– Jasmine Norton
and Roslandy Acosta
had 14 and 10 kills, respectively, and the Razorback defense tallied 65 digs in a straight-set win (25-22, 25-22, 25-18) over Tulsa Tuesday evening at Barnhill Arena. Libero Emily Helm
led the defensive charge with 22 digs—14 of those in the second set—against the Golden Hurricane, while three Razorbacks had at four total blocks.
In the win, Norton and Raymariely Santos
each posted a double-double performance. On a night when she reached 1,400 career kills, Norton added 11 digs for her third double-double of the season. Santos had 28 assists and 13 digs against Tulsa. Acosta registered a career-high .562 hitting percentage (10-1-16) in the match.
“Tuesday matches are always tough coming off an emotional weekend,” head coach Robert Pulliza
said. “There’s always that possibility of a letdown on a Tuesday match but our players were ready in practice and with their preparation. They were ready when the whistle blew which I’m really proud of because there was no letdown. They are certainly hungry to keep getting better.”
Trailing by five early in the first set, Arkansas (4-0) scored nine of the next 12 points and took a 12-11 lead on a kill out of the middle by Janeliss Torres-Lopez
. The Razorbacks extended their advantage to 17-14 after a TU attack error which forced the visitors into their first timeout of the match. After back-to-back kills from Tulsa (2-2), the Arkansas lead was down to two, 22-20. Norton responded with a pair of kills, and on the team’s second set point, Kasey Heckelman
found to floor on a slide attack to clinch the opener, 25-22.
After the teams traded points early in the second set, the Razorbacks used a quick push to take a 9-6 lead on a kill by Acosta. Arkansas maintained its lead throughout the set but the Golden Hurricane pulled to within one at 19-18 after an attack error from the home team. The Razorbacks responded with a five-point streak to separate and arrive at set point. After four straight points from Tulsa, Norton ended the set with her sixth kill of the game. Arkansas went into the locker room with another 25-22 set win.
In the third set, the score was tied four times through the opening stages of the game before the Razorbacks used a three-point run to take control of play. The push was capped by a tandem block from Torres-Lopez and Santos. A kill off the right side from Liz Fortado
pushed the lead to 13-10 and forced a visitor’s timeout. The lead remained steady and reached five, 22-17, after consecutive TU hitting miscues. On the team’s first match point, Fortado and Torres-Lopez teamed up for a block to seal the set, 25-18, and close out the match.
“I thought we played really well defensively,” Helm said. “It was a start to how we want to define ourselves as a team with our defense. Everyone contributed tonight and that helped us get the win.”
The Razorbacks hit the road this weekend for the adidas/Michigan Challenge in Ann Arbor, Mich. In addition to Arkansas, the tournament field will include Central Michigan, Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC) and host team, No. 22 Michigan. This will be Arkansas’ first road trip of the season. The team returns to Barnhill Arena next Tuesday for a regional matchup with Oklahoma.
For more information regarding Razorback volleyball or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.