FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas volleyball team closes out its non-conference schedule with a weekend road trip to the Lone Star State for the SMU Doubletree Classic. The Razorbacks play Sam Houston State Friday afternoon in the team’s weekend opener. Admission is free at Moody Coliseum.
Against the Field
Friday’s match against Sam Houston State will be the first-ever meeting between the two programs. The Bearkats are the fourth first-time opponent on this year’s schedule. Arkansas holds a 2-1 edge in its series with weekend host SMU. The only previous meeting in Dallas came in 2004, a straight-set win for the Razorbacks.
Last Time Out
Arkansas beat UCSB in five sets to conclude the team’s west coast road trip for the Thunderdome Classic in Santa Barbara. The team also had a win over Yale and pushed No. 19 USC to five sets in the weekend opener. Redshirt senior Pilar Victoria and freshman Hailey Dirrigl earned all-tournament honors; Victoria was also named MVP. Arkansas enters the SMU event having won eight of its first 10 matches of the season.
And Another One
For a second time in as many weeks, team co-captain Pilar Victoria was recognized by the league as SEC Offensive Player of the Week. She averaged 6.00 kills per set while posting a .290 hitting percentage coupled with 3.19 digs per set in four matches last week. It the third overall SEC weekly award for Victoria which ties the program high with Denise Baez (1994-96), Kim Storey (1995-98) and Sara Kincaid (2002-03).
30 and Counting…
Redshirt senior Pilar Victoria had her second 30-kill effort of the season with 32 kills in a five-set win at UCSB (Sept. 9). She finished the match with a .379 hitting percentage and is now the program leader with five 30-kill performances in her career. Victoria leads the SEC and NCAA with 6.43 kills per set and 6.91 points per set and carries a .348 hitting percentage.
With her second dig in a five-set win at UCSB (Sept. 9), junior libero Okiana Valle became the newest member of Arkansas’ 1,000-digs club. She finished the match with 15 digs and enters the weekend with 1,013 career digs.
Rippee Dishes It Out
In directing the Razorbacks to a .348 hitting percentage, sophomore setter Rachel Rippee dished out 50 assists in a straight-set win over Yale (Sept. 8). With the performance, she became just the fourth setter in program history with 50+ assists in a three-set match and the first to do so since 2003. Rippee enters the weekend leading the SEC with 11.97 assists per set.
Freshman Hailey Dirrigl registered 11 or more kills in four matches last week, averaging 3.12 kills per set during the stretch. As part of the outburst, she tallied a career-high 14 kills against No. 19 USC (Sept. 8) and followed with 13 kills and a .500 hitting percentage against Yale.
Season tickets are still available with pricing options beginning at $40 and can be purchased through the Razorback Ticket Center by calling 800-982-HOGS (4647). Arkansas’ next home match is Wednesday, Sept. 20 when the team opens SEC play against Tennessee at 8 p.m.
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