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UA volleyball announces 2004 schedule
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        FAYETTEVILLE -- Sixteen Southeastern Conference matches including a home-and-home with Eastern Division rival Florida highlight the 2004 University of Arkansas volleyball schedule, head coach Chris Poole announced Tuesday.
        An expanded SEC schedule for the 2004 season provides a new format for everyone in the league. Arkansas plays each of the 11 SEC volleyball teams this season, plus home-and-home with four of the five Western Division opponents. In addition, Arkansas gets home-and-home with two Eastern Division foes. This season, Arkansas plays Florida and Georgia twice.
        In addition to the new SEC format, the overall schedule is strong as Arkansas faces eight teams from last year's NCAA Tournament including national runner-up Florida. The Lady Razorbacks also meet NCAA Regional team Illinois, NCAA second round participants Pacific and Kansas and first-rounders Valparaiso, Michigan State, Santa Clara and Southwest Missouri State.
        "I am really excited about the schedule this fall," said Poole. "All of our non-conference matches are against teams that were very successful in 2003. We will be tested early with our first three matches against NCAA Tournament teams and hope that our players will return in August in shape and ready to battle.."
        Arkansas opens the season with a home match against Kansas Sept. 1, in Barnhill Arena. The Lady Razorbacks travel on back-to-back weekends with matches at Santa Clara and Wichita State followed by their home tournament Sept. 17-18.
        Arkansas opens SEC play hosting Florida and Georgia Sept. 24 and 26, respectively followed by home matches with Mississippi and Mississippi State to open October.
        "The conference season will be one of the most challenging we have ever had," said Poole. "Most of the teams have a lot of talent returning and the bottom of the conference had their most successful recruiting season in the history of their programs. Florida will still be the team to beat at the top, but I believe you will see most of the conference battling in every match."
        The Lady Razorbacks have four in a row on the road traveling to Auburn, Alabama, Georgia and Florida before hosting Kentucky and non-conference Valparaiso, Oct. 22 and 24. The Lady'Backs return to SEC play at LSU and close the month with home matches against Alabama and Auburn.
        November opens with Oral Roberts in Barnhill on the second followed by a trip to Tennessee and South Carolina the following weekend. Arkansas hosts LSU Nov. 12, travels to Mississippi State Nov. 14 and hosts Southwest Missouri Nov. 16 wrapping up the regular season.
        The Lady Razorbacks hope to be among the top eight teams in the SEC and reach the conference tournament Nov. 19-21 in Gainesville, Fla. Arkansas concludes the regular season with a trip to Fort Worth, Texas, meeting Texas Christian and Southern Methodist in a final tune-up before the NCAA Tournament.
        Forms for renewals for season ticket holders for the upcoming season are available by contacting the Lady Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK or 87-LADYBACK. Season ticket sales for the general public open in mid-July. Tickets for single games will also available on line at www.ladybacks.com as the season approaches.

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