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Volleyball travels East this weekend

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Volleyball travels East this weekend

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas volleyball team travels East facing Kentucky and Tennessee in Southeastern Conference action this weekend. Arkansas (5-12, 2-5 SEC) opens play at No. 23 Kentucky (16-3, 7-1 SEC) Friday at 6 p.m. The match in Lexington marks the return of Razorback head coach Robert Pulliza to his former university. The Razorbacks depart Lexington for Knoxville, Tenn., where they take on the Lady Vols (10-8, 4-4 SEC) Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Both matches will air live in the Northwest Arkansas area on KXUA, 88.3 FM and on-line at ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Arkansas is coming off its second league win Sunday in which the Razorbacks handled Mississippi State in three sets. “It was exciting to win Sunday,” said Pulliza. “We really played ‘Arkansas volleyball’ from beginning to end and that’s exciting for the staff to see. We have a talented team but we’ve struggled to play consistently and that’s been the difference in the wins and losses. We’re looking forward to the next three matches and we want to keep moving forward and play really good ball.” Arkansas has a rare mid-week match at Ole Miss next Wednesday as SEC action continues. As for his return to Lexington, Pulliza is excited but ready for business. “It’ll be fun to go back to Lexington,” he said, “but it’s like any other road match in the SEC. We’re going to treat it the same as any other match.” The Razorbacks have relied heavily on the leadership of senior Christina Lawrence and the hard-hitting of freshman Kelli Stipanovich for much of the season. But Arkansas got a punch in the arm from senior Yun Tang and sophomore Hillary McCormick last weekend. Tang recorded a career-best 10 kills in the win over State and hit .412 for the weekend series. McCormick stepped in at middle and was solid for the Razorbacks. “We’ve moved Hillary from the right side to the left side to the middle,” said Pulliza, “and she was a last-minute coaching decision. She had a great weekend and I was very excited for her. “Yun also played really well,” Pulliza continued. “She’s one of the hardest workers I’ve ever coached and it was exciting to see her hard work pay off.” Arkansas will need some offense from sophomore Heather Royal and junior Kristin Seaton this weekend as well. Both have battled recent hand injuries but both will be in the lineup this weekend. The Razorbacks return to Barnhill Arena for a single match against Auburn Sunday, Oct. 26, as teams work through the SEC schedule for the second time.



Sports Category : Volleyball (W)