FAYETTEVILLE — The 2005 University of Arkansas volleyball season officially begins Wednesday as 13 Lady Razorbacks report for the first day of practice in Barnhill Arena. Arkansas returns to the court after a productive summer to beginning the grueling two-a-day practice schedule. The Lady’Backs take the floor from 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m., and return from 2:30-5:30 p.m., until classes begin in later this month. "I’m always excited to get back to our training," said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. "I anticipate some strong competition at all positions. We have a lot of players that are very close in talent and that will make for some very intense practices. This will be one of the toughest years I have ever had when it comes to actually picking a starting line-up. At the same time, it gives us a lot of options and the potential to throw a lot of different things at our opponents." Poole’s optimism rides on the shoulders of a pair of seniors, Karla Crose and Iva Docekalova. Crose is one of the team’s leading blockers from a year ago and Docekalova shared time as a setter and defensive specialist. Both players were on the court for all of Arkansas’ contests a year ago. Helping the duo out this season are four athletes who have been recognized by the Southeastern Conference. Junior Kele Brewer earned SEC all-tournament team honors last year and teamed with junior Denitza Koleva on the all-freshman team the previous season. Sophomores Ashley Miller and Jessica Dorrell were both SEC freshman team selections in 2004. Middle blocker Amy Allison and defensive specialist Kelli Cole return for Arkansas as well. Allison posted career-best numbers as a sophomore while Cole was a role player for the Lady’Backs last year. Arkansas welcomes one of its largest groups of newcomers this year headlined by sophomores Christina Lawrence and Nicole Martin. Lawrence redshirted the 2004 season and Martin transferred to Arkansas from Washington State where she was the team’s starting setter. Both have trained with the team this spring. Also joining the Lady’Backs this fall are freshmen Kristin Seaton, Caira Daugherty and Destiny Clark. Seaton, a Fort Smith, Ark., native, was MVP of the Arkansas all-star match while Daugherty (Missouri) and Clark (Kansas) join the Lady’Backs from neighboring states. Arkansas faces a challenging schedule this year opening the year with back-to-back home tournaments. The Arkansas Invitational Aug. 26-27, features Belmont, Memphis and North Texas, while the C&C Services Invitational welcomes Kansas State, Nicholls State and Utah State, Sept. 2-3. The Lady’Backs are away from Barnhill Arena for the Results Advertising Classic in Springfield, Mo., Sept. 9-10, followed by the San Diego Invitational Sept. 16-17. Arkansas returns home hosting ninth-ranked Tennessee Sept. 23, as Southeastern Conference action begins. For more information and a complete schedule, please contact the Lady Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK or log on to LADYBACKS.COM.