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Lady’Backs ready on the eve of the NCAA Tournament

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Lady’Backs ready on the eve of the NCAA Tournament

FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas volleyball team is ready to play on the eve of the NCAA Tournament in Barnhill Arena. Arkansas hosts first and second round matches Friday and Saturday opening tournament play with Missouri State at 5:00 p.m. Friday. Thirteenth-seed Oklahoma faces Oral Roberts in the 7:00 p.m. match that evening. The winners meet in second round action Saturday at 7:00 p.m. "We’ve had a very intense week," said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. "Our selection as a host is a mixture of a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck and we consider ourselves fortunate to be in this position. I’m not surprised at the teams who are here and it’s going to be a great weekend for volleyball. This is one of the most balanced regions in the country and all three matches will be fun to watch." The Lady Razorback senior class is the first in the 13-year history of the program to reach the NCAA Tournament all four seasons. Seniors Amy Allison, Kele Brewer and Denitza Koleva account for more than half of Arkansas’ offense and have been leaders on and off the court this year. Arkansas (16-12 overall) opens play with Missouri State (26-8) in the first match Friday. The rivalry between Arkansas and Missouri State dates back t the first meeting in 1995 and the series advantage is held by Arkansas 9-2. But the Bears have won two of the last four meetings and are a much-improved team. "Missouri State does a lot of things right," said Poole. "They are a very good serving team and they dig a lot of balls. Some of their strengths are things that have been problems for us all season." In addition to the opponent on the other side of the net, Arkansas has to battle bad weather, three home basketball games and the SEC and Big 12 football championships. "It’s a busy weekend," said Poole. "I hope that the Razorback faithful can find time to come out and support us here in the stands. Our crowd makes all the difference and it’s great to look up and see all of those people hear." Tickets for both Friday and Saturday’s matches are on sale at the Lady Razorback Ticket Office. Call 57-LBACK or log on to LADYBACKS.COM for more information.



Sports Category : Volleyball (W)