FAYETTEVILLE – Off its 2-0 road trip last weekend to open the conference schedule, the University of Arkansas volleyball team will play host to Missouri in its Southeastern Conference home opener Wednesday at Barnhill Arena. First serve of the midweek matchup is scheduled for 6 p.m. (CT) and will be televised by ESPNU as part of the network’s Wednesday Night Volleyball. The Razorbacks enter the match with a 9-4 overall record and a 2-0 mark in SEC play.
Wednesday’s match against Missouri (16-0/1-0 SEC) marks the Razorbacks’ fourth consecutive year playing on ESPNU and the first playing a team other than LSU. Arkansas is 2-1 overall in its previous three appearances and 1-0 in ESPNU matches played at Barnhill Arena, a straight-set win over LSU in 2011. Melissa Lee and Jennifer Hoffman will handle the play-by-play and color commentary duties, respectively.
Single-match tickets are $4 and are available for purchase one hour prior to the match at the South ticket window at Barnhill Arena. Fans 17 years and younger get in to all Arkansas volleyball matches for free. University of Arkansas students are also admitted free with a valid student ID and are asked to use the street-level entrance on Stadium Drive to enter the arena. There will also be free pizza for students in attendance.
For the first time since the 2003 season, Arkansas is 2-0 in conference play. The Razorbacks began SEC play with a pair of straight-set victories during their road trip to Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Arkansas posted a 26-24, 30-28, 25-18 win over the Rebels in the opener and followed with a 27-25, 25-21, 25-20 victory against the Bulldogs in Starkville. The team’s conference start also marks the first time since 2001 that Arkansas started SEC play with two road wins.
Arkansas is ranked among the nation’s top-50 teams in three statistical categories in this week’s release by the NCAA. The Razorbacks are 28th in blocks per set (2.63), 42nd in assists per set (12.89) and 43rd in kills per set (13.85). Individually, junior Meredith Hays is 22nd in kills per set (4.28) and 28th in points per set (4.74).
During the team’s SEC-opening weekend, Hays and senior Hayley Koop combined for 56 kills and a .368 hitting percentage. Hays registered 5.17 kills per set with a .353 hitting percentage while Koop averaged 4.17 kills per set to go along with a .388 hitting percentage.
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