Hogs No. 19 LSU set for TV showdown
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – After a week-long preparation, the University of Arkansas volleyball team returns to the court for a Nov. 8 meeting with No. 19 LSU at Barnhill Arena. The Southeastern Conference divisional matchup will be televised by CSS and is scheduled for a 1:03 p.m. (CT) first serve. The match will also be broadcast on Cox Sports in the Northwest Arkansas area."I think our matches last weekend (against Kentucky and Tennessee) will help us prepare for a very good LSU team," head coach Robert Pulliza said. "Since we don’t play until Sunday, we have a full week to prepare so now we’ll manage this longer week than we’re used to and get ready for LSU."Jasmine Norton picked up her fourth SEC Freshman of the Week honor following a pair of double-double performances last weekend. She leads the team and is third in the conference with 3.92 kills per set. Norton has recorded double-digit kill totals in ten consecutive matches, upping her average to 4.33 kills in SEC contests. Teammate Amanda Anderson is eighth in the SEC, hitting .323 during her freshman campaign. She is averaging 2.40 kills per set out of the middle for the Razorbacks.Senior setter Lindsay Scanlan moved into third place on Arkansas’ all-time assists list with 53 assists in her last outing, a five-set battle against Tennessee. Scanlan now has 2,766 assists during her time in Cardinal and White. She has also turned in three-consecutive double-double efforts. Along with Norton and Anderson, Scanlan has also relied on Kelli Stipanovich and Kristin Seaton. The duo is averaging 2.52 and 2.11 kills per set, respectively.Defensively, Anderson is averaging 0.87 blocks per set and Janeliss Torres-Lopez follows closely with 0.85 swats pet set. Both posted six total blocks against Tennessee, helping Arkansas to a season-high 13.5 blocks. Behind the block, libero Phoebe Bautista is averaging 3.86 digs per set.In the season’s first meeting between the two teams, played Oct. 16 in Baton Rouge, Norton and Kelli Stipanovich picked up 16 and 10 kills, respectively, but the Razorbacks dropped a 3-0 decision, 25-17, 25-21, 25-19, to then-No. 24 LSU. As a team, Arkansas was held to a .123 attack efficiency, while the Tigers posted a .316 mark. A bright spot for the Razorbacks in that match, Norton had a .364 hitting percentage, her second-highest effort of the conference season.Arkansas leads the all-time series between the two programs, 22-11, but LSU has won the past eight meetings. However, the Razorbacks are 10-5 against LSU in Fayetteville.Entering weekend play, LSU’s Brittnee Cooper leads the SEC in hitting percentage and blocks. From her middle position, she is hitting at a .384 clip and averaging 1.39 blocks per set. Setter Sam Dabbs is second in the conference, dishing out 11.06 assists per set. Cooper and teammate Marina Skender pace the Tigers with 3.42 and 3.36 kills per set, respectively. As a team, LSU is hitting .258, while holding its opponents to a league-low .172 hitting percentage."It’s always exciting to be on TV," Pulliza said. "It’s exciting for the players, the staff and the fans. When you’re on TV, you know its big time, so we need the fans to come out and cheer us on in a very tough match Sunday."The SEC West showdown with LSU is the final match of the Razorbacks’ current three-match homestand. Bernie Guenther and Maria Taylor will handle the play-by-play and color analysis duties for CSS. In addition to the television broadcast, an online stream and live stats will be available online at ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
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