FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Holding its second-straight opponent to a negative hitting percentage, the University of Arkansas volleyball team posted a straight-set victory over Southeast Missouri in its first of two matches Saturday. Behind a season-high 13.0 total blocks, the Razorbacks limited SEMO to a -.097 hitting performance on their way to a fifth-consecutive win. Arkansas carries a 7-1 record into Saturday night’s matchup with UT Arlington at 7 p.m. (CT).
Arkansas 3, Southeast Missouri 0 (25-7, 25-16-25-10)
Attendance: 563 | Time: 1:15
Barnhill Arena | Fayetteville, Ark.
• Stat Leaders vs. Southeast Missouri
o Kills: 10 – Liz Fortado, Pilar Victoria
o Digs: 10 – Okiana Valle, Pilar Victoria
o Blocks: 7.0 (0-7) – Chanell Clark-Bibbs
Chanell Clark-Bibbs led the Razorbacks’ charge at the net with a match-high seven total blocks, followed closely by Liz Fortado who tied her career high with six blocks. Arkansas’ floor defense was paced by a pair of 10-dig performances from Okiana Valle and Pilar Victoria who completed her fourth double-double of the year with 10 kills; Fortado also had 10 kills in the match. Arkansas has held four of its last five opponents under a .100 hitting percentage.
With Valle at the service line, the Razorbacks won the first six points of the match and went on to an 11-1 lead after a block by Clark-Bibbs and Adrien Wohlschlaeger. The home team ended the set with another six-point run to clinch the 25-7 win, its most lop-sided game of the season. Arkansas’ offense was error free through its first 24 wings with a .458 figure in the opening frame.
The second set belonged to the Razorbacks’ defense which totaled 21 digs and four total blocks in the set. Holding on to a 12-11 lead, Arkansas won 10 of the next 12 points to cushion its advantage to 22-13 after a kill by Danielle Harbin. Southeast Missouri saved a pair of set points before Victoria found the floor for a 25-16 win and to send the Razorbacks into the locker room with a 2-0 match lead.
Arkansas jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the third set and led 12-4 after a kill by Barbara Dapic to force SEMO to call its first timeout. The Razorbacks stretched their lead to 16-6 with a Dapic ace and used another run to set up match point at 24-8 on a block by Wohlschlaeger and Blakelee Dunagin. On the team’s third opportunity, Harbin registered another kill to close out the match and seal Arkansas’ fifth sweep of the season.
The weekend finale between Arkansas and UT Arlington will be the fourth meeting between the programs, and first since the 2009 season. Single-match general admission is $5 while UA students and youth—17 years and younger—get in free. The match will be streamed live on SEC Network+ which is available at SECNetwork.com, ESPN3.com and the WatchESPN app.
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