FAYETTEVILLE – When the University of Arkansas volleyball team takes the floor Aug. 29 against Tennessee State, it will mark the beginning of its 21st season since its inception in 1994. The Arkansas volleyball team is the fourth-youngest program in Razorback athletics, just ahead of women’s golf (1995), softball (1997) and gymnastics (2003). In that short time, the program has put together an impressive list of accomplishment.
Over the course of its first 20 seasons, Arkansas has been earned 11 NCAA Tournament selections, won 11 SEC Western Division titles and had nine student-athletes receive AVCA All- America accolades. The Razorbacks appeared in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 1996 in the program’s third year, captured the 1997 SEC Tournament title with a straight-set victory over No. 4 Florida in Athens, Ga., and advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time in 1998.
Four of the nine All-Americans in program history have been awarded in the past five years with a list that features Roslandy Acosta (2012), Meredith Hays (2013), Jasmine Norton (2009, 2012) and Raymariely Santos (2013). Hays is a senior outside hitter on this year’s team that enters the 2014 season off back-to-back NCAA Tournament selections. Head coach Robert Pulliza is entering his seventh season at the helm of the program.
In a recent milestone victory, Arkansas tallied the 400th win in program history on Oct. 4, 2013, with a five-setter at South Carolina, and currently sits at 406 wins overall heading into the 2014 season. The Razorbacks have registered 210 wins in SEC play and is set to play its 350th conference match Oct. 24 when it hosts Kentucky at Barnhill Arena.
Hays is the lone senior on the Razorbacks’ 2014 roster but Arkansas returns 10 letterwinners and one redshirt from last year’s NCAA team. Hays will share upperclassmen billing with juniors Monica Bollinger, Chanell Clark-Bibbs, Liz Fortado, Summer Morgan and Sam Skinner. Clark-Bibbs and Skinner are junior transfers from Georgia Tech and UAB, respectively.
The Razorbacks’ sophomore class is comprised of Barbara Dapic, Corinne Gajcak, Danielle Harbin, Breana Jones, Ana Sofia Jusino, Savannah Voelzke and Adrien Wohlschlaeger. Gajcak is a sophomore transfer from Iowa. Arkansas will also benefit from its freshman group of Sophie Bethke, Blakelee Dunagin, Bailee Hankenson, Holly Hankenson, Shelby Harper, Krista Kolbinskie and Kori Ortiz. Dunagin was a redshirt last year.
Starting at $40 which includes a free team knit hat, season tickets are available online at ArkansasRazorbacks.com or by calling the Razorback Ticket Center at 800/982-HOGS (4647).
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