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Arkansas Olympic Sports Preview

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Some Razorbacks are already underway.

ArkansasRazorbacks.com

Football isn’t the only sport happening this fall for the Razorbacks. Cross Country, Soccer, and Volleyball all get underway. Tennis and Golf also have fall events but the bulk of their season happens in the spring. Let’s take a quick look at what we can expect from each side.

Cross Country (Men’s)

Last season ended with a top-5 finish at NCAA’s, which was the top in the SEC. They’ll be retooling a lot from last season with their top three finishers from last year all graduating. This season Australian Cameron Griffith will be the leader for them. They will want him to return to his 2016 form that nearly saw him earn All-American honors.

Cross Country (Women’s)

A more disappointing 13th for the ladies in last year’s national championship, but it was also the top finish in the SEC. The defending conference champs do have some seniors to replace but will have Carina Viljoen and Taylor Werner. Viljoen, the South African, finished 48th in the 2017 NCAA’s and will be a leader for the team. Werner, like Griffith on the men’s side, will hopefully rebound to their 2016 season where she was an All-American.

Soccer

This team is already underway and has a great result under their belt. After a season opening win, they got a neutral site draw against ninth-ranked West Virginia. Colby Hale’s team has made the NCAA Tournament in four of the last five seasons and will look to make it again. They were picked to finish sixth in the conference in the preseason poll, which should be good enough for another birth.

They return Carly Hoke, who was named SEC Defender of the Week after the West Virginia performance. They also return their top-three scorers from last season in Taylor Malhan, Parker Goins, and Stefani Doyle. That balance of experience in the back and up top should help them deal with a home schedule that includes games against Baylor, UConn, Providence, and Texas A&M.

Volleyball

Jason Watson is in his third year of a major rebuild and made big strides in last year’s 19-11 season. They were picked to finish 7th in the SEC Preseason poll, a big improvement from recent results.

Their two captains, Rachel Rippee and Elizabeth Pamphile will lead the way for them. Rippee is a junior who was second in the SEC in assists per set. Pamphile had a breakout freshman season last year and earned a spot on the USA Collegiate National Team.