FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – For a second-consecutive season, the University of Arkansas volleyball team has been picked to finish fifth in the Southeastern Conference with Wednesday’s release of the league’s 2016 Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Individually, senior outside hitter Pilar Victoria was selected by the head coaches around the conference for a spot on the Preseason All-SEC Team.
“Here we go. With the season soon upon us, the preseason poll serves to heighten our excitement,” head coach Jason Watson said. “There is a lot of work left for us to do. It’s good work and our program is encouraged by the start we have made to date. The SEC season will test us. It’s a competitive league with the potential to send multiple teams to the NCAA Tournament. I know it’s our goal to be one of those teams come December.”
Heading into its first season under Watson’s direction, Arkansas picked up 93 points in the preseason poll, trailing only the SEC’s four NCAA Tournament participants last year in Texas A&M (137), Florida (131), Kentucky (123) and Missouri (119). The Aggies are the defending conference champion and come to Barnhill Arena for an Oct. 5 matchup that will be televised on ESPNU.
During an All-SEC campaign in 2015, Victoria led the conference and was 10th in the NCAA with a single-season program record 4.61 kills per set. She also led the SEC and was 15th in the nation with 5.10 points per set. The Caguas, Puerto Rico, native registered three 30-kill performances, all during league play and finished the season with 525 kills becoming the ninth Razorback in program history to reach 500 kills in a single season.
The Razorbacks open their conference slate Sept. 25 with a road match at LSU and host Missouri on Sept. 30 in their SEC home opener. Fans can get their first look at Arkansas volleyball when the team hosts its annual Red-White scrimmage this Saturday, Aug. 20 at 1 p.m. (CT) at Barnhill Arena. The event is free and open to the public with a post-scrimmage clinic to follow for children in eighth grade and under.
Season tickets are available for purchase through the Razorback Ticket Center with pricing options beginning at $40. Each ticket package includes a free team knit hat. Arkansas’ 12-match home slate features one non-conference tournament and nine Southeastern Conference matchups. Call 800-982-HOGS (4647) or buy tickets online.
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