FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Head coach Robert Pulliza and the University of Arkansas volleyball team have announced the schedule for the 2012 season. During the upcoming campaign, the Razorbacks will have 18 home matches at Barnhill Arena and play eight teams-Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Tulsa-that advanced to last year's NCAA Tournament. Arkansas' season begins Aug. 24-25 with its first of two home tournaments.
"We have a very challenging schedule," Pulliza said. "From week one, we will be playing NCAA-caliber teams and it is very important that we show up to play from the get-go."
The Razorbacks' non-conference schedule features three tournaments, two of which will be played at Barnhill Arena. The team opens its 2012 campaign Aug. 24-25 with the Arkansas Invitational which will also include Kansas, Northwestern State and Tennessee-Martin. Arkansas' second home tournament, the Razorback Invitational, will be held Sept. 7-8 with opposition from Houston Baptist, ULM and UTEP.
The rest of the non-conference slate includes the adidas/Michigan Challenge in Ann Arbor, Mich., where the team will play Central Michigan, Maryland Baltimore County and the host Wolverines. The Razorbacks will also host Tulsa on Aug. 28 and Oklahoma on Sept. 4 at Barnhill Arena in a pair of midweek matches.
With the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M, the conference now has 13 volleyball teams. Unlike previous seasons, the Razorbacks will not play each team twice. Arkansas opens the Southeastern Conference schedule Sept. 14 against Florida before hitting the weekend for matches at defending SEC champion Tennessee and Georgia. The first eight weekends of the conference season alternate between home and away.
Among Arkansas' home matches, the team will host new SEC members Texas A&M on Oct. 12 and Missouri on Oct. 28. The final home stand is a three-match stretch that features Kentucky (Nov. 11), Georgia (Nov. 16) and Ole Miss (Nov. 18). The final week of the regular season finds the Razorbacks on the road with matches at LSU and South Carolina.
The postseason begins the last weekend of November with the first and second rounds of the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championships. The regional round of the national tournament will be contested Dec. 7-8 at the four pre-determined sites in Austin, Texas; Berkeley, Calif.; Omaha, Neb.; and West Lafayette, Ind. The national semifinal (Dec. 13) and final (Dec. 15) will be played out at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky.
The SEC has yet to release its television schedule for the 2012 season. For more information and possible television appearances or time changes for Razorback volleyball, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.