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Lady’Backs open season at Oklahoma

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Lady’Backs open season at Oklahoma

FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas volleyball team opens the 2006 season traveling to Norman, Okla., for the Oklahoma Invitational Friday and Saturday. Arkansas opens tournament action facing Idaho in the first match at noon Friday. The Lady’Backs take on host Oklahoma at 7:00 p.m., followed by a 2:00 p.m., match with NCAA Tournament participant North Carolina on Saturday as tournament play continues. "We’re very excited to be playing this weekend," said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. "We feel like we need to get out on the court and see what we can do. We have yet to have all of the players in practice this year. Individually, we’re seeing some good things but it’s going to take a little time to see what were capable of." Arkansas has an experienced group of hitters returning but the team is still considered "young" by some, primarily because of the question mark at the setting position. Sophomore Caira Daugherty and freshman Lindsay Scanlan will both vie for playing time as the team’s setter but neither have much collegiate experience. Seniors Amy Allison, Kele Brewer and Dentiza Koleva are expected to again lead the team but all three have missed practices in the pre-season due to injury. Allison has battled back problems while Koleva had and infected toe. Both are back on the court and are expected to play this weekend. Brewer has been sidelined by s sore foot and is listed as day-to-day. Sophomore Christina Lawrence is also day-to-day after a pre-season knee injury. Juniors Jessica Dorrell and Ashley Miller will also be impactful players for Arkansas this year. "Jess really stepped up late in the season and lead us in a lot of matches," said Poole. "And Ashley is one of the best defensive players in the country. She’ll shore up the defense." Arkansas will need a couple of first-year players in middle blocker Destiny Clark and hitter Catherine Fowler to contribute early in the season. "I have total confidence in the players and in the team," said Poole, "but at the same time I realize there isn’t a lot of team chemistry yet. We’re going to have to play to our strengths and have some individuals play well right away. The Lady Razorbacks return to Fayetteville to open the home portion of the 2006 schedule hosting the Arkansas Invitational Aug. 31-Sept. 2. For more information and tickets please call the Lady Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK or log on to LADYBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Volleyball (W)