FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – In her final home match, Kristin Seaton posted a season-high 18 kills, but the University of Arkansas volleyball team dropped 23-25, 25-20, 25-23, 21-25, 15-9 decision to Georgia Sunday afternoon at Barnhill Arena. Jasmine Norton posted a double-double with a match-high 21 kills and 16 digs, and Kelli Stipanovich totaled 15 kills at a .344 hitting clip. Before the match, Seaton and fellow senior Lindsay Scanlan were recognized for their career accomplishments.Freshman setter Cassie Clarke, earning a second consecutive start, had 57 assists to go along with five kills, eight digs and a pair of service aces. Phoebe Bautista gathered 19 digs at her libero position, and Katelyn McCarthy had 11 digs. The difference in the match came at the net as Georgia collected 16 total blocks, compared to 5.5 for the Razorbacks. The visitors outhit Arkansas, .335-.223, in the match."Throughout the match Georgia did a good job of competing hard, and we didn’t have maximum effort to match that and in the SEC, that’s going to come back to bite you in the end," head coach Robert Pulliza said. "We had a lead in the third set, but relaxed instead of closing it out and (Georgia) was able to come back to win that set. Again in the beginning of the fifth set, we relaxed and they jumped out to lead to set themselves up to win the match."Both teams hit over .400 in the opening set, but the Razorbacks used an 8-2 run with the score tied at 10-10 to take control. Arkansas (13-17, 7-12) claimed its largest lead of the set after a kill by Kelli Stipanovich gave the home team a 21-13 advantage. The Razorbacks arrived at set point, 24-19, with another kill by Stipanovich. Georgia (16-14, 7-12) won the next four points to close the gap, but Seaton smacked the final kill to close out the set in favor of the Razorbacks, 25-23.Despite the outcome of the first set, the Bulldogs started quickly in the second and jumped out to a 6-2 lead. Arkansas recovered to even the score at 10-10, but never managed to push ahead. Georgia regained the advantage and stretched its lead to 23-16 on a tandem block by Valentina Gonzalez and Michele Simmons. The Razorbacks made a final push in the set to get to within four after a kill by Norton, but Erika Clark clinched the set for Georgia with a kill. Clark led the Bulldogs with 20 kills.The third set featured 11 ties and seven lead changes. With the score tied at 19-19, the Razorbacks reeled off four consecutive points to move closer to the set victory. The four-point run was aided by three errors from Georgia. The Bulldogs rallied, however and won the final six points of the set to take a 2-1 lead, capping the run with a block by Briana Bahr and Kathleen Gates.As was the case in the previous set, neither team could separate early in the fourth. The score was tied nine times, for the last time at 13-13. From that point, the Razorbacks’ offense took over. Arkansas won four of the next points to give itself a 17-14 cushion. The home team grabbed a seven-point lead at 22-15, and despite a minor push from the Bulldogs, Arkansas claimed the fourth, 25-21, after UGA’s Adria Fecteau netted a serve.Georgia won the first four points of the decisive fifth set on the heels of two tandem blocks and a pair of Razorback hitting errors. When the teams switched sides, Georgia led, 8-5, but Arkansas rattled off the next three points to pull even in front of its home crowd. As they had done in the third set, however, the Bulldogs finished strong, winning seven of the final eight points in the match. Gonzalez collected the final kill to give the visitors the win.The Razorbacks close out their 2009 season with a Nov. 25 matchup against the Ole Miss Rebels in Oxford, Miss. The midweek match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. (CT) start at the Gillom Sports Complex. The match will be broadcast live on KXUA 88.3 FM in Fayetteville. Log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com for more information.
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