FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas volleyball team returns to its home floor Tuesday for a match against Oral Roberts. First serve of the midweek date is scheduled for 7 p.m. (CT) at Barnhill Arena. The Razorbacks enter the match with a 2-1 record after the season-opening Arkansas Invitational.
"This will be a big match for us," head coach Robert Pulliza said. "We’re coming off an emotional weekend where we played a lot of volleyball and we get two days to bounce back. The good thing is we’ll be playing at home. We had a five-set battle with them last year (in Tulsa) and we’ll expect nothing different from them this year."
During the Arkansas Invitational, the Razorbacks picked up straight-set wins over McNeese State and Middle Tennessee and had a setback to No. 15 Colorado State. For their weekend performances, Roslandy Acosta, Kasey Heckelman and Raymariely Santos named to the all-tournament team. Through the opening weekend of the 2011 season, Heckelman is second in the SEC with a .531 hitting percentage.
As a team, Arkansas is hitting .228 under the direction of Santos at the setter position. Against McNeese, the Razorbacks posted a .421 hitting percentage, the eighth-best team effort in program history. The offensive attack was balanced throughout the weekend with four players-Acosta, Heckelman, Jasmine Norton and Kelli Stipanovich- averaging at least two kills per set.
Oral Roberts (0-3) opened its season with losses to Missouri State, SMU and No. 16 Oklahoma at the Nike Invitational in Norman, Okla. The Golden Eagles are led offensively by Sheina Fernandes and her 2.90 kills per set. Oral Roberts was picked to finish sixth in the 2011 Summit League Preseason Poll.
Last season, Norton had 20 kills to lead the way for the Razorbacks as they rallied past ORU for a five-set win in Tulsa. Stipanovich added 11 kills and Hayley Koop came off the bench to tally 12 kills in the match. Arkansas leads the all-time series with Oral Roberts, 11-5. The Razorbacks have won the past 11 meetings and are 9-2 against ORU in Fayetteville.
The first 250 fans at Barnhill Arena will receive a free red Razorback Volleyball license plate holder. For more information regarding Razorback volleyball or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.