BATON ROUGE, La. – For the third-consecutive match, the University of Arkansas volleyball team posted a five-set victory in beating LSU in Wednesday night’s SEC opener on ESPNU. Junior Pilar Victoria tallied the 10th 30-kill performance in program history to lead the Razorbacks to victory. With the win, Arkansas pushed its record to 11-2 overall and 1-0 in SEC play and improved to 7-1 in SEC openers under head coach Robert Pulliza.
After alternating set wins through the first four sets, Arkansas and LSU (4-8) were tied at 7-all before a four-point surge gave the Razorbacks the 11-7 lead on an ace by Okiana Valle. Back-to-back kills from Victoria and Chanell Clark-Bibbs pushed the lead to 13-8 and forced the Tigers to use their second timeout of the set. On match point, Barbara Dapic clinched the conference-opening win with her 11th kill.
Arkansas 3, LSU 2 (25-23, 26-28, 26-24, 20-25, 15-9)
Attendance: 1,391 | Time: 2:47
Pete Maravich Assembly Center | Baton Rouge, La.
• Leaders at LSU
o Kills: Pilar Victoria – 30 (fourth Razorback with 30 kills in an SEC match; second against LSU)
o Digs: Okiana Valle – 21
o Blocks: Breana Jones, Adrien Wohlschlaeger – 4.0
Trailing by a score of 18-14 in the first set, the Razorbacks rallied to pull even at 19-all after a service ace by Okiana Valle and a kill off the hand of Liz Fortado. The home team responded to take a two-point lead at 23-21 but Arkansas rattled off the final four points to take the opener, capping the run with a kill by Danielle Harbin. Despite playing from behind most of the set, the Razorbacks hit for a .382 mark in the frame.
With the match tied at one set each, Arkansas won four of the first five points in the third but LSU responded with a 10-2 run to take a six-point lead at 11-6. The Razorbacks began chipping away and tied the set at 16-16 on a kill by Clark-Bibbs. In a match characterized by back-and-forth play, there were three ties down the stretch until the score was tied at 24-all. Arkansas clinched the set with a kill by Victoria followed by a tandem block from Clark-Bibbs and Wohlschlaeger.
Wednesday’s match against LSU marks the midway point of the Razorbacks’ seven-match stretch against teams that played in last year’s NCAA Tournament. Arkansas is 3-1 through the first four matches and next travels to College Station Sunday to face Texas A&M. The Razorbacks return to Barnhill Arena on Oct. 4 for their SEC home opener against No. 5 Florida.
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