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Lady’Back volleyball annouces 2006 schedule

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Lady’Back volleyball annouces 2006 schedule

Jump to schedule FAYETTEVILLE — Thirteen home dates, a revised Southeastern Conference slate and nine NCAA Tournament teams highlight the 2006 University of Arkansas volleyball schedule. The season opens the regular season with the first of three consecutive tournaments beginning Aug. 25-26 at Oklahoma where the Lady Razorbacks face Idaho, North Carolina and the host Sooners. UNC posted a 23-win season and was a NCAA Tournament participant last year. Arkansas hosts its own tournament the next weekend, welcoming tournament team Sacramento State along with Stephen F. Austin and Southeast Missouri State Aug. 31-Sept. 2. The Lady’Backs wrap up their pre-conference season with tournament action at Kansas Sept. 8-9, facing the Jayhawks and BYU both of whom earned spots in the NCAA Tournament last year. "We are very excited about our home tournament," said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. "All three teams are very competitive and are used to winning or playing at the top of their respected conferences. We will need to be on top of our game if we are going to have a successful weekend. Sac State was in the NCAA Tournament, Stephen F. Austin was the regular season champion in the Southland and Southeast Missouri State is one of the top teams in the Ohio Valley Conference. "North Carolina, Sacramento State, and BYU all won their conference championship last season and Kansas had a lot of youth on the floor and still made the NCAA Tournament," Poole continued. "Idaho was in the NCAA Tournament in 2004 and I would expect them to be back at that level this season. Oklahoma is bringing in their best recruiting class in years and are expected to make a big jump this season in the Big 12. When you add 10 matches in the SEC against teams that went to the NCAA Tournament, this is again one of the toughest schedules in the nation. We have been in the top three the last two years in the number of matches played against the Top 50 in the nation. I expect this season to be as good or better then what we have had the last two years. " The league coaches voted on the most radical change in the SEC schedule since Arkansas’ entry into the league and divisional play in 1994 with in a home-and-home series with each of the 11 members who have volleyball (Vanderbilt does not have volleyball). The format change also eliminated the SEC Tournament and results in the earliest start for the SEC regular season in conference history. "The SEC Tournament has been an exciting time for our program," said Poole. "We have been in the finals of the tournament in eight of our 12 years of existence. At the same time, with six teams going to the 2005 NCAA Tournament, I think it is time to move to a double round in the SEC. All of the top conferences in the nation have already been playing a double round with no tournament and so it made sense for us to move that direction. It will be exciting for the fans because they have a chance to watch every team in the conference come into Barnhill Arena this season." The Lady’Backs hit the road on the weekend of Sept. 15 to face Kentucky and Tennessee. The Wildcats made their first NCAA appearance in recent memory and the Lady Vols advanced to the semifinals before being eliminated. The home portion of the schedule heats up with five in a row as Barnhill Arena welcomes Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Mississippi and LSU Sept. 22-Oct. 4. Arkansas faces three NCAA Tournament teams in a row beginning with the home match with the Tigers and followed by matches at Alabama and national powerhouse Florida in early October. The season continues with a road match at Auburn, followed by home matches with Tennessee and much-improved Kentucky team, a team that defeated Arkansas twice during the regular season. The Lady’Backs travel to South Carolina, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi and Mississippi State and host Auburn, Florida and Alabama as the regular season concludes. “Every home match will be big this season," said Poole. "The SEC is going to be tough and our preseason schedule will be one of the best in the country. We can’t afford to give up matches at home. We need to take advantage of our home crowd and bring life back into Barnhill Arena. This arena was one of the top basketball playing facilities in the nation prior their move to Walton Arena. We have worked hard the last 12 years to build a volleyball program that Northwest Arkansas can be proud of. With the foundation in place, we now want to make Barnhill one of the toughest places in the country to play. " Tickets for the 2006 season are on sale now at the Lady Razorback Ticket Office. Please call 57-LBACK or 877-LADYBACK. Tickets will also available on-line after July 1, 2006, at LADYBACKS.COM.
2006 Arkansas Volleyball Schedule

AUGUST
Aug. 19Sat.ALUMNI MATCHBARNHILL ARENATBA
25-26Fri-SatOklahoma TournamentNorman, Okla.All Day
Arkansas, Idaho, North Carolina, Oklahoma
SEPTEMBER
31-2Th.-SatARKANSAS INVITATIONALBARNHILL ARENAAll Day
Arkansas, Sac. State, SFA, SEMO
8-9Fri.-Sat.Kansas TournamentLawrence, Kan.All Day
Arkansas, Brigham Young, Kansas
15Fri.at KENTUCKY*Lexington, Ky.6:00 pm
17Sun.at TENNESSEE*Knoxville , Tenn.12:30 pm
22Fri.GEORGIA*BARNHILL ARENA7:00 pm
24Sun.SOUTH CAROLINA*BARNHILL ARENA1:30 pm
29Fri.MISSISSIPPI STATE*BARNHILL ARENA7:00 pm
OCTOBER
1Sun.MISSISSIPPI*BARNHILL ARENA1:30 pm
4Wed.LSU*BARNHILL ARENA7:00 pm
6Fri.at ALABAMA*Tuscaloosa, Ala.7:00 pm
13Fri.at FLORIDA*Gainesville, Fla.6:00 pm
15Sun.at AUBURN*Auburn, Ala.1:30 pm
20Fri.TENNESSEE*BARNHILL ARENA7:00 pm
22Sun.KENTUCKY*BARNHILL ARENA1:30 pm
27Fri.at SOUTH CAROLINA*Columbia, SC6:00 pm
29Sun.at GEORGIA*Athens, Ga.1:00 pm
NOVEMBER
3FriAUBURN*BARNHILL ARENA7:00 pm
5Sun.FLORIDA*BARNHILL ARENA1:30 pm
8Wed.at LSU*Baton Rouge, La.7:00 pm
12Sun.ALABAMA*BARNHILL ARENA1:30 pm
17Fri.at MISSISSIPPI*Oxford, Miss.7:00 pm
19Sun.at MISSISSIPPI STATE*Starkville, Miss.1:30 pm
DECEMBER
N. 30-D. 3Thu.-Sun.NCAA 1st and 2nd RoundCampus SitesTBA
7-10Thu.-Sun.NCAA RegionalsCampus SitesTBA
14 & 16Thu. & Sat.NCAA ChampionshipOmaha, Neb.TBA


Sports Category : Volleyball (W)