Lady'Backs host St. Louis in SEC break

FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas volleyball team gets a break from Southeastern Conference action hosting St. Louis Tuesday at 7:00 p.m., in Barnhill Arena. The Lady Razorbacks (11-6, 4-2 SEC) kick off a busy week beginning with the Bilikens Tuesday. St. Louis enters the week with a 9-10 overall mark but has won four of their last five matches. Arkansas is coming off a four-game loss at Kentucky Friday that dropped the Lady’Backs into a tie with Alabama, also 4-2, for the SEC Western Division lead. The Lady’Backs are looking to re-group before continuing in conference action with Mississippi Friday and Mississippi State Sunday. "The loss at Kentucky was disappointing," said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. "I know we’re better that what we played. The key now is to re-focus and that begins with St. Louis." Arkansas will have to do that without one of the team’s leading hitters in Denitza Koleva. The junior outside hitter injured her ankle in practice Sunday and is listed as day-to-day. The Lady’Backs have relied heavily on junior Amy Allison recently. The Jenks, Okla., middle blocker was recently named SEC Defensive Player of the Week after posting a career-best 14.0 blocks against Alabama and 13.0 against LSU. Junior Kele Brewer and senior Karla Crose have also been key elements for the Lady’Backs this year and both will be expected to have big matches this week. Redshirt freshman Christina Lawrence had a career night at Kentucky Friday recording 17 kills, a .205 hitting percentage and five blocks. Arkansas could pick up some momentum in the league race this weekend with Mississippi and Mississippi State coming to Fayetteville. As mentioned, Arkansas is currently tied with Alabama with identical 4-2 league records. This week, the Lady’Backs face the Rebels who are 1-5 and last in the Western Division on Friday, followed by a match with 1-4 State on Sunday. Alabama hosts South Carolina (2-4) Friday and Tennessee (4-2) on Sunday. A loss by Bama to either team coupled with a pair of wins by the Lady’Backs should see Arkansas move up. "We know there are no easy matches in the SEC," said Poole. "We’re going to have to play well both at home and on the road because the SEC is as good as it has ever been." Arkansas’ match with St. Louis is slated for a 7:00 p.m., start in Barnhill Arena. The Friday match with Mississippi begins at 7:00 p.m., followed by 1:30 p.m., start for the Mississippi State match. For more information about Arkansas volleyball please call the Lady Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK or log on to LADYBACKS.COM.