COLUMBIA, S.C. – Three Razorbacks tallied at least 10 kills Friday evening as the University of Arkansas volleyball team beat South Carolina in four sets (25-19, 19-25, 31-29, 25-23) at the Volleyball Competition Facility in Columbia, S.C. Jasmine Norton led the way with 19 kills as Kelli Stipanovich and Amanda Anderson added 15 and 10 kills, respectively, in the victory.
"We did some good things tonight," head coach Robert Pulliza said. "Anytime you can go on the road and pick up a win, it’s a good thing. We just have to keep building and maturing. I’m excited about the way we played and proud of our players for this win."
Norton added 19 digs to complete her fourth consecutive double-double performance. Out of the middle, Anderson led the team with a .368 hitting percentage. Defensively, Brooke Fournier posted 15 digs and Hayley Koop had a career-best 10 digs. Janeliss Torres-Lopez continued her strong play at the net with seven total blocks.
Having split the first two sets of the match, Arkansas and South Carolina battled through a pivotal game three that saw both team with a handful of opportunities to win the set. The Razorbacks survived four set points before wrapping up the game. On the team’s fourth chance, Stipanovich and Anderson combined on a tandem block to close out the set in favor of the Razorbacks, 31-29.
"In that third set, our kids really stayed patient down the stretch," Pulliza said. "They didn’t get over excited and we executed until it came our way. For a young group, that’s a big set to win."
Arkansas (9-7, 3-2 SEC) won four of the first five points in the fourth set to take early control of play. Eventually, a hitting error by the Gamecocks’ Megan Laughlin gave the Razorbacks match point. South Carolina (3-11, 0-4) saved the next two points but on the third match point, Anderson found the floor on a slide attack to clinch the win for Arkansas.
The Razorbacks close out the weekend Sunday at No. 2 Florida. First serve of the conference matchup is scheduled for a 12:30 p.m. (CT) first serve at the O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Fla. To follow the action, a live audio stream, interactive blog and live stats will be available at ArkansasRazorbacks.com.