– Carrying a four-match winning streak, the University of Arkansas volleyball team hits the road this weekend for a pair of Southeastern Conference matches at Auburn and Texas A&M. Friday’s match with the Tigers will begin at 7 p.m. (CT) in the Student Activities Center on the AU campus. Sunday’s weekend finale is set for a 1 p.m. start at Reed Arena in College Station. The Razorbacks are 18-6 overall and are first in the SEC Western Division with a 9-4 conference record.
“We’ve seen them both already this year,” head coach Robert Pulliza
said. “We know both teams are good and it’s going to be even tougher on the road. The most important thing is to keep getting better. That’s something we keep talking about through the season. You also get a little fatigued down the stretch. You have to have the maturity to keep improving and stay hungry.”
During the team’s sweep of Alabama and Missouri last weekend in Fayetteville, senior middle blockers Amanda Anderson
and Janeliss Torres-Lopez
reached a pair of career milestones. In Arkansas’ five-set win over the Crimson Tide, Anderson registered her 700th career kill. Torres-Lopez reached a career mark of her own in the weekend finale against Mizzou with her 300th career block.
led the team in kills (29), digs (26) and service aces (four) last weekend. In the opener against Alabama, she had a match-high 19 kills and SEC-season high 21 digs for her 11th double-double of the season. Norton was one of three Razorbacks with double-digit kills against Missouri. She finished the match with 10 kills on a .364 hitting percentage and five digs.
Through the first 24 matches of the season, the Razorbacks are ranked 29th in the NCAA with a .257 team hitting percentage, tied for 27th with 14.23 kills per set and tied for 35th in the nation with 13.13 assists per set. Individually, Anderson is 49th in the country with a .361 hitting percentage.
In the Oct. 29 release of the RPI for the 2012 volleyball season, Arkansas is ranked 23rd in the nation. The Razorbacks are one of five SEC teams in the top 30 and one of eight in the top 55. Four of Arkansas’ non-conference opponents are positioned inside the top 60. Entering the weekend, Auburn is No. 55 in the RPI while Texas A&M is ranked 26th.
Auburn carries a 15-8 overall record and a 6-7 mark in conference play. In the first meeting this season between the two teams, Arkansas swept the Tigers at Barnhill Arena and held the visitors to a .117 hitting percentage. In the match, six Razorbacks had at least five kills, led by a match-high 10 kills from Roslandy Acosta
. Arkansas leads the all-time series with Auburn, 32-6.
Texas A&M enters the weekend with a 17-5 overall record and is tied with Arkansas for first in the SEC Western Division with a 9-4 league tally. In the first meeting this season between the two teams, the Aggies left Fayetteville with a five-set win. The Oct. 12 match was the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
For weekend match coverage, including interactive blog, live stats and audio stream, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Fans can also keep up with Razorback volleyball this season with its sport-specific RazorbackVB Facebook and Twitter pages.