BATON ROUGE, La.
– Behind a pair of double-double performances from Roslandy Acosta
and Jasmine Norton
, the University of Arkansas volleyball team registered a four-set win over LSU (25-22, 25-13, 23-25, 25-12) Wednesday evening in Baton Rouge, La. Norton finished the night with a match-high 15 kills and 10 digs, while Acosta totaled 11 kills and 12 digs. With the win, Arkansas improves to 22-8 overall and 13-6 in Southeastern Conference play.
The Razorbacks’ win was the program’s first in Baton Rouge since the 2004 season. Amanda Anderson
added 12 kills and a match-high five total blocks, while junior libero Emily Helm
tallied a career-high 27 digs. The Razorbacks out-dug LSU, 73-59. Janeliss Torres-Lopez
finished the match with seven kills on a .545 hitting percentage to go along with four total blocks.
“We knew we would have to be on top of our game tonight against a very good LSU team,” head coach Robert Pulliza
said. “We prepared ourselves with the quick turnaround from Sunday’s match and it paid off tonight. I’m excited about where our team is right now.”
With the score tied at 4-all in the first set, the Razorbacks won six of the next seven points to double up LSU (12-17, 8-12 SEC), 10-5. Arkansas kept the advantage with another surge of points—this time a 5-0 run—to push its lead to 16-8. Out of the Tigers’ second timeout, the Razorbacks maintained their lead and were the first to 20 after consecutive kill from Acosta.
The Tigers began to rally back, pulling to within three before Norton thumped a shot down the line to bring Arkansas to match point at 24-20. LSU won the next two points but on the team’s third chance to close out the set, Anderson and Norton combined for a block to clinch the opener, 25-22.
As was the case in the first set, the team played to an even start before the Razorbacks reeled off four of five points to take a 10-6 lead. The visitors extended their lead to 16-7 after an LSU attack error. Back-to-back miscues by the Tigers pushed the Arkansas lead to double-digits, 22-12. On the Razorbacks’ first set point, Torres-Lopez and Liz Fortado
teamed up for the game-winning block.
In the third set, LSU played with a lead for a majority of the set. With the Tigers leading 13-10, Arkansas put together a three-point run to pull even. During the stretch, the Razorbacks picked up a kill and service ace from Norton. However, the home team re-established its momentum and stretched its lead to 19-15 after a block. Arkansas pulled to within one on three occasions before LSU clinched the game, 25-23.
The Razorbacks took an early 5-2 lead in the fourth set after a service ace from Ashley Vazquez
. Santos tallied an ace of her own to give Arkansas an 8-4 lead and force LSU into its first timeout of the set. Holding on to a three-point lead, the Razorbacks rattled off the next seven points to take a 20-10 lead. Torres-Lopez and Kasey Heckelman
combined for another block to give Arkansas a 23-12 lead. Two points later, an LSU attack landed out to secure the match.
The Razorbacks close out their regular season Friday afternoon at South Carolina. First serve of the match is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. (CT) in Columbia, S.C. Arkansas leads the all-time series with the Gamecocks, 20-9 and has won eight of 13 on South Carolina’s home floor. The two teams last met in 2011, a straight-set win for the Razorbacks in South Carolina.
For continued coverage of Razorback volleyball or other University of Arkansas athletics, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Fans can also keep up with Arkansas volleyball with the team’s sport-specific RazorbackVB Facebook and Twitter pages.