Razorbacks host tournament

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas volleyball team returns to the friendly confines of Barnhill Arena hosting the Arkansas Invitational Friday and Saturday.

The four-team event is the final non-conference action for the Razorbacks (5-3). This weekend’s action features two matches Friday and four on Saturday in what should be a series of good competition.

"We’re very excited to be back at home and playing in Barnhill," said Arkansas head coach Robert Pulliza. "We have three really good teams coming in here, all of whom are capable of winning. We have to be ready to go for each match."

The tournament schedule opens Friday with a Kansas-North Texas match at 5 p.m. The Razorbacks open play with Jacksonville State at 7 p.m. The Gamecocks have defeated both Alabama and Auburn already this year.

Saturday’s matches begin at 11 a.m. when Arkansas hosts North Texas. The rest of the schedule includes Jacksonville State versus Kansas at 1 p.m., North Texas versus Jacksonville State at 5 p.m., and concludes with Arkansas and Kansas at 7 p.m.

The Razorbacks have been playing good volleyball in recent matches. Arkansas picked up a tough road win at Tulsa Tuesday winning in five sets. The Golden Hurricane are favored to win their conference title this year.

Although the season is young, Arkansas has seen some standout performances this year. Freshman Amanda Anderson opened the year earning all-tournament team honors and enters this weekend as the defending SEC Freshman of the Week.

Senior Kristin Seaton and sophomore Phoebe Bautista were both selected to the Virginia Tech All-Tournament team last weekend for their standout play.

While the individual honors are nice, Pulliza and the team also recognize the importance of the team effort this year.

In fact, Arkansas has had a balanced effort in nearly every match. In addition to Anderson and Seaton, sophomore Kelli Stipanovich elevated her level of play in recent matches and freshman Jasmine Norton has put up big numbers in the first eight matches of the season.

The Razorbacks use this weekend as the final tune-up before the start of the Southeastern Conference season. Arkansas hosts South Carolina and Florida Sept. 18 and 20, respectively.

For more information about Arkansas volleyball, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.