FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas volleyball team returns to Southeastern Conference play hosting Tennessee in the first of three consecutive home matches as the season winds down.
Arkansas welcomes Tennessee Friday at 7:00 p.m. followed by a Sunday match with Kentucky at 1:00 p.m. Sunday’s match is Senior Day. The Lady’Backs conclude the 2007 season hosting non-conference Connecticut Saturday, Nov. 24, at 1:30 p.m.
"It’s really nice to play at home," said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. "Our three seniors are playing in their final matches and we have challenged them and the entire team to look at the last three matches as our post-season. We still have something to be excited about and that’s the pride of the program."
Arkansas enters the weekend with a 12-16 overall mark and a 6-12 SEC record after what could be called an "up and down" season. The Lady’Backs are in the midst of another up swing picking up a pair of big league road wins at Auburn and at Georgia last weekend. Both matches were come-from-behind efforts for Arkansas.
"This team continues to surprise me," said Poole. "We’ve had our highs and lows but we are still getting better, learning and growing. As a team, we are still engaged in trying to be better and they all continue to work hard."
Three seniors are playing in their final SEC weekend. Seniors Jessica Dorrell, Ashley Miller and Kelli Cole have paced Arkansas all year and Poole knows this weekend will be no exception.
"It’s easy for seniors to check out at this point of the season," he said, "but that has not been the case with Jess, Ashley and Kelli. They have continued to show leadership and maturity and have been good mentors for the younger players."
Tennessee, meanwhile, finds themselves having a season similar to that of the Lady Razorbacks. The Lady Vols are 10-17 overall and 5-14 in the SEC and are just two seasons removed from an NCAA Final Four appearance. Arkansas defeated Tennessee in Knoxville earlier this season.
The Lady’Backs’ road win at Tennessee ended a school-record eight-match losing streak. The match was back-and-forth as the teams alternated game wins before Arkansas came away with a 15-8 win in game five.
This weekend’s matches will have live audio and video streamed at LADYBACKS.COM. For tickets or more information please call the Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK.