FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas volleyball team will close out its weekend Sunday afternoon against Mississippi State. First serve of the Southeastern Conference contest is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. (CT) at Barnhill Arena. Fans wearing costumes will receive $1 admission to the match and have an opportunity to participate in a costume contest at halftime.
"I don’t have to say much more than (Mississippi State) beat us at their place (in September)," head coach Robert Pulliza said. "They’re going to come ready to play. It’s up to us to step up to the challenge and make things happen. We’re expecting a battle Sunday."
When Arkansas and Mississippi State met earlier this season, a Sept. 24 matchup in Starkville, the Bulldogs came away with a five-set victory on their home court. Four Razorbacks-Jasmine Norton, Kelli Stipanovich, Janeliss Torres-Lopez and Amanda Anderson-finished that match with double-digit kill totals. Despite the loss, Arkansas held a match point in the decisive fifth set.
In the weekend opener, the Razorbacks posted a four-set victory over Alabama. Norton tallied 20 kills, including 11 putaways in the fourth set, to lead the way offensively. Raymariely Santos turned in a double-double performance, her second of the season, with 49 assists and 10 digs. Anderson and Charmaine Whitmore added nine and seven kills, respectively, for Arkansas. The kill total for Whitmore is a career high.
With Friday’s win, the Razorbacks carry an 11-13 overall record and a 5-8 mark in SEC play. Mississippi State lost to No. 16 LSU in straight sets Friday to fall to 11-12 overall and 3-9 in the conference. Arkansas leads the all-time series with MSU, 29-5, but the Bulldogs have won the last two meetings. The Razorbacks have won 15 of the 16 meetings with Mississippi State in Fayetteville.
Arkansas is looking for its first three-match winning streak since beginning the season 5-0. In addition to the interactive blog and live stats at ArkansasRazorbacks.com, Sunday’s match will also be broadcast on KXUA 88.3 FM in Northwest Arkansas.