Arkansas pulls out thriller in Springfield

Jump to Utah box SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The University of Arkansas volleyball team pulled off a thrilling come-from-behind win over Utah at the Results Advertising Invitational in Springfield, Mo., Saturday afternoon. Arkansas (4-2 overall), down two games, won the final three, 21-30, 25-30, 30-33, 31-29, 15-12, improving to 1-1 in tournament play. Woefully over-matched in the first two frames, Arkansas couldn’t muster any offense and had only one block in the first two frames but a small lineup change and a new attitude turned the tide on the Utes. “As a team, I’m proud of the effort,” said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. “We didn’t give up. Our conditioning this summer definitely came into play. It was a great team effort and a lot of different people stepped up today.” Junior Kele Brewer paced the team with 16 kills, eight digs and three blocks. Junior Denitza Koleva added 14 kills and 19 digs, while sophomore Jessica Dorrell tallied 13 kills, hit .370 and had seven blocks. Junior Amy Allison rounded out the Lady’Backs in double-digit kills with 10 and added seven blocks, including two solos, in the win. Arkansas hit .000 in the first game and .244 in the second but lost both frames. The Lady’Backs exploded in the third frame hitting .406 routing Utah who hit just .143 in the frame. The Lady’Backs got on the board first in the third stanza and quickly opened a sizable lead, up 11-2, as Utah struggled to close the match. Arkansas led by as many as nine twice in the game eventually winning eight. Arkansas again opened quickly in the fourth game, jumping on Utah as the Utes were rattled and committed several unforced errors adding to the Lady’Backs’ lead. The Lady’Backs worked out a six point advantage but Utah kept the game close trailing by just three, 26-23, late in the frame. But Arkansas prevailed getting a kill from Koleva and taking advantage of two net violations by Utah to win the game. For the third time in as many games, Arkansas opened the scoring first jumping all over the Utes in the final frame. After a long opening rally, Dorrell pounded home the kill to the middle of the Utah defense setting the tone for the rest of the game. Quickly up 6-2, Utah took a timeout to stall Arkansas and the break seemed to work as the Utes pulled within one, 7-6. But that’s as close as it would get as the Lady’Backs’ confidence showed in each play to finish the game. Arkansas took an 11-8 lead thanks to a kill from sophomore defensive specialist Kelli Cole who hit through a triple block. The kill prompted Utah to burn its final timeout but it didn’t stop the Arkansas scoring. Dorrell crushed a cross court shot for a kill in front of the Utah bench making it 13-10 Arkansas and a kill from Koleva added the 14th point. Dorrell finished the game off with a sonic boom shot for the final play of the match. The Lady Razorbacks return to action this afternoon facing Iowa State at 5:00 p.m.