Lady'Back volleyball hosts No. 25 Tennessee Friday
Jump toFact Sheet FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas volleyball team hosts No. 25 Tennessee in Southeastern Conference action in Barnhill Arena Friday. The Lady Razorbacks enter the weekend with a 10-8 overall record and a 3-7 mark in SEC play at the half-way point of the season. The Lady Vols are 15-5 overall and 6-4 in the league. Fans attending this weekend’s matches receive an Arkansas Open MRI cup and free drink coupon. "Well, we’re kind of starting over," said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. "We’re glad to be home and on our own court as we start back through the SEC for the second time. We’re in a negative grove right now and we’ve gotta get out of it. It’s easier to do that at home." Arkansas has lost five in a row equaling the program’s longest losing streak. The losses have been especially frustrating as the Lady’Backs have led several of the games late but let leads slip away. "We’re winning the games to 27," said Poole. "We just can’t finish. That’s the mystery that we have to figure out. It’s a mental thing to get to that point and play not to lose. We have to change our mind set and play to win." Arkansas has relied on the arm of senior Denitza Koleva for much of the year. Koleva is hitting .258 with a team-leading 263 kills and 3.81 kills per game. She has posted a double-double for kills and digs in nearly every match this season. Tennessee has had some struggles of its own. The Lady Vols have dropped their last two road matches and slipped in the national poll from No. 28 to 25th this week. "We know Tennessee is a talented team," said Poole. "We’ve seen them once this year and know what weapons they have. But right now, we’re really focusing on what we’re doing on our side of the net. We are working hard on controlling the emotion and momentum of the games and finishing points. "We know we have a lot of talent on the court," he continued. "And we know that any of these last 10 conference matches are winnable if we play to our potential." The Lady Razorbacks work their way back through the second half of the league schedule under the new conference format for 2006. The prior schedule saw teams play two matches, a home-and-away, with divisional opponents but just one match against non-divisional foes. This year, the SEC has eliminated the conference tournament and team face each other twice for a home-and-away during the regular season. Arkansas’ SEC home stand continues Sunday as the Lady’Backs host Kentucky at 1:30 p.m. For more information about Arkansas volleyball, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM or call the Lady Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK.