FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas volleyball team rallied to beat LSU in four sets Sunday afternoon in front of 1,038 fans at Barnhill Arena. The Razorbacks registered a .310 hitting percentage in the match with 15 kills each from Roslandy Acosta and Janeliss Torres-Lopez. With the victory, Arkansas improved to 13-3 overall and 4-1 in Southeastern Conference play.
Running the show from her setter position, Raymariely Santos had her ninth double-double of the season with 47 assists and 14 digs. Amanda Anderson totaled a season-high 14 kills and added four total blocks. Defensively, Jasmine Norton led all players with 16 digs.
“Different people keep stepping up at different times,” head coach Robert Pulliza said. “I’m very proud of our team effort. As a unit, I thought we did some really good stuff, especially in sets three and four. Our collective effort got better which led to everything else getting better.”
Arkansas held the early advantage in the opener, taking an 8-5 lead on a service ace from Santos. The visitors rallied to take a 17-13 lead after a four-point surge. LSU (6-9, 2-4 SEC) arrived at set point with its largest lead of the game, 24-18. The Razorbacks saved three set points to force a timeout but on the next point, LSU closed out the set, 25-21.
The second set featured back-and-forth play with neither team gaining more than a three-point lead—Arkansas at 12-9—and 11 ties. With the score tied at 21-all, the Razorbacks reeled off the final four points to even the match at one set each. During that stretch, Arkansas took advantage of two LSU errors including a ball-handling error on set point.
The home team jumped out to a quick 6-2 lead in the third set after consecutive service aces from Christa Alvarez. The Tigers responded to tie the game at 7-all with an ace of their own. With the score tied at 8-8, Arkansas used a four-point push to force an LSU timeout. The Razorbacks’ lead reached six, 19-13, after a kill from Anderson. LSU pulled to within three on several occasions down the stretch but a kill from Torres-Lopez on set point gave Arkansas a 2-1 match lead.
Despite an even start between the teams in the fourth set, the Razorbacks never trailed in the game. Another four-point surge by Arkansas pushed the lead to 14-9 after consecutive kills from Anderson and Santos. Out of an LSU timeout, the Razorbacks extended their advantage to seven—17-10—with the help of back-to-back kills from Acosta. On the team’s second chance to close out the match, Norton found the floor with her ninth kill to seal the four-set win.
“We’ve really been practicing hard,” Acosta said. “We know LSU is a good team but when we are playing together, we’ve been doing great. So the key for us was to play together as a team. That is how we came in today to get the win.”
After hitting .167 in the opener, Arkansas registered a .376 hitting percentage over the final three sets. Sunday’s match is the Razorbacks’ fifth offensive performance over .300, and first since hitting. .336 against Houston Baptist on Sept. 7.
Conference play continues next weekend with a road trip to No. 12 Florida and Ole Miss. The match with the Gators will be the second meeting between the two teams this season. For more information regarding Razorback volleyball or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Fans can also keep up with Razorback volleyball this season with its sport-specific RazorbackVB Twitter and Facebook pages.