Lady'Backs down ORU in three
Jump to ORU box score FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas volleyball team put together a solid non-conference win over Oral Roberts University Tuesday, 3-0, in Barnhill Arena. The 30-27, 30-18, 34-32 win improved the Lady’Backs to 13-10 overall and they remain at 9-3 in the Southeastern Conference while ORU fell to 15-12 overall. “It was a big win,” said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. “We’re in the home stretch and we need to win every match we can at this point in the season. I was pleased with the overall focus and the team didn’t panic late when ORU made a run. That just shows how much we’ve matured this year.” The final frame provided Arkansas fans with the most drama as the Lady’Backs squandered a five-point lead letting the Golden Eagles tie the game at 25. Poole burned his final timeout trying to rally the troops but ORU would emerge from the break inspired taking the lead. Arkansas battled back again knotting the score this time at 29-all. Oral Roberts snatched the lead on a kill from Maja Devic who finished with six. Brewer answered the call with a slicing shot down the line evening the score. Again ORU scratched out the lead but Arkansas bounced back with a kill from sophomore Denitza Koleva tying it at 31. An Arkansas hitting error handed the lead back to the visitors but senior Jennifer Haaser ripped a shot through the defense for a 32-all tie. The Lady’Backs finally gained the advantage with a rock wall block from junior Karla Crose and Koleva followed by an ORU hitting error lifting Arkansas to the win. “We stayed clam,” said Poole. “We didn’t panic and our early-season experience paid off.” Freshman libero Ashley Miller set a three-match record for the Lady’Backs with 26 digs, out-doing ORU’s becky Dreher who finished with 22. “The young lady from ORU (Dreher) is second in the nation in digs,” said Poole, “and Ashley told the team she was going to out-dig her tonight. She made good on her promise.” Haaser paced the offense with a match-best 13 kills and hit .522 with six blocks for Arkansas. Koleva and Brewer were also in double-digits with 10 kills each for the Lady’Backs. Oral Roberts kept the game close in the first frame knotting the score at 16-all and staying within two points for the duration of the match. The Lady’Backs, however, continued to score as well eventually pulling away by three, 28-25, as they went on to win. An ORU hitting error made it 29-25, Arkansas, and the Golden Eagles got a kill from Ori Zuzic to again close within a pair, 29-27. Freshman Jessica Dorrell finally put the game away with a booming kill that sliced through the defense for the final point. Arkansas out-hit their border rival .200 to .128, out-dug ORU 19 to 16 and out-blocked them 3 to 1 in the first set win. Arkansas got behind early in the second game catch-up at the five-point mark. After taking the lead on a kill from sophomore Amy Allison the Lady’Backs never looked back in the second-frame win. Arkansas was up by as many as four late leading 19-15, and prompting a visitor timeout. Haaser came out of the break with a deep kill giving Arkansas a five-point lead and the Lady’Backs never looked back. Arkansas’ relentless attack rattled ORU and the Golden Eagles suffered from several unforced errors. ORU head coach Sheera Sirola tried several substitutions in an effort to revive her team but Arkansas’ offense was nearly unstoppable as the Lady’Backs out-scored their opponent 10-2 down the stretch. Arkansas’ block picked up in the second game with four team blocks, three from Crose. The Lady’Backs return to Southeastern Conference action at No. 15 Friday, followed by a match at South Carolina Sunday at noon. Sunday’s match airs live on FOX Sports Net South (FSN). Both matches can be heard in Fayetteville on KXUA, 88.3 FM and on the internet at www.ladybacks.com.