FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas volleyball team opened its season Friday with a 3-1 victory over CSU Bakersfield in front of 1,257 fans at Barnhill Arena. Redshirt senior Pilar Victoria led the Razorback attack, posting 23 kills and 14 digs for her 16th career double-double as a Razorback. Junior libero Okiana Valle contributed a team-high 19 digs and junior Kelly O’Brien added eight total blocks.
The team will be back for day two of the Arkansas Classic with a Saturday morning matchup against ULM. First serve is scheduled for 10 a.m. (CT) at Barnhill Arena. The Razorbacks will close out the weekend against Utah State at 7 p.m.
Arkansas 3, CSU Bakersfield 1 (26-24, 25-18, 22-25, 25-21) | Box Score
Attendance: 1,257 | Time: 2:11
Barnhill Arena (Fayetteville, Ark.)
- Leaders vs. CSU Bakersfield
- Kills: Pilar Victoria – 23
- Digs: Okiana Valle – 19
- Blocks: Kelly O’Brien – 8.0 (0-8)
- Rachel Rippee – 39 assists, 12 digs
- Pilar Victoria – 23 kills, 14 digs
- Of Note…
- Arkansas is now 16-8 in season openers
- Arkansas has won its last five season openers at Barnhill Arena
- Friday’s match was the first meeting between Arkansas and CSU Bakersfield
Sophomore setter Rachel Rippee added a double-double of her own with 39 assists and 12 digs, and added three service aces. Her eighth assist of the night—a dish to Victoria to make it 21-20 in the first—was the 1,000th of her career. Bakersfield (0-1) challenged a pair of calls late in the opening frame, including a set-point call that went in favor of the Razorbacks. On Arkansas’ first set point, freshman Hailey Dirrigl took care of an overpassed ball for a 1-0 match lead.
Dirrigl and fellow freshman Elizabeth Pamphile finished the match with 10 and nine kills, respectively. The two were effective at the net, as well, with Dirrigl posting six total blocks and Pamphile adding four blocks. Arkansas had 12.0 total team blocks in the four-set win. The teams split sets two and three to send the match to a fourth set.
The score was tied 12-all in the fourth set when the Razorbacks rattled off the next five points, winning two during the stretch with tandem blocks by Dirrigl and O’Brien. Arkansas pushed its lead to 21-15 with an ace by senior Krista Kolbinskie, forcing a CSUB timeout. She finished the night with two service winners. On the heels of an extended rally that featured one of its players retrieving a ball at—and over—the bench, Bakersfield cut the Razorbacks’ lead to 23-20. However, on its second match point, Arkansas clinched the win with an O’Brien kill out of the middle.
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