– Roslandy Acosta
had a team-high 15 kills and libero Emily Helm
led all players with 25 digs but the University of Arkansas volleyball team dropped a five-set decision to Auburn (25-14, 15-25, 23-25, 25-20, 15-10) Friday evening at the Student Activities Center on the AU campus. With 15 kills and 12 digs, Acosta registered her second double-double of the season, while Jasmine Norton
had her 12th double-double of the year with 10 kill and 17 digs.
In the decisive fifth set, the teams traded points until Amanda Anderson
gave Arkansas a 6-4 lead with a kill on a slide attack; Auburn won the first two points of the set. The teams switched sides with the Razorbacks leading 8-6 following an AU service error. The home team used a three-point surge to take an 11-10 lead to force an Arkansas timeout. The Tigers closed out the match on a 7-0 run to pick up the five-set win.
The Tigers jumped out to the early advantage in the first set by winning seven of the first eight points and ultimately, taking an 11-4 lead to force a timeout from Arkansas head coach Robert Pulliza
. The home team continued their run of points and eventually doubled up the Razorbacks, 20-10. Arkansas saved two set points but the Tigers went on to win the opener, 25-14.
In a complete reverse of fortunes, the visitors raced out to a 7-1 advantage in the second set and eventually took a double-digit advantage at 14-4. Auburn head coach Rick Nold used both of his timeouts during the run by the Razorbacks. Arkansas retained its lead throughout the set and back-to-back kills from Norton gave her team a 20-8 lead. Auburn pulled to within eight late in the set, but consecutive kills by Anderson and Acosta secured the game, 25-15, and evened the match at one set each.
Trailing by two late in set three, the Razorbacks put together a 6-1 run to take a 21-18 lead. During the surge, Arkansas was aided by consecutive points—a kill and service ace—from Santos. The teams went back and forth until the Razorbacks arrived at set point, 24-20. Auburn won three in a row before Anderson and Liz Fortado
teamed up for a block to close out the set, 25-23, and give Arkansas a 2-1 match lead.
The fourth set was tied on a handful of occasions before the teams traded two-point leads. Auburn made the first definitive move of the game and took a 16-13 lead. The Razorbacks pulled to within one—19-18—after a kill out of the middle by Janeliss Torres-Lopez
and an ace by Helm. However, the home team won six of the last eight points of the set to win the game, 25-20, and force a fifth set.
Arkansas next travels to College Station, Texas, to take on the Texas A&M Aggies (18-5,10-4 SEC) in a Sunday matchup. The weekend finale is scheduled for a 1 p.m. (CT) start at Reed Arena. In the first meeting between the two teams, Texas A&M left Fayetteville with a five-set win on Oct. 12. The match was the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
For coverage of Sunday’s match against the Aggies, including live stats, interactive blog and audio stream, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Fans can also keep up with Arkansas volleyball through the team’s sport-specific RazorbackVB Facebook and Twitter pages.