FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Behind the 10th-highest team hitting percentage in program history, the Razorbacks completed an undefeated weekend Saturday with a straight-set win over Utah State to secure the Arkansas Classic tournament title. Pilar Victoria, the tournament MVP, continued the strong start to her senior campaign with a match-high 26 kills. All-tournament selection Rachel Rippee registered 46 assists in guiding the offense to a .422 hitting percentage against the Aggies.
Arkansas 3, Utah State 0 (25-23, 25-15, 25-19) | Box Score
Attendance: 832 | Time: 1:26
Barnhill Arena (Fayetteville, Ark.)
- Leaders vs Utah State
- Kills: Pilar Victoria – 26
- Digs: Okiana Valle – 15
- Blocks: Elizabeth Pamphile, Rachel Rippee – 2.0
Holding on to a one-point lead early in the first, Arkansas won five of the next six points to take a 12-7 lead and force Utah State (2-1) to call its first timeout. The Razorbacks maintained their advantage and went ahead 20-15 with a kill by freshman Hailey Dirrigl. The visitors saved three set points and pulled to within one at 24-23 but on the next play, Victoria went through the block to give Arkansas the 1-0 match lead.
During the crucial run early in the first set, sophomore Reagan Robinson led the charge with back-to-back-to-back kills. The Fayetteville native finished the match with a career-high 12 kills, also posting the first double-digit effort as a Razorback. In 24 swings, she committed just one error to register a .458 hitting percentage.
In a similar pattern to the first, the Razorbacks turned a 7-6 lead into a 16-8 advantage, this time with Krista Kolbinskie doing damage from the service line. Arkansas capped the run with a tandem block by Rippee and Elizabeth Pamphile. The lead grew to 10 at 24-14 and on the team’s second set point, Pamphile used the Utah State block to her advantage for a kill and the set win.
After committing five attack errors with seven kills in the first set, Victoria steadied to the tune of 19 kills and no errors over the final two frames against Utah State. In the clinching set, she put down 10 of her 26 kills and the Razorbacks combined for just two attack errors on their way to closing out their opponent. Victoria hit .457 against the Aggies.
Defensively, each Razorback on the floor tallied at least one dig including a match-high 15 digs by libero Okiana Valle and nine from Victoria. Senior co-captain Kori Ortiz picked up seven digs while Robinson added six digs to compliment her kills total.
With an undefeated season opener in the books, Arkansas will take on its first road challenge next weekend at the K-State Invitational in Manhattan, Kan. The Razorbacks will face a field that includes seventh-ranked Wisconsin, Syracuse and host Kansas State. Play begins Thursday, Aug. 31 against the host Wildcats.
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