Lady'Back volleyball hosts Auburn Friday

FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas volleyball team continues Southeastern Conference action Friday hosting Auburn at 7:00 p.m. in Barnhill Arena. The Lady Razorbacks have turned their SEC season around after a 3-7 start and continue to climb in the league standings entering the weekend with a 14-8 overall record and 7-7 conference mark. They take on Auburn who, after defeating Arkansas on the road earlier this year, has posted a 12-13 overall record with a 4-10 SEC record. "We have played four great matches recently," said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. "We’re excited to be back at home. We lost to Auburn on the road and we know that they are a very good and disciplined team. We’re playing with so much more confidence right now that 15 days ago and I really think that will be a difference-maker in the match." Arkansas dropped five consecutive matches at the mid-way point of the double-round robin conference season but has rallied winning four tough matches in a row. The wins moved Arkansas from 10th in the SEC into a tie for fifth with Kentucky. In addition to battling the other teams in the league, the Lady’Backs have had their own issues with injury and illness with senior Kele Brewer missing last weekend’s matches. Arkansas has shuffled the lineup numerous times most recently inserting freshman Catherine Brewer and moving senior Amy Allison outside. "I was pleased with our ability to adapt on the road last week and play well," said Poole. "We showed a lot of confidence and maturity in handling that situation. Catherine played very well. She was a little nervous but did a great job. We were playing with two freshmen middles and a freshman setter on the road in the SEC. That’s a tall order in this conference." Arkansas has gotten big play from senior Denitza Koleva all season. Koleva has led Arkansas in kills in nearly every match this year and has been the go-to player when the Lady’Backs needed to put the ball down. Junior Jessica Dorrell moved back to her natural position while sophomore Christina Lawrence was asked to expand her role and play back row. Both players are improving statistically and will be important in this weekend’s matches. In addition to hosting Auburn, the Lady’Backs host No. 7 and conference-leading Florida (20-2, 13-1 SEC) Sunday at 1:30 p.m. The Lady’Backs then travel to No. 11 LSU Wednesday followed by the final home match of the season as Arkansas celebrates Senior Day against Alabama Nov. 12. For more information about Arkansas volleyball, log on to LADYBACKS.COM.