams, Florida and Kentucky, are in this week’s top 25 poll. The Gators moved up one spot to No. 8 last week while Kentucky jumps a couple spots to No. 23 this week.RAZORBACKS ON THE RADIOThe Arkansas Razorback volleyball team returned to the KXUA airways this season for their single match at Auburn. The Razorbacks went live at 6 p.m. Central from Auburn, Ala. KXUA is 88.3 FM on the dial in Northwest Arkansas. The broadcast also aired live on ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Jeri Thorpe provides the play-by-play along with Stephen McGown for your color analysis. Here is the complete KXUA broadcast schedule for 2008:DATE OPPONENT TIME RESULTSept. 19 at Auburn 6 p.m. W, 3-2Oct. 10 Alabama 7 p.m. L, 1-3Oct. 12 Mississippi State 1:30 p.m. W, 3-0Oct. 17 at Kentucky 6 p.m.Oct. 19 at Tennessee 12:30 p.m.Nov. 7 Tennessee 7 p.m.Nov. 9 Kentucky 1:30 p.m.Nov. 14 at Mississippi State 7 p.m.Nov. 21 LSU 7 p.m.Nov. 23 Ole Miss 7 p.m.All Postseason matchesUP NEXTThe Razorbacks have road matches at Kentucky and Tennessee and a mid-week road match at Ole Miss.