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Pulliza gets first home win

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Pulliza gets first home win

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The University of Arkansas volleyball team put together a dominating performance in a three-set win over Lamar at the Arkansas Invitational in Barnhill Arena Friday. Arkansas (2-6) downed the Cardinals (2-6) 25-21, 25-12, 25-20 notching the first home win of the year and the first home victory for head coach Robert Pulliza. “Any win is a great win and to win at home is even better,” said Pulliza. “We came out ready to go and played very consistent tonight.” Arkansas mixed up the lineup a bit to start the match with junior Kristin Seaton and senior Christina Lawrence both starting. Lawrence has been slowed with injury while Seaton has moved between the hitter and middle positions. “We are trying to find the right role for Kristin right now,” said Pulliza. “She’s been very flexible for us doing whatever we need. “We want to keep on doing good things and come out to pick up where we left off Saturday,” he concluded. Arkansas finished the night hitting .284 with 11 kills each from sophomore Heather Royal and freshman Kelli Stipanovich. Stipanovich hit .346 with 11 digs in the win. Seaton finished with nine kills and hit .500 and freshman Phoebe Bautista paced the team with 15 digs. Arkansas was out-hit .414 to .400 and out-dug 13-12 in the first set yet managed to look dominating in the opening frame win. The Razorbacks never trailed and the set was never tied. Arkansas, in fact, led by as much as five points before getting the four-point, 25-21, win. The balanced effort saw three players; Royal, Stipanovich and Seaton, with four kills each. Lawrence paced the team with six digs and neither team had a block in the set. Arkansas’ momentum carried over into the second set as the Razorbacks ran their lead to five, 6-1, forcing a Lamar timeout early in the frame. The Razorbacks picked up the intensity even more out of the break getting great defense from libero Bautista as the block came to life. Booming kills off the hands of Royal, Seaton, Lawrence and junior Destiny Clark took Lamar out of its offense as the Razorbacks went on a 14-9 run to as the Cardinals burned their final timeout with Arkansas leading 20-10. Pulliza made some substitutions to get fresh legs in the set and Lamar helped Arkansas out with several unforced errors down the stretch. Arkansas cruised to a 25-12 win hitting .268 while Lamar hit negative .088. Again balanced, Arkansas needed just eight kills to with the set, three from Royal and two from Stipanovich. Serving was an adventure for both teams with Lamar tallying nine service errors and Arkansas seven by the end of the second set. Arkansas continued to capitalize on its opponents’ unforced errors while taking good care of the ball on its own side of the net. Lamar finally settled in and made a run on Arkansas getting its first tie of the entire night at 11. The set was tied again at 12 and the Razorbacks permitted the Cardinals a one-point lead. But Arkansas quickly rallied on the court reclaiming the lead at 13-12 and never looked back. In other tournament action, Lamar opened with a win over Tennessee-Martin, 3-1 and Virginia Tech downed UTM in three. Tournament action continues Saturday with Arkansas facing UTM at noon. Virginia Tech and Lamar meet in the 2 p.m. match and Arkansas hosts Virginia Tech in the 7 p.m. night cap. For more information about Arkansas volleyball, please log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.



Sports Category : Volleyball (W)