Arkansas volleyball opens SEC play at Auburn

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas volleyball team begins Southeastern Conference play this weekend with a single match at Auburn Friday at 6 p.m. Arkansas (3-7) also begins its 2008 radio schedule against the Tigers (5-6) with Friday’s match airing live on KXUA, 88.3 FM in the Northwest Arkansas area. The match can also be heard on the internet at “We’re excited to open SEC play,” said Arkansas head coach Robert Pulliza. “This team has been working very hard and things continue to come together for us on the court. The staff is excited to see the next step against a good league opponent.” The Tigers are out to a solid 5-6 start on the year. Auburn is young this season with just three upperclassmen and they’ve been changing the lineup frequently in the non-conference schedule. “Auburn has presented us with some scouting challenges,” said Pulliza. “We are really trying to focus more on tendencies instead of specific players.” Several specific players have been stepping up for Arkansas recently. Senior Christina Lawrence and freshman Kelli Stipanovich, both of whom earned all-tournament team honors last weekend. “Kelli has been great,” said Pulliza. “She continues to learn and get better each time she plays or practices. She has a great work ethic and pushes everyone to be better. “Christina is our senior leader,” Pulliza continued. “She’s playing hard and wants to go out on a high note this year.” Arkansas’ single match is rare and happens only one other time this year. The Razorbacks face Auburn Friday and the Tigers are the lone SEC team without a travel partner. Although Auburn plays Sunday, Arkansas is off. The Razorbacks host Auburn in a Sunday match later in the year and Arkansas will be idle Friday. The Razorbacks return to Fayetteville and begin preparation for Florida and South Carolina Sept. 26 and 28, respectively. For more information about Arkansas volleyball, log on to