Photo Courtesy: UA Athletics (Walt Beazley)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (UCA) - The University of Arkansas volleyball team closes out its non-conference schedule with this weekend's Razorback Invitational, beginning Friday and running through Saturday. The Razorbacks will host their second home tournament of the season and welcome Kansas State and Saint Louis to Barnhill Arena. Arkansas enters the weekend with a 6-3 record this season.
The Razorbacks open their weekend Friday at 7 p.m. (CT) against Kansas State (9-1), the seventh meeting between the two programs and the first since the 2007 season. Arkansas will wrap its weekend Saturday with a 7 p.m. matchup against Saint Louis, the first meeting between the two since the 2005 season and fourth overall.
"The season is moving really fast," head coach Robert Pulliza said. "I think our team has done a pretty good job of staying in the moment and trying to get better week after week. We just have to keep building on what we've done and get better this week during practice so that we can be at our best this weekend."
The first 1,000 fans in attendance to Friday's match against the Wildcats will receive a free t-shirt. Single-match tickets are $4 and are available for purchase one hour prior to the match at the South ticket window at Barnhill Arena. Fans 17 years and younger get in to all Arkansas volleyball matches for free. University of Arkansas students are also admitted free with a valid student ID and are asked to use the street-level entrance on Stadium Drive to enter the arena.
For Saturday's match, Arkansas faculty and staff will receive a voucher redeemable for two free tickets and two free popcorns. Additionally, students who have purchased an Access Pass for the 2013-14 season can pick up their Trough t-shirt at the Razorbacks' match Saturday against Saint Louis.
Last weekend, the Razorbacks posted a 2-1 record to claim the tournament title at the Golden Hurricane Classic in Tulsa. Arkansas collected a pair of wins over Northern Colorado and host Tulsa, two teams that advanced to last year's NCAA Tournament. Junior Meredith Hays was named the tournament MVP while seniors Emily Helm and Raymariely Santos earned all-tournament honors. In Friday's win over Tulsa, Santos became the fourth player in program history to record a triple-double performance.
Hays enters the weekend ranked 16th in the NCAA with 4.38 kills per set. She is also 26th in the nation with 4.79 points per game. Collectively, the Razorbacks are No. 38 in the nation with 2.62 blocks per set anchored by middle blockers Ana Sofia Jusino (1.18 b/s) and Summer Morgan (1.21 b/s).