2-0 Start in SEC Play
For the eighth time in program history and second-consecutive season, the Razorbacks are off to a 2-0 start in SEC play after last weekend’s wins over Tennessee and Mississippi State. The win over Tennessee in the conference opener was the program’s first against the Lady Vols in Fayetteville since the 2006 season. With Sunday’s win over MSU, Arkansas improved to 36-5 all-time in the series which is the program’s highest win total against an SEC team.
Off to a Good Start
With a straight-set win over Tennessee last Friday, Arkansas improved to 6-1 in SEC openers under head coach Robert Pulliza. The only setback during that stretch was a five-set loss to No. 13 Florida in the 2012 opener. Arkansas is now 2-1 against Tennessee when the teams meet in the first SEC match of the year. Overall, the program also improved to 14-7 in SEC home openers.
Among the Best in the Country
In this week’s release of NCAA statistical rankings, the Razorbacks are 34th in the country—and third in the SEC—with 2.62 blocks per set. The defensive effort is paced by sophomore Ana Sofia Jusino who is 36th in the NCAA with 1.31 blocks per set. Offensively, senior Meredith Hays is up to 15th among the nation’s attackers with 4.49 kills per set and is 21st overall with 5.03 points per set.
Hays Tops 20 (Again) in SEC Opener
For the sixth time this season, senior Meredith Hays had at least 20 kills in one match with her 24-kill performance against Tennessee. The Hereford, Texas, now has 11 20-kill matches in her Razorback career. Hays became the fourth player in program history with 20+ kills in an SEC opener, joining the short list that includes Denise Baez, Sara Kincaid and Jasmine Norton.
#NetProtection: Weekly Update
With eight total team blocks against Mississippi State, Arkansas out-blocked its opponent for the 11th time in 15 matches. Junior Chanell Clark-Bibbs and sophomore Ana Sofia Jusino each had four total blocks in the match. Seven different players had at least one block in the match. Overall, the defense limited MSU to a .134 hitting percentage.
Efficiency Rules the Weekend
In back-to-back matches during the conference-opening weekend, Arkansas registered a season-high hitting percentage. In Friday’s match against Tennessee, the Razorbacks posted a .339 figure (51-14-109). The team bettered that effort in Sunday’s match against Mississippi State with a .354 hitting percentage (42-8-96). Aided by no miscues in the second set, the Razorbacks committed just eight attack errors in the match, the fewest by the program since the 2011 season against South Carolina. Overall, Arkansas posted a .346 hitting percentage during the weekend.
Serving for Points
As they did with hitting percentage, the Razorbacks established season highs in service aces in consecutive matches during the SEC-opening weekend. Arkansas tied a season best with six aces vs. Tennessee but established a new high with seven aces against Mississippi State. The trio of Chanell Clark-Bibbs, Bailee Hankenson and Meredith Hays each had two aces in the match while junior Samantha Skinner added her first ace of the season.
The Razorbacks continue SEC play Sunday with a road trip to Baton Rouge, La., to take on LSU. First serve of the match is scheduled for 1 p.m. (CT) at the Maravich Center. The match will be streamed live on SEC Network+ which is available on SECNetwork.com, ESPN3.com and the WatchESPN app. Dating back to the 2011 season, Arkansas has won three of the last five meetings with the Tigers.
SEC Network Coming to Barnhill Arena
Arkansas’ next home match is Oct. 8, a midweek contest against Ole Miss that will be nationally televised on the SEC Network. It will mark the first of seven SEC Network television appearances for the Razorbacks this season and the first to be broadcast from Barnhill Arena.
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