Arkansas Tech has an opportunity to seize the lead in the Great American Conference volleyball race this week.
The Golden Suns (13-1 overall, 4-0 GAC) will host East Central University on Tuesday, Sept. 27, and Harding University on Thursday, Sept. 29.
Two wins would put Arkansas Tech in sole possession of first place in the GAC volleyball standings at the close of business Thursday.
First serve both nights at Tucker Coliseum will be at 7 p.m. Admission will be free.
The Golden Suns have won 13 consecutive matches, and they have not dropped so much as a set in two weeks.
East Central University makes its first trip as a GAC member to the Arkansas Tech campus this Tuesday. The Lady Tigers out of Ada, Okla., are 5-10 overall and 2-2 in league play.
Defense is East Central's strong suit. The Lady Tigers lead the GAC in both blocks (2.11 per set) and digs (17.18 per set).
Thursday's opponent --- Harding --- has been Arkansas Tech's foremost volleyball rival for more than a decade.
The Golden Suns and the Lady Bisons combined to win 12 Gulf South Conference West Division championships from 1997-2010.
Arkansas Tech took the title in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2008 and 2010. Harding won six straight GSC West crowns from 2002-07 and then added a seventh championship in 2009.
League head coaches expect that rivalry to continue in the GAC, which is in its inaugural year of competition. Arkansas Tech was picked to win the 2011 Great American Conference volleyball title in a preseason poll, but Harding was right behind the Golden Suns as the No. 2 pick.
The Lady Bisons (14-1, 5-0) enter the week one-half match in front of Arkansas Tech in the GAC standings. Harding will play a non-conference match at Drury University on Monday, Sept. 26, before visiting the Golden Suns on Thursday.
Arkansas Tech head volleyball coach Kristy Bayer (photographed) has designated Thursday's match as "Pack the Stands Night" at Tucker Coliseum. The Golden Suns will attempt to break the school record for volleyball attendance of 983 fans, which was set on Sept. 28, 2010.
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