– The University of Arkansas volleyball team swept South Carolina (25-13, 25-21, 25-14) Friday evening at Barnhill Arena. The Razorbacks posted a .374 hitting percentage as a team and had six different players finish the match with at least five kills, paced by a match-high 12 kills from junior Meredith Hays
. With the win, Arkansas improves to 15-12 overall and 8-8 in Southeastern Conference play.
In addition to the output from Hays, the Razorbacks’ balanced offensive attack featured eight kills from Barbara Dapic
and Ana Sofia Jusino
, seven from Savannah Voelzke
, six from Danielle Harbin
and five from Raymariely Santos
. Arkansas’ .374 hitting percentage is its second highest of the conference season. In back-to-back home matches, the Razorbacks are hitting .402; the team registered a .434 mark in its previous home match Nov. 3 against Ole Miss.
Defensively, senior libero Emily Helm
had a match-high 15 digs including eight in the final frame, her 30th set of the year—and 20th of the conference season—with at least six digs. With the effort, she inches closer to the No. 10 spot of 966 on the program’s career digs list and is now just 20 shy of the figure. At the net, the Razorbacks had 14.0 total team blocks and were led by six each from Harbin and Jusino; Dapic added five blocks. Collectively, the Arkansas defense held the Gamecocks to a .109 hitting percentage.
With the score tied at 7-all in the first set, the Razorbacks used a six-point run to take control of the opener. The lead reached double digits at 22-12 after a tandem block by Harbin and Voelzke. Back-to-back attack errors by South Carolina (12-17, 3-13 SEC) handed the set to Arkansas. In the second, the Razorbacks led by as many as seven points before the visitors cut their lead to 22-20 late in the set. Arkansas steadied to win three of the last four points to go into intermission with a 2-0 match lead.
The Razorbacks jumped out to an early 4-1 lead in the third game after consecutive service aces from Hays and held the advantage for the remainder of the match. Arkansas turned a two-point lead into a 20-12 advantage behind a surge that saw the home team win 10 of 14 points. With the win in sight, the Razorbacks reeled off the final four points to seal the set and secure the sweep.
The Razorbacks close out their 2013 home schedule Sunday afternoon with a match against Mississippi State. First serve at Barnhill Arena is set for 1:30 p.m. (CT). Prior to the match, Arkansas’ six-player senior class of Helm, Santos, Hayley Koop
, Avery Lewis
, Clarissa Pavey
and Ashley Vazquez
will be recognized for their respective careers.
For more information on Arkansas volleyball, follow @RazorbackVB on Twitter.