Lady'Backs complete sweep of Magnolia State
Jump to Mississippi State box FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas volleyball team completed the sweep of the Magnolia State Sunday downing Mississippi State in four in Southeastern Conference action. The Lady Razorbacks recorded a 27-30, 30-20, 30-28, 30-28 win improving to 5-8 overall and 3-1 in the SEC while a much-improved Mississippi State team fell to 9-7 overall and 2-2 in the league. The win is the third in a row for Arkansas and moves them to the top of the SEC Western Division. Arkansas used a balanced attack for the second consecutive match in the four-set win. Four players were in double-digits kills paced by senior Jennifer Haaser with a team-leading 16. The Fort Smith, Ark., native hit .294 with nine digs and three blocks for the Lady’Backs. Junior Karla Crose and sophomore Kele Brewer added 11 kills each with Crose hitting .233 with 11 digs and eight blocks. Sophomore Denitza Koleva tallied 10 kills and 11 digs. Sophomore Amy Allison also continues to play well for Arkansas. The Jenks, Okla., native hit a match-best .538 with nine kills and two errors in 13 attempts. She added three digs and three blocks for Arkansas and did not have a hitting error in games two and three. "I’m proud of the way we fought," said head coach Chris Poole. "We had to come back in games one, three and four. We could have let down but we didn’t’. That’s a credit to how hard we’ve been working in practice. You have to give credit to Mississippi State. We knew it would be a tough match. It’s one of those matches you’re just happy to walk out with a win in." State is a much-improved team from last year’s 2-23 team. The Bulldogs have a pair of SEC road wins over South Carolina and LSU and Orsolya Kriegel entered the weekend leading the league in hitting. Arkansas defense was the key, however, in the Lady’Backs win. "Our block is definitely ahead of our offense," said Poole. "That limits some of our opponents success right now." Arkansas recorded 13.5 team blocks in the win and was in double-digit blocks for the seventh team and the third consecutive time this year. The Lady’Back win was not without drama even in the final frame. Arkansas got out to a six-point, 10-4 lead but State came back within one, 12-11, forcing Poole to burn a timeout. Arkansas clung to the lead until MSU tied the game at 14 and a sea-saw battle ensued. Poole burned his final timeout at 22-all and had to rely on the players from that point. Allison stepped up with a kill but State continued to battle until the teams were again tied at 25. Haaser laced a change up shot down the line giving Arkansas the advantage. Haaser’s point was followed by a wrist-flick kill at the net by Koleva for the two-point lead. MSU called a timeout but Arkansas’ momentum couldn’t be stopped as the Lady’Backs edged State for the win. Arkansas returns to the road and to SEC play traveling to Auburn Oct. 8, and Alabama Oct. 10. It is the first of two consecutive road weekends for the Lady’Backs. For more information about Arkansas volleyball log on to www.ladybacks.com.