– As the start of its final home stand of the season, the University of Arkansas volleyball team hosts Kentucky Sunday afternoon at Barnhill Arena. First serve of the Southeastern Conference match will be Noon (CT). The Razorbacks’ next three matches will be played on their home floor.
The Arkansas-Kentucky match will be televised live by Fox Sports and SportSouth. For fans outside of the SEC coverage footprint, a video stream of the match will also be available at ESPN3.com. Dave Baker and Elizabeth Moreau will handle the play-by-play and color commentary duties, respectively. Sunday’s match will be the Razorbacks’ second television match of the season.
“Because we did not have a match Friday, we’ve had a long week to prepare for Kentucky which has worked out of us,” head coach Robert Pulliza
said. “The long week comes at a good time because it allows us a little more time to work on ourselves. We will be prepared for Kentucky but we also needed to work to clean some things up.”
Tickets for Sunday’s match will be buy-one, get-one-free and fans can collect the 2012 team trading cards. Single-match tickets are $4, while fans 17 years and younger are admitted for free. University of Arkansas students attending volleyball matches this season are asked to use the street-level entrance on Stadium Drive to enter Barnhill Arena. There is also an autograph session scheduled for after the match.
Arkansas (18-8, 9-6 SEC) defeated Kentucky in the first meeting between the two teams earlier this season in Lexington. The Razorbacks registered a .330 hitting percentage in the straight-set victory. Junior setter Raymariely Santos
led the way with 33 assists and 15 digs. The win snapped a 10-match skid against the Wildcats. Overall, Kentucky owns a 17-14 advantage in the all-time series.
Having moved into second place on Arkansas’ all-time kills list, senior outside hitter Jasmine Norton
enters the weekend as the active SEC leader with 1,696 career kills. She is now 41 kills shy of the No. 10 spot on the SEC all-time list (1,737 kills – Molly Dreisbach, Kentucky). No player has cracked the conference top-10 kills list since the 2006 season.
In the Nov. 5 release of the NCAA national statistics, the Razorbacks are ranked 49th in the country with a .245 hitting percentage and 48th among the nation’s teams with 13.98 kills per set. Defensively, Arkansas is holding its opponents to a .183 hitting percentage, the fourth-lowest figure in the SEC.
The Razorbacks are currently ranked 26th in the most recent release of the RPI for the 2012 volleyball season. Arkansas is one of five SEC teams in the top 30 and one of eight in top 55. Four of Arkansas’ non-conference opponents are inside the top 65.
Razorback fans have turned out in record numbers at Barnhill Arena this season. For the first time in program history, the total attendance figure has eclipsed the 15,000 mark. In 15 home dates, Arkansas is averaging 1,060 fans. The single-match attendance record was also set this season with a figure of 3,015 during the SEC opener Sept. 14 against Florida.
Kentucky carries a 17-9 overall record and an 11-5 mark in SEC play. In their last outing, the Wildcats dropped a four-set decision to Alabama in Tuscaloosa. On the season, UK’s offense is buoyed by four players—Ashley Frazier, Whitney Billings, Lauren O’Conner and Alexandra Morgan—with more than 200 kills. Defensively, libero Stephanie Klefot is averaging 3.86 digs per set.
In addition to the television coverage, an interactive blog, live stats and audio stream of Sunday’s match against the Wildcats will be available at ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Fans can also keep up with Arkansas volleyball through the team’s sport-specific Facebook and Twitter pages.