Lady'Backs Bounce Back Vs. Georgia

FAYETTEVILLE — A festive crowd of 792 in Barnhill Arena was just what the doctor ordered for Arkansas volleyball coach Chris Poole, who wanted his team to play with more emotion on Friday night.

The Lady Razorbacks (8-3, 1-2 in the Southeastern Conference) played with great energy from the outset in a 30-20, 30-24, 30-18 drubbing of Georgia.

"I really appreciate our fans, and we'll need them again Sunday against South Carolina," Poole said. "I challenged our team to play with emotion all week, and tonight our fans helped us do that."

Amy Allison, a senior middle blocker, hit .857 in the first game and .714 in the second before finishing with 11 kills, 7 blocks and a .526 hitting percentage for the Lady Razorbacks.

Freshman middle blocker Destiny Clark of Manhattan, Kan., was equally effective for Arkansas, getting 7 kills in 8 attempts for an .875 hitting percentage.

"Ashley Miller was a big key to that," Poole said. "Her passing has improved to nearly a Yarleen Santiago level, and Santiago was the best passer we ever had. Ashley missed three days of practice this week with a sore back, so that made her performance tonight even more impressive."

The Lady'Backs lost their first two SEC matches on the road last week, but Poole told them to forget those and start anew against Georgia (4-9, 0-3 SEC).

"If we could beat South Carolina and get to 2-2 in the SEC on Sunday, that would be great," Poole said. "South Carolina beat Florida last weekend."

Arkansas hit .333, .371 and .367 in the three games Friday night, as Denny Koleva (.353), Jessica Dorrell (.333) and Kele Brewer all had their moments.

"Denny has gotten much stronger since last season," Poole said. "She has finally realized the value of lifting weights. And Jessica is such a good athlete that we have set some dynamic plays for her."

Caira Daugherty, a sophomore setter from Springfield, Mo., got in on the act with a great left-handed retrieve, and 5-foot-7 Ivana Suput of Zitiste, Serbia, impressd in just her second appearance of the season.

"One reason we recruited Ivana was that we liked her energy," Poole said. "She's a ball of fire out there."

Despite Arkansas' slow start in the SEC, Poole said, "This is as talented a team as I've had. They just have to continue to get better together."

Brewer practiced for the first time since Aug. 15 this week. She's recovering from a nerve problem in her foot, but Poole wants to play her as much as he can because of her leadership.

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