WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.– The University of Arkansas volleyball team returns to action this weekend with the Deacon Invitational in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Razorbacks will be joined in the tournament by Charleston Southern, Georgetown and host Wake Forest. Arkansas (2-2) opens play Friday with matches against CSU and Wake Forest and closes out the weekend Saturday against the Hoyas.
"I think we’ll be fine on the road," head coach Robert Pulliza said. "We just have to get into our travel routine and get used to being away from home. We have a good, mature team and being on the road will be good for us as we get deeper into the season and closer to conference play."
After opening its season with four wins at Barnhill Arena, Arkansas will play its next nine matches on the road. The Razorbacks return home Sept. 23 with a conference matchup against Mississippi State.
In their last outing, the Razorbacks dropped a five-set decision to Oral Roberts at Barnhill Arena despite a career-best performance from Kelli Stipanovich. The Razorback senior tallied 30 kills, 14 digs and seven total blocks. She is the first Arkansas player to reach the 30-kill mark since Jessica Dorrell in 2007.
Entering the weekend, Stipanovich is fifth in the Southeastern Conference with 3.86 kills per set, while Kasey Heckelman is third in the conference with her .429 hitting percentage. The Razorbacks have two players-Janeliss Torres-Lopez and Charmaine Whitmore-ranked in the top 10 for blocks in the SEC. As a team, Arkansas is the top blocking team (2.64 b/s) in the conference.
Against this weekend’s tournament field, the Razorbacks have only faced Georgetown once. The two teams met in the first round of the 1999 NCAA Tournament in Long Beach, Calif., with Arkansas coming away with a four-set victory. The team will be matched up with Charleston Southern and Wake Forest for the first time in program history.
Follow along the weekend’s action with an audio stream, interactive blog and live stats and for more information regarding Razorback volleyball or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Download: Match Notes 3_Deacon Invitational.pdf