Arkansas Sweeps Past Kentucky
Errors Continue to Haunt UK
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - In a match that was much closer than the final score indicated, the University of Arkansas swept visiting Kentucky 3-0 Sunday afternoon at Barnhill Arena. With the victory, the Lady Backs kept their slim hopes of an eighth consecutive Southeastern Conference Western Division title alive.
UA (4-9, 2-3 SEC) trailed only once in the contest, taking full advantage of numerous UK mistakes. Service errors continued to be UK's Achilles heel in the match, as the Cats committed 10 service and eight receiving errors.
In game one, Kentucky (4-12, 2-3 SEC) had difficulty defending the powerful jump serve of Anna Velikanova. Velikanova posted two aces and the Lady Backs won six points off her serve. The Lady Backs won the opening point of the match, and were never threatened, cruising to victory 15-6. Libby Windell led the attack with five kills as the Lady Backs outhit UK in game one .419 to .242.
Service errors cost UK six points in the second game. Velikanova continued her excellent serving with two more aces and six UA points won off her serve. Trailing 5-10, UK called a timeout to regroup. The team responded winning the next four points and cutting the deficit to one. However, the Lady Backs countered, taking advantage of numerous UK errors, and held on to win game two 15-10.
Kristen Batt led the Big Blue's attack in game two with 10 kills. Brooke Dodson came off the bench to post seven kills on nine attempts for a .778 hitting percentage in addition to her game-high seven digs.
The final game proved to be the closest and most exciting of the entire match. UA jumped ahead early, gaining a 4-1 advantage. UK clawed back and tied up the score at 11. The Cats seemed poised to send the match to a fourth game, but the Lady Backs responded taking the next four points and closing out the match 15-11.
Brooke Dodson posted her first double-double in a Cats uniform. The freshman tallied 10 kills and 11 digs in her first visit to Barnhill Arena. Kristen Batt missed a double-double by one dig. Batt recorded match-high 22 kills in addition to her nine digs. Megan Weiskircher contributed 12 kills.
Eftila Tanellari's double-double led UA. Tanellari notched 12 kills and 14 digs. Three Lady Backs reached double figures in kills: Tanellari and Libby Windell with 12 and Anna Velikanova with 13. Arkansas hit an impressive .302 percentage for the match.
UK's next opponent will be ninth ranked and SEC East co-leader Florida. The match is scheduled for Friday, October 13 at 7 p.m. at Memorial Coliseum and will be followed by Kentucky Basketball's Big Blue Madness.