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UA volleyball opens at home Friday

BY ANDRES FOCIL
UA volleyball opens at home Friday

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas volleyball coach Chris Poole opens up his 14th season as the Lady Razorbacks open the 2007 season hosting the Arkansas Clarion Inn Invitational Friday and Saturday. The Lady Razorbacks welcome Georgia Tech, Pepperdine and Pittsburgh for a six-match round robin with Arkansas opening Friday at 7:00 p.m. against Georgia Tech. "We’re excited to be back at it and to open at home," said Poole. "We feel like we need to play another team and see how we respond." Arkansas has an interesting blend of old and new on this year’s team with 10 returners and six newcomers. The numbers can be deceiving as Poole still views the team as young, and this weekend’s event going a long way toward answering questions about starting positions. "We have a lot of depth this year," said Poole. "And we have a lot of players who are fighting for playing time. Our setter situation is probably the biggest competition right now. We have three setters all of whom have started at Arkansas. I’m leaning toward a 6-2 but we could run a 5-1 at some point." The Lady Razorbacks return junior Caira Daugherty and sophomore Lindsay Scanlan both of whom shared the setting duties last year. Also returning is junior Nicole Martin after a redshirt season in 2006. "We’re a bit inexperienced at the middle and on the left side," said Poole. "We are most solid on the right with Jessie (Jessica Dorrell) and Christina (Lawrence) both returning. Ashley (Miller) also returns to anchor the libero position." Senior Kelli Cole will see time as a defensive specialist and back row player for Arkansas as well. Arkansas’ middles showed talent in the preseason practices, but the foursome lack a lot of collegiate playing time. Sophomores Destiny Clark and Catherine Fowler both return with Cark a regular starter for Arkansas last year. But out-of-season surgery has held her out of full workouts and her return is day-to-day. Fowler had a good spring and played in Europe in the late summer with a United States developmental team but a strain suffered in a scrimmage last weekend will likely sideline her for the opener. Junior transfer Yun Tang and freshman Sarah Freudenrich will both get a lot of court time this weekend. Arkansas is also relying on two relatively young players on the left side. Sophomore Kristin Seaton and freshman Heather Royal will both have to readjust to the game pace this weekend. Seaton was a role player for Arkansas in 2005 but redshirted the 2006 season with injuries suffered in an accident. Royal also redshirted last season before transferring to Arkansas. The Arkansas Clarion Inn Invitational gets underway at 12:00 p.m. Friday with Georgia Tech taking on Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh meets Pepperdine at 5:00 p.m., followed by the Arkansas-Georgia Tech match at 7:00 p.m. Saturday’s schedule opens with Arkansas-Pittsburgh at 12:-00 p.m., Pepperdine-Georgia Tech at 2:00 p.m. and concludes with Arkansas-Pepperdine at 7:00 p.m. For more information, a complete season schedule or tickets, please log onto LADYBACKS.COM or call the Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK or toll free at 877-LADYBACK.



Sports Category : Volleyball (W)