FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas volleyball team begins its third week of league play Friday night with a home match against Alabama. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. (CT) at Barnhill Arena. The Razorbacks enter the weekend with an 11-5 overall record and a 4-1 mark in Southeastern Conference play. In the initial release of the NCAA RPI rankings, Arkansas is No. 16 in the country.
Admission is free for fans with football tickets to Saturday’s game against South Carolina. Single-match tickets are $4 otherwise and go on sale at the south ticket office one hour prior to the start of each match. During the season, UA students and fans 17 years and younger get into all Arkansas volleyball matches for free. University of Arkansas students attending matches this season are asked to use the street-level entrance on Stadium Drive to enter Barnhill Arena.
Friday’s match will be the 40th meeting between the two programs with Arkansas holding a 32-7 advantage in the all-time series. The teams played just once last year, a five-set win for the Razorbacks on their home floor at Barnhill. Arkansas has won seven straight in the overall series. The Razorbacks have also won 18 of the 20 matches played in Fayetteville.
Arkansas has won five of its last six matches, capping last weekend’s slate with a four-set victory (21-25, 29-27, 25-12, 25-16) over Auburn. The Razorbacks were down a set and faced four set points in the second before rallying past the Tigers for the win. Junior Meredith Hays led all players with 16 kills while freshman Breana Jones posted a career-best 12 kills to go along with a .500 hitting percentage.
For her week’s work behind the Arkansas block, senior libero Emily Helm was recognized Monday as the SEC Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this season and third time of her career. The Queen Creek, Ariz., native averaged 5.08 digs per set in three matches and collected a career-high 32 digs in the Razorbacks’ five-set win at South Carolina. Helm is the first player in the conference this season to earn two Defensive Player of the Week accolades.
Fans can follow Friday’s action with live stats, interactive blog and video stream at ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Alabama enters the match with a 13-4 record overall and a 1-2 tally in the SEC, most recently dropping a three-set decision at home to then-No. 3 Florida. Arkansas and Alabama will meet for a second time this season on Nov. 8 at Foster Auditorium in Tuscaloosa.
For more information on Arkansas volleyball, follow @RazorbackVB on Twitter.