– The University of Arkansas volleyball team posted a straight-set win over Auburn (25-22, 25-18, 25-17) Friday night in front of 1,027 fans at Barnhill Arena. In a balanced performance, six players had at least five kills and the Razorbacks registered 10.0 total team blocks. Roslandy Acosta
led all players with 10 kills. Defensively, Jasmine Norton
had a match-high 12 digs, while Liz Fortado
and Janeliss Torres-Lopez
each tallied six total blocks.
“Anytime you win, it’s a good thing in this league,” head coach Robert Pulliza
said. “Our kids did a great job tonight of being a team. We were a great team today and have been talking about being there for each other. I’m very proud of them for that. We didn’t start out playing great volleyball but we were playing together and kept getting better as the match went on.”
In addition to Acosta, the Razorbacks got eight kills from Amanda Anderson
, seven from Torres-Lopez and Raymariely Santos
, six from Norton and five from Fortado. Arkansas posted a collective .277 hitting percentage and limited the Tigers to a .118 efficiency.
Arkansas (12-3, 3-1 SEC) opened the match with consecutive tandem blocks by Fortado and Torres-Lopez. The visitors responded to take a 7-5 lead but the teams traded the lead throughout the middle stages of the set. With Auburn (12-2, 3-2 SEC) leading 19-17, the Razorbacks took the lead with a three-point surge capped by an AU attack error. The home team went on to score the final three points of the set including another block, this time from Fortado and Anderson.
Like the opener, the second set was an early back-and-forth affair that featured 10 ties until the Razorbacks took control with a four-point run to take a 20-16 lead. Acosta had a pair of kills during the run. The Arkansas block reared its head again with two blocks late in the set, both featuring Torres-Lopez. On the team’s first chance to close out the set, a serve from junior libero Emily Helm
trickled over the net to secure a 2-0 match lead.
The Razorbacks’ offense was the story of the third set with the team posting a .438 hitting percentage behind 11 assists from Santos. With the score tied at 4-all, Arkansas scored 10 of the next 11 points to take a 14-5 advantage. Auburn pulled to within three—Arkansas leading, 16-13—after a block to force a timeout out of Pulliza. The home team responded to take a 20-14 lead on a solo block from Anderson. On match point, Fortado found the floor to seal the set and the match sweep.
“I feel like tonight we grew as a team,” Santos said. “We’ve been playing together as a team lately and been successful. We helped each other and found a way. It wasn’t always pretty. It was up-and-down sometimes but we were there for each other and that’s how we got the win.”
Arkansas returns to action Sunday for a Western Division matchup with LSU. First serve of the weekend finale is scheduled for 1 p.m. (CT) at Barnhill Arena. The match will be broadcast live by Cox Sports Television (CST) with Jacob Haertl and Maria Taylor handling the commentary duties. For more information regarding Razorback volleyball or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.