FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – In a tight matchup characterized by 49 ties, 16 lead changes and numerous extended rallies, the University of Arkansas lost a tough five-set match to Tennessee, 19-25, 25-18, 23-25, 26-24, 15-11, Sunday afternoon at Barnhill Arena. Jasmine Norton led the Razorbacks with a 22-kill, 14-dig double-double, while Amanda Anderson and Kristin Seaton added 13 and 10 kills, respectively. The match was the seventh five setter of the season for Arkansas and its third during Southeastern Conference play.Lindsay Scanlan directed the Razorback offense with 53 assists and had 12 digs for her second consecutive double-double effort. Libero Phoebe Bautista had 13 digs against the Lady Vols. Arkansas posted a season-high 13.5 blocks in the match. Tennessee was led by Nikki Fowler and Kayla Jeter who had 24 and 20 kills, respectively.Tennessee (17-6, 10-3 SEC) controlled the early stages of the first set, jumping out to a 10-6 lead after a block by Leah Hinkey and Kylie Marshall. The Razorbacks fought back to win six of the next eight points, capped by a block from Anderson and Scanlan, the score was tied at 12-12. On the next point, Arkansas (11-14, 5-9) grabbed its first lead after an attack error by UT’s Leslie Cikra.With the score tied, 16-16, the Razorbacks went on a seven-point run behind the serve of Scanlan to take momentum in the opening set. Norton came up with three kills during the stretch. The freshman’s sixth kill gave Arkansas set point, 24-17. The visitors saved two set points before Kelli Stipanovich smacked a kill through the Tennessee block to seal the set for the Razorbacks, 25-19. Before Arkansas’ late run, the opening set was a back-and-forth affair that featured seven ties and three lead changes.The two teams exchanged runs throughout the second set with the Lady Vols making the first move with three-straight points to take a 9-6 lead. Tennessee went on to extend its lead to six, 13-7, and force an Arkansas timeout. Out of the timeout, the Razorbacks reeled off five consecutive points to pull to within one and a kill by Anderson on a UT overpass evened the score at 14-14.As was the case in the first, the definitive move of the set came with the score tied at 16-16, but this time it was in favor of the Lady Vols. A six-point run by the visitors gave them a 22-16 advantage. Arkansas closed its deficit to four with a kill by Janeliss Torres-Lopez and a service ace from Norton, but Tennessee won the final three points to take the set, 25-18, and even the match.The teams battled to a 7-7 tie after the intermission, but the Razorbacks won five points in a row to take control of the early action. The final two points came on a pair of blocks, both anchored by Anderson. She finished the match with six blocks, one off her career high. Tennessee, however, came back to tie the score at 14-14 after a kill by Jeter. It was one of 18 ties during the set.The remainder of the set was a true see-saw affair with neither team gaining more than a two-point lead, the Razorbacks’ eventual winning margin. A kill by Torres-Lopez put Arkansas ahead, 22-20, but the Lady Vols replied with the next two points to pull even again. Norton brought the Razorbacks to set point with a kill and a block by Stipanovich and Torres-Lopez clinched the set, 25-23, and gave the home team the 2-1 lead. Torres-Lopez also had six total blocks in the match, one away from her career mark.Arkansas raced out to a 6-2 lead in the fourth set after an error by Jeter and the Lady Vols called a timeout to stall the swing. They eventually rallied to tie the score and take their first lead of the set, 11-10, on a kill by Kelsey Mahoney. Like a majority of Sunday’s action, the teams traded sideouts until the Razorbacks went ahead, 18-16, with back-to-back tandem blocks by Norton and Torres-Lopez.With the score tied, 20-20, Scanlan set a quick ball to Torres-Lopez in the middle for a putaway to give Arkansas the one-point lead. The Razorbacks maintained the one-point advantage until a Mackenzie Rhea service error coupled with a Hinkey kill to give UT a 24-23 lead, and set point. On the ensuing play, Mahoney sailed a serve long to give Arkansas the point and tie the score. But kills by Fowler and Cikra, respectively, gave the Lady Vols the set, 26-24.Both teams enjoyed a three-point swing to open the fifth and decisive set and found the score tied once again, 4-4. The Razorbacks held a couple of two-point leads at 6-4 and 7-5, but the visiting team was ahead, 8-7, when the teams switched sides of the court. Following the switch, Arkansas took a 9-8 advantage after kills by Norton and Anderson, respectively, but the offense stalled down the stretch. The Lady Vols won seven of the final eight points of the match to come away with the victory, 15-11.The Razorbacks return to action a week from Sunday with a Nov. 8 contest against No. 20 LSU. The divisional matchup will be televised by CSS with first serve scheduled for 1 p.m. (CT) from Barnhill Arena. For more information, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
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