FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas volleyball team rattled off the last five points of the match Sunday afternoon to beat Georgia in five sets and give head coach Robert Pulliza his 100th career victory. The Razorbacks had a trio of players with double-digit kills while Chanell Clark-Bibbs and Monica Bollinger led the defensive effort. With the win, Arkansas improves to 10-8 overall and 4-1 in SEC play.
In the decisive fifth set, the Razorbacks trailed by three after back-to-back kills gave Georgia (9-8, 1-4 SEC) a 13-10 lead which forced Pulliza into this second timeout. After a service error, the Razorbacks posted consecutive blocks—both including Breana Jones—to pull even at 13-all. Meredith Hays followed with her match-high 23rd kill to set up match point. Arkansas clinched the victory when the Bulldogs sent an attack wide and out of bounds.
Hays led all players with 23 kills, good for her eighth 20-kill performance of the year and third of the conference season. She was joined in double figures by Liz Fortado and Samantha Skinner who finished with 17 and 13 kills, respectively. In just her third match of the season, Fortado established a career high to go along with a .438 hitting percentage and four total blocks. Skinner’s total also represents a season high for the Razorback junior transfer.
From her setter position, Bailee Hankenson registered her third double-double of the season with 61 assists and 10 digs. The 61 assists are the most by a Razorback setter since the 2011 season when Raymariey Santos dished out the same number at Kentucky. Bollinger tied for the match lead with 21 digs, good for her fourth 20-dig effort of the season. With her performance, she also moved into a tie for 20th place on the program’s career digs list.
Clark-Bibbs led all players with eight total blocks which is a season high for the Houston, Texas, native. She also had nine kills against the Bulldogs. In off the bench, Jones posted a season-high five blocks. The Razorbacks finished the match with 13.0 total team blocks and have now out-blocked their opponent in 12 of 18 matches this season.
The Razorbacks continue conference play Wednesday with a road trip to No. 19 Texas A&M. First serve of the midweek matchup is scheduled for 6 p.m. (CT) and will be aired live on the SEC Network. Adam Amin and Maria Taylor will handle the play-by-play and color commentary duties, respectively. The match will also be streamed online at SECNetwork.com, ESPN3.com and the WatchESPN app.
Arkansas 3, Georgia 2 (18-25, 29-27, 28-26, 20-25, 15-13)
Attendance: 829 | Time: 2:40
Barnhill Arena | Fayetteville, Ark.
• Stat Leaders vs. Georgia
o Kills: 23 – Meredith Hays
o Digs: 21 – Monica Bollinger
o Blocks: 8 – Chanell Clark-Bibbs
• Out-blocked opponent (13.0-11.0) for the 12th time in 18 matches this season
• Monica Bollinger moved into a tie for 20th place on the program’s career digs list
o Currently tied with Jen Blankenbeckler (1994-95) with 644 career digs
• Liz Fortado collected her 300th career kill on her way to a career-high 17 kills in Sunday’s match
• Bailee Hankenson tallied most assists by a Razorback setter since 2011
• Head coach Robert Pulliza collected his 100th career win Sunday
• Team had season-high kills (70), assists (68) and points (86.0) Sunday vs. Georgia
• Program picked up its 20th all-time win vs. Georgia
o Improves to 20-9 against UGA, including 10-4 in matched played in Fayetteville
• Held Georgia to .115 hitting percentage in fifth set; Bulldogs hit .326 through first four sets
• Next match: Oct. 15 at Texas A&M [SEC Network]
o First serve at 6 p.m. (CT) at Reed Arena in College Station, Texas
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