FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Beginning a stretch of seven-consecutive matches against teams that played in last year’s NCAA Tournament, the University of Arkansas volleyball team closes out its non-conference slate this weekend at the Creighton Classic in Omaha, Neb. The Razorbacks begin play Friday at 6 p.m. (CT) against host Creighton with additional matches set for Saturday against Kansas State and No. 11 Wisconsin.
Arkansas enters the weekend with an 8-1 record and the winner of six matches in row, tied for the longest winning streak under head coach Robert Pulliza. The team is coming off an undefeated run through the Razorback Invitational with victories over Northwestern State, Southeast Missouri and UT Arlington. Arkansas last played Creighton, Friday evening’s opponent, in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament in Lawrence, Kan.
Through the first three weeks of the season, the Razorbacks are one of just one three teams (Penn State, Washington) to be ranked top 10 nationally in both hitting percentage and opponent hitting percentage. Arkansas is 10th in both categories with figures of .297 and .120, respectively. Individually, senior Chanell Clark-Bibbs is 19th in the nation with her .440 hitting percentage while junior transfer Pilar Victoria is tied for 25th among NCAA attackers with 4.33 kills per set.
After averaging 12.33 assists per set and setting the Razorbacks to a .327 hitting percentage last weekend, junior Adrien Wohlschlaeger was named the SEC Setter of the Week (Sept. 14). She had a career-high 44 assists in Arkansas’ sweep of UT Arlington and enters the Creighton Classic with a 5-0 mark as the team’s starting setter. Junior Barbara Dapic also established a career high in the win against UTA with 12 kills, improving upon her previous best of 11 kills which she tallied against Creighton in 2013.
Arkansas tallied 19 aces last weekend during the Razorback Invitational including a season-high eight service winners in a straight-set win over Northwestern State. The team has registered at least four aces in four of its past five matches. Clark-Bibbs led the way with six aces last weekend, followed closely by four each from Dapic and Okiana Valle. Clark-Bibbs has at least one ace in four-consecutive matches.
Following the Creighton Classic, the Razorbacks begin their SEC schedule with back-to-back road matches at LSU (Sept. 23) and Texas A&M (Sept. 27). The conference opener in Baton Rouge will be televised on ESPNU at 8 p.m. Arkansas’ next home match is set for Oct. 4 against fifth-ranked Florida.
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