FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas volleyball team host South Carolina in the weekend finale for both teams Sunday afternoon. First serve of the Southeastern Conference matchup is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. (CT) start at Barnhill Arena. Phoebe Bautista and Mackenzie Rhea will be recognized prior to the start of Sunday’s match.
Including the South Carolina match, the Razorbacks are down to their last two matches of the season with a Wednesday night matchup LSU at Barnhill Arena to close out the 2010 campaign. Arkansas has reached its overall and conference win totals from last season and any improvement will represent a program high under head coach Robert Pulliza.
"I would like to see our leadership continue to develop," Pulliza said. "Down the stretch, we’re starting to see some growth in that department. I also want to see us be the most competitive we’ve been all season. Of course, you always want to play your best but that’s not my emphasis as we go into these last matches. I want us to be as competitive as we’ve been this year and, if we can do that, I feel good about what can happen here in our future."
In the first meeting between the two teams this season, an Oct. 1 matchup in Columbia, the Razorbacks knocked off South Carolina in four sets. Jasmine Norton led the way with 19 kills while Kelli Stipanovich and Amanda Anderson added 15 and 10 kills, respectively. Arkansas leads the all-time series, 17-9, and has won eight of 12 matches against the Gamecocks played in Fayetteville.
South Carolina (7-21, 4-14 SEC) opened the weekend in Baton Rouge with a straight-set loss to No. 16 LSU Friday evening. Prior to the setback, the Gamecocks had won their last two matches, including a five-set home victory over Mississippi State in which they tallied an SEC-best 114 digs. Freshman Juliette Thevenin is fifth in the conference with 3.60 kills per set. She is followed on the team by Megan Laughlin and Cara Howley who average 2.51 and 2.36 kills per set, respectively.
The Razorbacks opened the weekend with a four-set loss to No. 1 Florida at Barnhill Arena. Arkansas’ game-two win was its first set victory against the Gators since the 2007 season. Norton and Stipanovich paced the team with 15 and 11 kills, respectively.
In addition to an interactive blog, live stats and other game-day features at ArkansasRazorbacks.com, the Arkansas-South Carolina match will be broadcast on KXUA 88.3 FM in Northwest Arkansas.