Arkansas enjoys successes despite loss
Jump to Florida box score FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas collected 85 digs, six team blocks and had three players in double-digit kills in a four-game setback against No. 5 Florida in Barnhill Arena Friday opening Southeastern Conference play. The Lady Razorbacks fell to 2-8 on the year and 0-1 in the SEC as the Gators improved to 9-1 overall and 1-0 in the league with the 28-30, 30-22, 30-23, 30-18 win over Arkansas. Arkansas faced its fourth ranked team and the second team in the top 10 in as many matches with the Gators on Friday. The Lady’Backs rallied knocking off Florida in the first game interrupting their streak of 80 consecutive SEC regular season games won. The Lady’Backs accomplished the feat behind freshman libero Ashley Miller’s match-high 25 digs and freshman Amanda Eskridge’s 23 assists. Three Lady’Backs were also in double-digit kill totals paced by 14 from sophomore Kele Brewer. Sophomore Denitza Koleva and senior Jennifer Haaser each added 11 for Arkansas. "I’m very proud of the way we battled," said head coach Chris Poole. "We came out with a good game plan but as you would expect, Florida made the adjustments they need to. I’m very pleased with the way we are digging and passing right now." "Arkansas is a very similar team to Florida," said Gator head coach Mary Wise. "Both teams graduated some elite players and both teams are a work in progress. We’re both only going to get better. The thing that really stood out was the play of their libero. They’ve got a couple of great players in Miller and Eskeridge." Arkansas and Florida both started slowing in the first frame trying to feel each other out. As a result, a back-and-battle ensued with neither team taking a commanding lead. The game was tied late several times until Arkansas edged out a one-point advantage leading 28-28, on a kill from Brewer. The lead prompted Wise and the Gators to take a timeout – a break they responded to with a kill from team leader Jane Collymore. Collymore finished the night with 22 kills and a.224 hitting percentage for Florida. Tied again at 28, it was Arkansas’ turn to take advantage of some opponent mistakes. A Gator service error followed by a wide, cross court shot gave the Lady’Backs the first frame victory. Arkansas opened the final three games and stayed close to Florida early in each frame but the Gators eventually pulled away winning the final three sets. The Lady Razorbacks return to SEC action hosting Georgia Sunday at 1:30 p.m., in Barnhill. For more information and tickets please call the Lady Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK or log on to www.ladybacks.com.