OXFORD, Miss. - The University of Arkansas volleyball team capped its weekend road trip with a four-set win at Ole Miss (22-25, 25-16, 25-21, 25-13) Sunday afternoon at the Gillom Sports Center in Oxford, Miss. The Razorbacks had three players with double-digit kills, paced by a match-high 18 kills from Jasmine Norton and a career-high 16 kills from Amanda Anderson. Roslandy Acosta added 14 kills and libero Emily Helm led the defense with a match-high 16 digs.
For the sixth time this season, Norton and Raymariely Santos posted double-double performances in the same match. Norton finished the match with 18 kills and 12 digs, while Santos dished out 52 assists and had 10 digs to complete her 10th double-double of the season. With her third kill of the match Sunday, Norton registered her 1,000th career kill in SEC play
"This is a tough place to play, especially on a Sunday," head coach Robert Pulliza. "We know Ole Miss is always going to fight and be very physical. I'm proud of the fact that our players got themselves ready to come and do the things they needed to do."
After trailing throughout the opening stages of the first set and falling behind by as many a three points, the Razorbacks pulled even at 17-17 with an overpass kill from Janeliss Torres-Lopez. Out of an Ole Miss timeout, the home team responded with two straight points to force a timeout out of Arkansas head coach Robert Pulliza. Arkansas came back to take its first lead of the match, 20-19, with a kill down the line from Liz Fortado. However, the Rebels won six of the final nine points of the set to take the opener, 25-22.
Arkansas built an early three-point lead in the second set, but the home team rallied to take control of play and take a 13-10 lead. From that point, however, the set belonged to the Razorbacks. Arkansas won 15 of the last 18 points of the set to clinch the game, 25-16, with a kill on the outside by Acosta. Still looking to get the offense rolling, the Razorback defense played a big part in the outcome, limiting Ole Miss to just six kills and a -.065 hitting percentage in the set.
The Razorbacks went ahead 13-8 in the third set after back-to-back kills in transition from Norton. She totaled eight kills in the set. Ole Miss was forced into its second timeout of the set after a back row kill from Norton put Arkansas ahead, 21-15. The Rebels pulled to within three late but on the team's second set point, Anderson found the floor to close out the game, 25-21. Anderson and Norton combined for 14 of the Razorbacks 18 kills in the third.
One set from a win, Arkansas jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the fourth set after a kill from Anderson. Later during the early set run, Acosta posted three consecutive kills to give Arkansas a 12-3 lead and force an Ole Miss timeout. The Rebels fought back to pull to within four points but the Razorbacks never allowed them to get closer. Holding a 17-13 advantage, Arkansas rattled off the final eight points of the match, capped by a service ace by Norton.
Following a weekend on the road, the Razorbacks return to Fayetteville next week to continue SEC play against Texas A&M and Tennessee. The conference schedule continues Friday at Barnhill Arena with a 7 p.m. (CT) first serve against the Aggies. For more information regarding Razorback volleyball or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
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