COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The University of Arkansas volleyball team improved to 5-1 in SEC play Wednesday night with a four-set win over No. 20 Texas A&M in College Station. The victory is Arkansas’ first over the Aggies in four tries and the program’s first win over a ranked opponent since the 2012 season. The Razorbacks were paced by a trio of double-double efforts from Bailee Hankenson, Meredith Hays and Samantha Skinner.
In the close-out set, Arkansas trailed by as many as three points but pulled even at 19-all on a second-contact kill by Hankenson. From that point, neither team led by more than one until Hay and Breana Jones put down back-to-back kills to set up match point at 24-22. In total, Texas A&M (11-6, 3-3 SEC) fought off three Razorback match points but on the team’s fourth opportunity, Jones secured the victory with her ninth kill of the night. Arkansas hit .420 in the fourth set to close out the Aggies.
For the ninth time this season, and fourth time during SEC play, Hays turned in a 20-kill performance. She led all players with 23 kills and completed her sixth double-double of the year with a team-high 15 digs. After a slow start in the opening set, Hays registered 21 of her 23 kills over the final three sets with a .362 hitting percentage during that stretch. With her 21st kill of the match, she moved into 20th place on the program’s all-time list and now has 785 career kills.
Hankenson filled her stat line with 49 assists, 10 digs, seven kills, two blocks and an ace. She now has a double-double in two-straight matches and increased her season total to four. Skinner tallied her first double-double as a Razorback with 10 kills and 12 digs. She has 10+ kills in three-consecutive matches and has reached double figures in four of six SEC matches this year.
Chanell Clark-Bibbs finished Wednesday’s match with 10 kills to round out the Razorbacks’ trio with double-digit kills. She added six digs, four blocks and an ace to go along with her offensive output. She and Jones tied for the match high with four total blocks. Liz Fortado added three blocks against Texas A&M. Collectively, Arkansas out-blocked its opponent for the 13th time in 19 matches.
Behind the block, seven different Razorbacks collected at least five digs including libero Monica Bollinger who picked up 10 digs in the match. With her first dig, she moved into sole possession of 20th place on the program’s career digs list. The Razorbacks held their 12th opponent under a .200 hitting percentage in Wednesday’s match
With the win, Arkansas is now 11-8 overall and continues its stretch of ranked opponents Sunday at No. 8 Florida. First serve of the conference matchup is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. (CT) in Gainesville. The match will be streamed live on SEC Network+ which is available through SECNetwork.com, ESPN3.com and the WatchESPN app.
Arkansas 3, #20 Texas A&M 1 (20-25, 25-12, 25-21, 27-25)
Attendance: 1,197 | Time: 2:02
Reed Arena | College Station, Texas
• Stat Leaders at #20 Texas A&M
o Kills: 23 – Meredith Hays
o Digs: 15 – Meredith Hays
o Blocks: 4 – Chanell Clark-Bibbs, Breana Jones
• Double-Double Watch
o Bailee Hankenson: 49 assists, 10 digs (fourth of the season)
o Meredith Hays: 23 kills, 15 digs (sixth of season, 15th of career)
o Samantha Skinner: 10 kills, 12 digs (first of the season)
• Out-blocked opponent (9.0-6.0) for the 13th time in 19 matches this season
• Hit .342 over the final three sets Wednesday; hit .000 in the opening set
o Finished the match with an overall .265 hitting percentage
• Held Texas A&M to a .178 hitting percentage
o 12th time holding an opponent under .200 hitting percentage
• First road win of the season
• Second-set score of 25-12 is largest winning margin in a set this season
• Program’s first-ever win over Texas A&M in four matches
o Teams first met in 2012 when Aggies joined SEC
• First win over a ranked opponent since the 2012 season
o Also a road victory, Sept. 21 at No. 21 Tennessee in Knoxville
• Milestone Watch
o Monica Bollinger (654 career digs) has moved into 20th place on the program’s career digs list
o Meredith Hays (785 career kills) has moved into 20th place on the program’s career kills list
• Next match: Oct. 19 at No. 8 Florida, 12:30 p.m. (CT) in Gainesville on SEC Network+
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