Lady'Backs edge Houston

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FAYETTEVILLE – Paced by double-digit kills from three players the University of Arkansas outlasted Houston in a four-game win at the C&C Services Invitational Friday. Arkansas improved to 2-5 on the year with the 23-30, 30-28, 30-26, 30-28 win over the Cougars. The Lady’Backs face Ball State at noon followed by a 7:00 p.m. match with No. 9 Illinois as tournament play continues Saturday. Freshman Ashley Miller stepped up for the Lady’Backs digging a career-best 26 balls in the victory. Her total of 26 digs is the most by a Lady Razorback since going to rally scoring and ranks sixth all time in a four-game match. It is also tied for sixth in all matches. “Ashley stepped up big for us,” said head coach Chris Poole. “We knew she had it in her and it was great to see her be successful tonight.” Sophomore Denitza Koleva turned in a season-best 18 kills and 57 attempts for Arkansas in the win. The Middleton, Wisc., native added seven digs and two of Arkansas’ season-best 13.0 blocks. Junior Karla Crose added 17 kills and led the team with a .406 hitting percentage. Crose added a pair of aces, nine digs and tied her career-best with six block assists. Teammate senior Jennifer Haaser tallied 14 kills, five digs and seven blocks while sophomore Amy Allison recorded seven block assists in the win. As a team the Lady Razorbacks didn’t hit statistically well finishing with a .165 average but they managed to out-hit the Cougars who turned in a .071 performance. Arkansas also outpaced Houston with 13 team blocks to Houston’s five. “The C&C Services Invitational is shaping up to be a great tournament,” said Poole. “We are seeing some really close matches and anything could happen Saturday.” All of the games were close for the Lady’Backs and the match featured 46 ties and 30 lead changes. In other tournament action, No. 9 Illinois defeated Houston in the opener in three games, 30-25, 33-31, 30-16. Illinois defeated Ball State in the second match 30-23, 33-25, 30-23, 30-23. Action continues Saturday at Barnhill Arena. For more information log on to