FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – After winning the fourth set, the University of Arkansas rallied from an early deficit in the fifth to cap a thrilling 21-25, 25-21, 14-25, 28-26, 24-22 victory over Alabama Friday night at Barnhill Arena. Four Razorbacks totaled double-digit kill totals, led by 21 putaways from Jasmine Norton and an unexpected but welcomed outburst from fellow freshman Kendall Cleveland who finished the match with a career-high 12 kills. The largest crowd of the season, 1,034 fans, witnessed the come-from-behind win.Arkansas (9-9, 3-4 SEC) fell behind early in the fifth set after shaky passing led to easy points for the Crimson Tide. The visitors led by five, 8-3, when the teams switched sides of the court, and stretched their lead to 12-6 after a block by Ashley Frazier and Alyssa Meuth.Cleveland started the rally with a kill from the outside and then won five consecutive points at the service line. Alabama (6-11, 4-3) tried to stop the momentum twice with timeouts but the Razorbacks did not let down, eventually tying the match, 12-12, when Allison Johnson, in for a defensive presence, knocked an overpass to the ground for her only kill of the match. The teams traded errors to keep the score tied, but a joint block by Norton and Janeliss Torres-Lopez brought the Razorbacks to their first of eight match points.The Crimson Tide saved the first five points before gaining a match point of their own, leading 19-18, but Cleveland terminated an extended rally with a kill to even the score once again. The division rivals then traded match points. With her team down, 21-20, Norton smacked her 20th kill of the match to keep the Razorbacks alive.After wasting another chance to seal the match at 22-21, Arkansas benefited from their opponents miscues. A ball-handling error by Alabama setter Stephanie Riley gave the Razorbacks a 23-22 advantage. Then an attack by Brooks Webster sailed long on Arkansas’ eighth, and final, match point to seal the five-set victory. Norton tallied nine kills in the decisive set.For the third consecutive match, Norton posted a double-double performance with 13 digs to go along with her kill total. Kristin Seaton added 11 kills and Amanda Anderson chipped in 10 against the Crimson Tide. Senior setter Lindsay Scanlan bested her previous career high with 60 assists Friday night and libero Phoebe Bautista led the defensive charge, matching her career best with 27 digs.In the first set, Alabama put on a hitting display that produced a .593 team hitting percentage with 17 kills with just one error. The Crimson Tide led by as many as five, 16-11, after a kill by Webster. Arkansas closed the gap and after a kill by Torres-Lopez, trailed by one, 21-20. The visitors responded by winning four of the next five points to secure the first set and take the early advantage.The Razorbacks found an offensive rhythm in the second set to stay close. Neither team had more than a two-point lead until a kill by Norton gave Arkansas a 17-14 lead. Arkansas extended its lead and took a 23-18 advantage after a service ace by Katelyn McCarthy. The Crimson Tide reeled off three-straight points to pull to within two, but a kill by Kelli Stipanovich put Arkansas one point away from the set which they took after an attack error by Meuth.After intermission, Alabama jumped out to an early lead and charged ahead to a 14-7 advantage, forcing an Arkansas timeout. The Crimson Tide stretched its lead to nine, 19-10, on a kill by Kayla Fitterer and eased to a 25-14 win in the third set in which they hit .538 as a team.As it was earlier in the match, the Arkansas offense responded while Alabama cooled off in the fourth set. The Razorbacks raced out to a 12-5 lead, but their opponents won eight of the next 10 points to pull to within one. The score was tied 12 times in the fourth and the teams traded leads on five occasions. A service ace by Bautista gave Arkansas two set points at 24-22, but the Crimson Tide responded and gained a match point. The Razorbacks saved that point with a kill by Norton and won the next two win the set, 28-26, and send the match to the fifth.The win was Arkansas’ second five-set triumph of the season in six attempts. The Razorbacks have still yet to play a four-set match this season. Arkansas returns to the Barnhill floor Sunday, Oct. 11, for a 1:30 p.m. matchup with Mississippi State. For more information, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Download: 1009 vs Alabama.pdf