SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– The University of Arkansas volleyball team opened its spring season with a 1-2 weekend in Springfield, Mo.
Arkansas, playing under the new scoring procedures to 25 pionts, lost to Tulsa, 28-30, 25-18,9-15), defeated Pittsburgh State, 25-18, 25-22, 10-15) and fell to Missouri State, 25-22, 31-33, 10-15 Saturday.
"The focus in the spring is about evaluating all the players and seeing how each one can handle pressure," said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. "Although we certainly want to win every game we play, we are more concerned with seeing how each player performs against good competition. We used a different lienup in each of the games and gave plenty of playing time everyone."
One of the day’s highlights was the return of junior Destiny Clark to the floor. Clark missed all of last season after surgery and she played only limited time Saturday.
"Although her time was limited," said Poole, "she had an immediate impact when she was in the game. She led the team with 13 blocks and hit .330 with 19 kills in 42 attempts. it was great to see her back on the floor."
Karen Tang added nine blocks on the day. Senior Christina Lawrence was a solid offensive threat with 24 kills and a.400 hitting percentage. Lawrence added seven block assists on the day. Arkansas, as a team, averaged 3.11 blocks per game.
"That’s outstanding," said Poole of the blocking. "There were a lot of individual positives for the day and we can now go back to work in the next few weeks to smooth things out. Overall, it was a a great opportunity for everyone to get playing time and give our coaching staff a chance to see how each player handled pressure and adversity during a game setting."