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Courtesy: Walt Beazley
Emily Helm had a match-high 22 digs in Friday's match at Alabama.
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Helm, Santos Reach 900 Digs in Loss at Alabama

11/08/2013
Athletic Communications
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Arkansas volleyball team lost a four-set road decision (25-11, 26-24, 19-25, 25-21) to Alabama Friday night in front of 1,261 fans at Foster Auditorium. Senior libero Emily Helm led all players with 22 digs while junior Meredith Hays and freshman Barbara Dapic each tallied 10 kills. With the setback, the Razorbacks drop to 14-11 overall and 7-7 in Southeastern Conference play.

With their sixth digs of the match, Helm and Raymariely Santos recorded the 900th dig of their respective careers. Helm now has 916 career digs and is chasing the figure of 966, the No. 10 spot on the program’s all-time digs list. Santos joined Helm in the 900-dig club with her final scoop of the match. The two senior captains entered the match tied for 11th place on the dig list.

Offensively, Dapic finished just one kill shy of her career high. The Split, Croatia, native committed just one attack error in 18 swings, good for a .500 hitting percentage. The Razorbacks had 11.5 total team blocks and had four players with at least three blocks, led by five total blocks from redshirt freshman Ana Sofia Jusino.

After dropping the first set and a back-and-forth start to game two, the Razorbacks took a four-point lead at 15-11 after a tandem block from senior Hayley Koop and freshman Breana Jones. Alabama (20-6, 7-4 SEC) made a push to pull even but sophomore Summer Morgan gave the Razorbacks set point at 24-22 with her second block of the set. However, the home team reeled off the final four points to take a 2-0 match lead.

Arkansas won the first four points of game three and led by as many as nine on their way to the 25-19 set win. Koop gave the Razorbacks set point with a kill off the Alabama block and on the next play, Santos found the floor to put her team on the board. During the third set, Dapic posted four kills and three total blocks and accounted for five of Arkansas’ first seven points of the set.

Helm stepped to the service line to give the Razorbacks an early 11-6 lead in the fourth set after back-to-back service aces. Arkansas went on to double up the home team at 14-7 after consecutive kills from Hays and sophomore Liz Fortado. The Crimson Tide rallied with the definitive run of the set—and match—with a 10-1 surge to take a 17-15 lead and never trailed again.

The Razorbacks continue their trip through the state of Alabama and next travel to Auburn in preparation for Sunday’s matchup with the Tigers. First serve of the conference contest is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. (CT) at Auburn Arena. Arkansas leads the all-time series, 33-7, including a four-set win earlier this season in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks have won 16 of the 20 matches played on Auburn’s home floor.

For more information on Arkansas volleyball, follow @RazorbackVB on Twitter.

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