– The University of Arkansas volleyball team registered a season-high .434 hitting percentage en route to a straight-set victory over Ole Miss (25-19, 25-20, 25-23) Sunday afternoon at Barnhill Arena. The Razorbacks’ offensive output is their highest against an SEC opponent since the 2006 season and ranks fourth on the program’s all-time list. With Sunday’s result, Arkansas improves to 14-10 overall and 7-6 in conference play.
The Razorbacks’ .434 hitting percentage is also the fourth-best performance by an SEC team in conference play this season. Five different Razorbacks had at least five kills against Ole Miss, paced by a match-high 12 from junior Meredith Hays
and nine from redshirt freshman Ana Sofia Jusino
. Defensively, freshman Breana Jones
had a career-high seven total blocks.
“I thought our team had great effort,” head coach Robert Pulliza
said. “That’s something we have talked about. We have to control our own effort a little bit better. We did that today and controlled the energy in the gym which led to a great team performance. I’m really proud of our players after a tough match Friday against a good Kentucky team.”
Arkansas built an early 5-2 lead in the first set after three consecutive blocks—all involving Jones—and never trailed again. Freshman Danielle Harbin
pounded a ball down the line and off the Ole Miss libero to put her team ahead 19-10, the largest lead of the set. On the Razorbacks’ third set point, Hays found the floor with her fourth kill of the set to secure the opener.
The Razorbacks scored the first three points of the second set and led 17-12 to force an Ole Miss timeout after a service ace from Jones. The Rebels made a push to cut Arkansas’ lead to two but the home team responded by winning five of the next seven points to take a 23-18 advantage. Senior Raymariely Santos
tooled the Ole Miss block on set point to send Arkansas into the locker room with the 2-0 match lead.
Sophomore Monica Bollinger
had two early aces in the third set to help Arkansas to a 4-0 lead. After leading by as many as five points during the set, the Razorbacks’ lead was erased when Ole Miss (11-12, 1-9 SEC) pulled even at 23-all. However, the team turned to Hays who responded with a kill to set up match point and a service ace to secure the sweep.
Arkansas is now 16-4 on its home floor against Ole Miss. With a weekend home stand in the books, the Razorbacks return to road action with matches at Alabama and Auburn. The team’s road swing begins Friday against the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. (CT) at Foster Auditorium.
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