FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Freshmen Jasmine Norton and Amanda Anderson tallied 13 and nine kills, respectively, Wednesday night for the University of Arkansas volleyball team, but it wasn’t enough in a 25-18, 25-22, 25-16 loss to Ole Miss at Barnhill Arena. In reserve play, freshman setter Cassie Clarke collected a career-high 21 assists. The hot-swinging Rebels posted a .363 hitting percentage in the match.
"We definitely weren’t the team we know we can be tonight," head coach Robert Pulliza said. "We did hit the ball well at times, especially in that second set, but we just got down on ourselves when things weren’t going the way we wanted them to. That’s something we’re going to have to correct."With the score tied at three, in the opening set, the Rebels reeled off six consecutive points to stretch its lead to 9-3 and seize the early advantage. Arkansas closed the gap to four on several occasions, but the visitors responded each time to keep the Razorbacks at arms length. A dump kill by Ole Miss setter Marielle Oestermeyer gave her team set point and a service ace sealed the opener in favor of the Rebels, 25-18.In the second set, neither team could distance itself from the other with the Razorbacks leading, 6-3, on a kill by Anderson, who posted a .389 hitting percentage on the night. Ole Miss won four of the next five points to even the score and eventually took a 12-9 lead on a kill by Miranda Kitts to force an Arkansas timeout.The Rebels maintained their advantage and built a five-point lead, 16-11. Arkansas responded to pull to within two and trailed, 18-16, but it was as close as the team would get for the remainder of the set. A kill by Caitlin Weiss gave Ole Miss three set points, the first of which was saved on a kill by Kristin Seaton. On the next point, however, Anderson smacked a serve long to send the Rebels to the set win, 25-22. The Razorbacks outhit their opponents in second set, .355-.350, but reception and service miscues proved too costly.The hot hitting continued for Ole Miss in the final set as it jumped out to a 9-3 lead to force Pulliza to call timeout. The Razorbacks cut their deficit to five after the timeout, but it was as close as they would get for the remainder of the match. The Rebels built their largest lead at 17-8 after a hitting error by Norton. Kitts closed out the set, 25-16, and the match for her team with a kill.The Razorbacks travel to Baton Rouge, La., for its next match, an Oct. 16 meeting with No. 24 LSU. First serve from the Pete Maravich Center is scheduled for 7 p.m. (CT). The match will be broadcast live on KXUA 88.3 FM in Fayetteville. For more information, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
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