(Photo Courtesy: Walt Beazley)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - For the second-consecutive season the University of Arkansas volleyball team heard its name called for postseason play during Sunday's selection show. The Razorbacks earned an at-large bid into the 2013 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship and will open tournament play Friday against Creighton in Lawrence, Kan. The first-round match is scheduled for a 4 p.m. (CT) start at Allen Fieldhouse.
"It's exciting to be back in the tournament," head coach Robert Pulliza said. "I'm very proud of our team and the season we've had. We played a tough schedule that made for a tough season and we had to grind it out but our players fought through it. We're playing some good volleyball right now so I'm excited to still be playing and excited about the tournament. It's a big opportunity."
The Arkansas-Creighton matchup is part of the sub-region that also includes No. 14 national seed Kansas and Wichita State. Sunday's selection marks back-to-back appearances for Arkansas in the NCAA Tournament and its second under Pulliza. The Razorbacks earned a bid in 2012 to break the program's six-year absence from postseason play. Overall, Arkansas will be making its 11th NCAA appearance.
Arkansas finished the regular season with a 16-13 overall record and a 9-9 tally in Southeastern Conference play. The program owns a 7-10 overall record in the tournament, having advanced to the regional semifinal-Sweet Sixteen-in 1998 and the second round on five other occasions (1996, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2005). The Razorbacks' other NCAA appearances came in 2001, 2004, 2006 and 2012.
The Razorbacks are one of eight SEC teams to advance to the NCAA Tournament. Arkansas is joined in the bracket by conference mates Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Missouri and Texas A&M. A total of 10 opponents from this year's schedule are also in the field including non-conference opponents Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas State.