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Volleyball notches big SEC win Friday

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Volleyball notches big SEC win Friday

Jump to Alabama box score FAYETTEVILLE – Sophomore Denitza Koleva paced a balanced University of Arkansas attack leading the Lady Razorbacks to a three-set win over Southeastern Conference Western Division rival Alabama in Barnhill Arena Friday. The 30-26, 30-25, 30-26 win elevated Arkansas’ overall record to 11-10 while they improved to 8-3 in Southeastern Conference play. The Crimson Tide fell to 16-6 and 6-5 in the SEC trailing Arkansas in the Western Division race. Arkansas opened commanding leads in both of the first games and never looked back a match that will most likely determine the SEC Western Division winner. Eighth-ranked Florida leads the SEC with a perfect 11-0 record after a win at Ole Miss Friday. Number 16 Tennessee is second with an 11-1 record after defeating Kentucky in three in Knoxville. Arkansas is third overall followed by Georgia (7-4), Alabama (6-5), South Carolina (4-7), LSU (4-7) and Auburn (3-8). “I couldn’t be more pleased with the way we played tonight,” said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. “We put together a complete effort, dominated the match at times and battled back when we had to. It’s a great win and could have a lot of impact on the rest of the season.” Koleva tallied a team-leading 11 kills, hit .212 and had six digs for the Lady’Backs in the win. Sophomore Kele Brewer added nine kills and four digs and senior Jennifer Haaser had nine kills, hit .286 and had a match-best seven blocks for Arkansas. The Lady’Backs entered the match wary of Bama’s senior outside hitter Erin Heffner. Heffner touched Arkansas for 30 kills in the first meeting, a 3-1 Arkansas win in Tuscaloosa. The Lady’Backs contained Heffner allowing the all-SEC player just 10 kills but Heffner added 10 hitting errors and no hitting percentage for the match. “We didn’t really worry about containing Erin,” said Poole. “We knew she’d be tough to stop so we really focused on some of their other players and that worked tonight.” The Lady Razorbacks have won four in a row and have seen improved play in the stretch run. “I feel like we’re getting better each time we step out on the court,” said Poole. “We told the players that our pre-conference schedule, though tough, would pay off and I think they are seeing that now.” The Lady’Backs continue SEC action hosting Auburn Sunday in a 1:30 p.m., match. For more information about Arkansas volleyball log on to www.ladybacks.com.



Sports Category : Volleyball (W)