FAYETTEVILLE – Head coach Robert Pulliza and the University of Arkansas volleyball team have announced the schedule for the 2011 season. During the upcoming season, the Razorbacks are set to host 14 home matches and play nine teams that advanced to last year’s NCAA Tournament. Arkansas begins its season Aug. 26-27 with its annual home tournament.
"We’re excited about this schedule because of the challenges its presents and how it sets up for us to contend for the postseason," Pulliza said. "As always, the SEC speaks for itself because of the quality opponents throughout the conference. Last year, six teams (from the SEC) made it to the NCAA Tournament and we hope to be among that group this year."
The Razorbacks’ non-conference slate features three tournaments, including the Arkansas Invitational (Aug. 26-27),Deacon Invitational(Sept. 2-3) and West Point Challenge (Sept. 9 and 11). Joining Arkansas at its home tournament are Colorado State, Middle Tennessee and McNeese State. Colorado State and Middle Tennessee both participated in the NCAA Tournament last season.
The team takes its first road trip of the season with the Wake Forest event and faces a tournament field of Charleston Southern, Georgetown and host Demon Deacons. In New York at West Point, the Razorbacks are set to play Dartmouth, the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and host Army. The rest of Arkansas’ non-conference schedule features matches against regional foes Oral Roberts and Oklahoma, another NCAA Tournament team.
Arkansas begins the Southeastern Conference portion of its season on the road at Alabama and Ole Miss. As has been the case since 2006, the SEC season is played in double round-robin format with each team playing every other team twice, once at home and once on the road.
The Razorbacks begin their home SEC schedule with three straight at Barnhill Arena against Mississippi State, Kentucky and Tennessee. After a weekend away at defending SEC champion Florida and South Carolina, the team returns home for a five-match home stand, its longest of the season. Four of the five opponents during that stretch are from the Western Division of the conference.
Six of Arkansas’ final eight matches of the regular season come on the road with the last four against NCAA Tournament teams from last season. The Razorbacks’ close out their home matches Nov. 13 against the Gators. The regular season ends with road contests at Tennessee, Kentucky and LSU.
The postseason begins during the first weekend of December with the first and second rounds of the 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championships. The regional round of the national tournament will be held Dec. 9-10 at the four pre-determined sites in Gainesville, Fla.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Lexington, Ky. The season comes to a close Dec. 15 and 17 with the national semifinal and title game in San Antonio, Texas.
Download: 2011 Volleyball Schedule.pdf