FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – With its non-conference schedule complete, the University of Arkansas volleyball team turns its attention to SEC play which begins Wednesday with a road match at LSU. First serve of the conference opener is scheduled for 8 p.m. (CT) and will be televised on ESPNU, live from the Maravich Center in Baton Rouge. The Razorbacks carry a 10-2 record into the midweek matchup.
Arkansas has won six of seven SEC openers under eighth-year head coach Robert Pulliza including three road wins in that stretch. Overall, the Razorbacks are 12-9 in conference openers. Arkansas owns a 25-18 advantage in the all-time series with LSU (4-7) and has an 11-10 lead in matches played on the Tigers’ home court. The Razorbacks are looking to break a three-match slide against LSU.
In the team’s last outing, the Razorbacks posted a pair of top-30 wins with five-set victories over then-No. 11 Wisconsin and Kansas State at the Creighton Classic last weekend. Based on that performance, Arkansas is receiving votes in this week’s AVCA coaches’ poll for the first time since the first week of the 2014 season. The Razorbacks’ 10 non-conference wins are tied for the most by the program entering SEC play.
Individually, senior Chanell Clark-Bibbs and freshman Okiana Valle were both recognized for their efforts at the Creighton Classic. Clark-Bibbs earned all-tournament accolades after hitting .443 with 3.85 kills per set and 1.31 blocks per set while Valle was named the SEC Freshman and Player of the Week after a weekend highlighted by a 26-dig performance against Kansas State and averaging 3.92 digs per set.
Through the first four weeks of the season, Arkansas ranks 15th in the NCAA with its .280 hitting percentage and 45th in the country with 12.98 assists per set. The offense is directed by junior Adrien Wohlschlaeger who is 33rd among the nation’s setters with 11.00 assists per set. Clark-Bibbs begins SEC play ranked 12th in the nation with her .441 hitting percentage while junior Pilar Victoria is tied for 25th among NCAA attackers with 4.28 kills per set and 28th with 4.81 points per set.
In addition to ESPNU broadcast of Wednesday’s SEC opener at LSU, fans can follow online with the live stream available through SECNetwork.com, ESPN3.com or the WatchESPN app.
Beginning with last weekend’s Creighton Classic, the Razorbacks are in the middle of a stretch that features seven-straight matches against teams that played in last year’s NCAA Tournament. Following Wednesday’s match, Arkansas next face Texas A&M in a Sunday matchup in College Station. The Razorbacks’ SEC home opener is Oct. 4 against No. 5 Florida at 3 p.m. (CT) inside Barnhill Arena.
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