FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas volleyball team has been picked to finish third in the Southeastern Conference Western Division with Thursday’s release of the league’s preseason coaches poll. The Razorbacks begin their 2013 season Aug. 30-31 with the Arkansas Invitational at Barnhill Arena. The team’s conference schedule begins Sept. 27 with a road match at Ole Miss.
Under the direction of sixth-year head coach Robert Pulliza, Arkansas received 36 points in the Western Division vote and are positioned behind LSU and Texas A&M which tied for the top spot in the division. The Razorbacks are followed in the preseason poll by Auburn, Alabama, Ole Miss and Mississippi State, respectively. Reigning SEC champion Florida was selected as the conference’s preseason favorite.
Arkansas returns nine letterwinners from last season’s team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The Razorbacks will be led by its six-member senior class of Emily Helm, Hayley Koop, Avery Lewis, Clarissa Pavey, Raymariely Santos and Ashley Vazquez. The team also welcomes back sophomores Monica Bollinger, Liz Fortado and Summer Morgan. Fortado was a member of last year’s SEC All-Freshman Team.
The Razorbacks will also have redshirt freshmen Ana Sofia Jusino and Adrien Wohlschlaeger and an upperclassman addition in junior transfer Meredith Hays who amassed 986 kills and was a two-time All-WAC performer at New Mexico State. Arkansas’ freshman class will feature Barbara Dapic, Blakelee Dunagin, Danielle Harbin, Breana Jones, Megan Mollett and Savannah Voelzke. The Razorbacks’ recruiting class was the top-rated group among SEC teams and the No. 16 class overall in the country.
The team reports to campus Aug. 11 with the first practice of the season set for Monday, Aug. 12. During the 2013 campaign, Arkansas will have 16 home matches and play nine teams-Florida, Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, Northern Colorado, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Tulsa-that advanced to last year’s NCAA Tournament.
Season tickets for the 2013 Arkansas volleyball season are now on sale through the Razorback Ticket Center located next to Baum Stadium and online at ArkansasRazorbacks.com. There are two options for season ticket packages with reserved seating at $50 and general admission at $40. For more information and to purchase season tickets for the upcoming season, call 1-800-982-HOGS (4647).
For more information on Arkansas volleyball, follow @RazorbackVB on Twitter.