KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Arkansas volleyball team will close out is weekend road trip with a Sunday afternoon match at No. 21 Tennessee. First serve of the Southeastern Conference contest is scheduled for 1 p.m. (CT) at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn. The match will be televised by Comcast and Cox Sports (Ch. 119 in Northwest Arkansas) with Justin Cazana and Maria Taylor handling the commentary duties.
Arkansas (13-14, 7-9 SEC) enters the match off a three-set loss at Kentucky in its last match. In the first meeting this season between the Razorbacks and Tennessee, the Lady Vols came away with a five-set victory at Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville. Arkansas had two match points in the fifth set before UT rallied for the win. Despite the setback, the Razorbacks still own a 14-13 advantage in the all-time series. The team’s last win in Knoxville came during the 2007 season.
In the Razorbacks’ last match, Jasmine Norton led the team with a match-high 14 kills and added nine digs against Kentucky. With her offensive output, the Rowlett, Texas, native moved into 14th place on the program’s all-time kills list, surpassing the 900-kill mark on the way. Also looking to make a move up the career kills list, Kelli Stipanovich is 10 shy of tying former All-American Sara Kincaid (2002-03) for 17th place. The junior outside hitter currently has 853 career kills.
The loss at Kentucky snapped Arkansas’ four-match winning streak, its longest conference winning streak since the 2006 season and its longest since starting this season with a 5-0 record. Arkansas’ overall and conference win totals equal its marks from the 2009 season and any further improvement over the next four matches of the regular season will be a high for the team under head coach Robert Pulliza.
Tennessee (21-6, 12-5 SEC) dropped its last match in four sets to No. 15 LSU. The loss broke up the Lady Vols’ six-match winning streak and was just the team’s second setback on its home court this season. On the season, UT is hitting .293 as a team and holding its opponents to a .181 hitting percentage, the third-lowest figure in the SEC. Nikki Fowler leads the team with 3.60 kills per set while Leah Hinkey is fifth in the conference with her .371 hitting percentage.
In addition to Sunday’s television coverage, the match will also be broadcast on KXUA 88.3 FM in Northwest Arkansas. Fans can also follow the action with the audio stream, interactive blog and live stats available at ArkansasRazorbacks.com.