LAWRENCE, Kan. – The undefeated start of the 2010 season for the University of Arkansas volleyball team came to an end Saturday evening at the hands of the Kansas Jayhawks in four sets (25-19, 22-25, 25-20, 25-10) at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center. In the loss, Jasmine Norton collected her first double-double effort of the season with 16 kills-on a .323 hitting percentage-and a season-best 12 digs.
"Tonight was a tough loss against a very good Kansas team," head coach Robert Pulliza said. "I’m disappointed with the loss but we played hard and the effort was there. Now, we have to go back and prepare ourselves for another big match tomorrow morning against Akron."
The double-double performance for Norton is the 15th of her career. Freshman libero Brooke Fournier joined Norton in the defensive output with 11 digs. Arkansas finished the match with 13 team blocks. Alex Fitzmorris Fitzmorris led the way with seven swats while Charmaine Whitmore and Cassie Clarke each added six blocks. The Razorbacks’ 13 blocks are a season high.
Kansas (6-0) controlled much of the action in the first set. The Jayhawks used tough serving to force some easy offensive opportunities as they posted a .323 hitting percentage in the opener. Kansas’ middle blockers combined for eight kills at a .500 clip. The Razorbacks saved three set points before sealing game one, 25-19, with kill from Jenna Kaiser.
At the start of game two, Arkansas (5-1) put together a fast start and the home team called its first timeout of the set with the Razorbacks leading, 8-5. Trailing by two later in the set, Kansas reeled off seven points in a row to take an 18-13 lead, but Arkansas responded with a late rally. The surge came on the heels of an increased blocking presence led by Whitmore.
Down by four, the Razorbacks went on a 5-0 run to overtake KU and take a 22-21 lead. During the five-point swing, Whimore posted two blocks and a kill. The team arrived at set point after a putaway by Clarke. On its first opportunity to close out the set, Arkansas called on its block once again as Norton and Fitzmorris combined for the block to win the second set, 25-22.
Early starts in the third and fourth games were too much for the Razorbacks to overcome. In the third set, Kansas led by as much as seven points. In a similar pattern to the second game, Arkansas made a late push to pulled to within four with KU leading 22-18, but the Jayhawks maintained their advantage and closed out the set, 25-20, on a kill by Caroline Jarmoc.
The fourth set belonged to KU as the home team took advantage of some shaky passing from Arkansas. Norton tried to keep her team alive with four kills in the fourth game but Kansas racked up a big lead and won the match going away.
For the match, Jarmoc led Kansas with 12 kills and a .588 hitting percentage. Defensively, the Jayhawks were paced by Allison Mayfield and Kara Wehrs with 11 and 10 digs, respectively. With the win, Kansas takes a 3-2 lead in the abbreviated all-time series with the Razorbacks, 3-2.
The Razorbacks close out the Jayhawk Classic with Saturday morning’s matchup with the Akron Zips. First serve is scheduled for 11 a.m. at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center. Arkansas returns to its home court Sept. 7 for a midweek matchup against Oklahoma. Season tickets for the Razorbacks’ home matches at Barnhill Arena are available at the UA Ticket Office by calling 800-982-HOGS or online at ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Download: AR-KU, 09.03.pdf