– The University of Arkansas volleyball team opened Southeastern Conference play with a sweep of Ole Miss (26-24, 30-28, 25-18) Friday night at the Gillom Sports Center in Oxford. With Friday’s victory, the Razorbacks improve to 8-4 overall and 1-0 in league play. Arkansas was paced offensively by junior Meredith Hays
who tallied a match-high 17 kills. Defensively, senior libero Emily Helm
led all players with 16 digs.
With her eighth assist of the match, senior setter Raymariely Santos
moved into sole possession of second place on the program’s career assist list. The Ponce, Puerto Rico, native moved past Ning Zhao (1998-99) with the first-set assist to Hays. Santos finished the night with 27 assists and currently has 3,202 in her career.
Senior Hayley Koop
reached a milestone of her own, posting the 250th kill of her Arkansas career with her last kill of the match against the Rebels. She finished the night with 12 kills on a .375 hitting percentage. Both Arkansas outside hitters were efficient in the conference opener with Hays adding a .350 figure. Overall, the Razorbacks posted a .295 hitting percentage in Friday’s match.
The Razorbacks posted a pair of set wins to open the match and take a 2-0 match lead into the locker room. Arkansas had four set points in the first game, clinching the set with an out-of-system kill down the line from Hays. In the second set, the Razorbacks saved four set points by Ole Miss before capitalizing on their second opportunity behind consecutive kill from Hays.
The third set was a back-and-forth contest until Arkansas won six of eight points to take a 19-15 lead on a solo block by freshman Barbara Dapic
. Fellow freshman Breana Jones
found the floor to set up match point for the Razorbacks at 24-18 and on the next point, Hays had the final kill of the night on an overpassed ball set up by a tough serve from freshman Megan Mollett
The Razorbacks close out their weekend Sunday with a 1:30 p.m. (CT) matchup with Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss. Arkansas leads the all-time series between the two programs, 33-5, and has won the last four against the Bulldogs. The Razorbacks’ SEC home opener is Oct. 2 against Missouri, a 6 p.m. match that will be televised by ESPNU.
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