Gutsy performance can't lift Lady'Backs

Jump to Florida box GAINESVILLE, Fla. – University of Arkansas senior Denitza Koleva collected a match-leading 16 kills but it wasn’t enough to lift the Lady Razorbacks over No. 8 Florida in Gainesville, Fla., Friday. Koleva hit .244 but the Lady’Backs (10-7, 3-6) fell to the hard-hitting Gators (15-2, 8-1) 24-30, 21-30, 27-30 in front of a near-record 5,722 fans in the O’Connell Center. “Denny had a very good match tonight,” said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. “I thought we gave a good effort but we just couldn’t get the win. We worked hard but gave up a few runs that were the difference-maker.” Arkansas was close in each of the three games opening even with the Gators through the first 17 points of game one. Florida went on a 5-0 run grabbing a 22-17 lead as Poole took a timeout to stop the Gator attack but a 7-5 finish gave Florida the win. The contest was again a back-and-forth battle in the second game and the Lady’Backs were within four points late in the frame but the Gators hit a blistering .500 in the stanza getting the win. The final game was closer still as the Lady’Backs scratched out a come-from-behind lead at 23-22, but the Gators got a surprise lift from Marci Hampton late in the frame to squeak out the three-point win. “We just weren’t able to finish in that third game,” said Poole. “It was a much better effort in the third game and I really think it will give us something to build on. We are a very talented team but we still missing a few little things that I hoped we would be doing at this point in the season. We’re going to keep working and see what we can do as we make the turn in the SEC season.” Arkansas plays Auburn Sunday then begins its second trip through the SEC schedule after the league adopted a home-and-away series with each opponent. Koleva was the lone Lady’Back in double-digit kills and she added 10 digs giving her 13 double-doubles this year. Sophomore Christina Lawrence and freshman Destiny Clark each added seven kills while junior Ashley Miller paced the team with 16 digs. Clark added three blocks in the loss. Arkansas continues SEC action at Auburn in a 1:30 p.m. match Sunday. The match airs live in the Northwest Arkansas area on KXUA, 88.3 FM. For more information about Arkansas volleyball, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.