THE SEASON HAS BEGUNThe 2008 season is officially underway. The Razorback volleyball team reported to campus Friday, Aug. 8, for meetings and photos followed by the first official practice Saturday, Aug. 9. See the weekly schedule below.
RAZORBACKS WELCOME NEW COACHESRobert Pulliza takes over as just the second head coach in Arkansas volleyball history in 2008. Pulliza joins the Razorbacks after four seasons as an assistant and associate head coach at Southeastern Conference foe Kentucky. Pulliza has also coached at Wisconsin, Texas and has international experience. Pulliza is joined by assistant coaches Kris Grunwald and Carol Price. Grunwald is also no stranger to the SEC having been an assistant at Ole Miss and Auburn as well as the head coach at Auburn. Price is a former UTSA assistant and Texas A&M player.
NEW FACES ON ARKANSAS ROSTERArkansas welcomes three newcomers for 2008. Freshmen Brooke Burge and Kelli Stipanovich were part of the recruiting class. Sophomore Mackenzie Rhea worked out with the team in the spring and was invited by Pulliza and staff to stay.
OLD FACES RETURN TO THE ROSTERArkansas returns 10 players from last year but get your flow chart and try to keep up with this. Six players played on the team in 2007. Four of them were regulars in the lineup. Those four are senior Christina Lawrence, juniors Lindsay Scanlan and Kristin Seaton and sophomore Heather Royal. Sophomore Hillary McCormick and senior Karen Tang are also returning this year. Phoebe Bautista and Lauren Fielding were also squad members last year but both redshirted the 2007 season. Junior Destiny Clark did not play last year due to injury and then battled illness in the late summer. She was cleared for practice prior to the first reporting date. Also returning is Caira Dortch. The former Caira Daugherty did not play last season and was married in late May.
WHAT I DID ON MY SUMMER VACATIONSeveral team members did interesting things over the summer. One such case is senior Christina Lawrence. Lawrence apprenticed at a veterinary clinic in Bentonville this summer.
ARKANSAS OPENS AT COLORADO STATEThe Razorbacks open the 2008 season with back-to-back road tournaments. Arkansas departs Thursday, Aug. 28, for the Hilton Classic hosted by Colorado State Aug. 29-30. The Razorbacks kick off the schedule facing host Colorado State who reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year. The Razorbacks also take on Eastern Washington and Denver meeting both teams for the first time.
ARKANSAS ADJUSTS SCHEDULEArkansas was scheduled to play Xavier as part of the Georgia Tech/Regency Suites Classic next weekend but the match has been cancelled. Xavier will likely be on Arkansas’ schedule in the coming years.
NEXT WEEK’S SCHEDULEArkansas continues to practice throughout the week (see schedule on page one). Practice the following week begins Sunday, Aug. 17, with a pair of get-togethers. Arkansas has two team practices first at 9 a.m. and again at 3 p.m. Practices are open to the public. Please call the media relations office for more information.