FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas volleyball team concluded a successful first day of practice under the watchful eye of the coaches Tuesday in Barnhill Arena.
The Lady Razorbacks officially opened the 2004 season with photos and physicals Monday beginning the first day of two-a-day practices Tuesday. Arkansas will continue two-a-days until the third week of August.
"It’s been a good first day," said associate head coach Holly Watts. "Everyone looks pretty good and we’re jumping well on day one. For us, the first couple of days are about timing, team chemistry and ball control. That’s where we’ve started today and those are the things we’ll be concentrating on in the immediate future."
Arkansas‘ future looks to be a good one in 2004. The Lady Razorbacks return the services of three all-Southeastern Conference performers headlined by lone senior Jennifer Haaser.
The Fort Smith, Ark., product is a two-time all-SEC selection and ranked as one of the conference and the countries leading blockers last year. She is aided by the SEC Co-Freshman of the Year Denitza Koleva and all-freshman team selection Kele Brewer.
The trio combine giving Arkansas one of the strongest returning classes in the league this year.
Also returning for the Lady Razorbacks is junior middle Karla Crose, junior libero Chelsey Warmack, junior setter Iva Docekalova and sophomore middle Amy Allison.
Docekalova came to Arkansas with several seasons of international setting experience but has only limited time as the team’s setter in her first two seasons. Crose and Allison will be relied upon to fill the big shoes of departing American Volleyball Coaches Association Honorable Mention All-American Sara Kincaid.
Also stepping in to an expanded role is Harrison, Ark., native Warmack. Warmack served as the team’s defensive specialist last year but moves to libero this season. Thanks to a rule change allowing liberos to serve, Warmack will be both a defensive and serving threat.
Arkansas welcomes six newcomers in 2004 including a pair of Arkansasans in Kelli Cole (Russellville) and Ashley Wichman (Jonesboro). Also joining the Lady Razorbacks is Jessica Dorrell (Aledo, Texas), Christina Lawrence (Sullivan, Mo.), Ashley Miller (Vacaville, Calif.) and Amanda Eskridge (Rowlett, Texas).
The Lady Razorbacks host Kansas Sept. 1, at 7:00 p.m., in Barnhill Arena as non-conference action begins. For more information and tickets please call the Lady Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK or log on to www.ladybacks.com.