Pulliza Pumped As Season Begins

FAYETTEVILLE — While most Arkansas fans are bursting at the seams to see the Razorbacks' football season get under way, there's another first-year coach who can't wait to get his team out on the floor as well.

While Bobby Petrino is beginning his career at Arkansas, so too is volleyball coach Robert Pulliza. And just like Petrino, Pulliza can't wait to see his team in action.

"Well it's finally here. The kids have been working very hard and they're ready to play somebody else," Pulliza said. "They're ready to face a different uniform, some different faces and go at it.

"So we're very excited, we're ready and we're ready to get on the road Thursday and play that match on Friday."

The Razorbacks open the season Friday against No. 17 Colorado State when they travel to Colorado Springs, Colo., to begin play in the two-day Hilton Classic. Arkansas also will face Eastern Washington and Denver in the tournament. But it's the season opener against the Rams which has the Razorbacks' attention for now.

"I think that's great (to play a ranked team) because it gives us an immediate measuring stick of where we're at," Pulliza said. "It doesn't give us any false hopes by playing an opponent that might not be as worthy as a Colorado State. So right off the bat, it will test us and let us know exactly where we're at."

Solid Start

Arkansas kicked off its 2008 soccer season in fine style, winning at Missouri State, 1-0, on Friday. For the Razorbacks, the win was quite impressive since it came against a team — and at a place — where few Arkansas squads have had success in the past.

"It was a good first game for us," Razorbacks coach Gordon Henderson said. "I think that's the first time we've won up there since 1996 or 1997. It's a tough place to play (at Missouri State) and playing on that fieldturf makes the game very, very fast.

Freshman Nikki Crocco scored Arkansas' lone goal in the win and became the fourth freshman in a row to score the Razorbacks' first goal of a season.

"I think it was genuine shock on her face," Henderson said. "She was jumping up and down and I don't think she was sure how to react."


Soccer — vs. Tulsa, Friday; vs. Oral Roberts, Sunday

Volleyball — at Hilton Classic in Colorado Springs, Colo.; vs. Colorado State, Friday; vs. Eastern Washington and Denver, Saturday

Men's/Women's Cross Country — Arkansas/Missouri Southern duel, Sept. 5

Men's Golf — at Maryland Collegiate Invitational, Sept. 6-7

Women's Golf — at NCAA Preview Tournament, Sept. 7-8

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