OMAHA, Neb. – The University of Arkansas volleyball team dropped its weekend opener at the Creighton Classic, losing in straight sets to the host Bluejays. Pilar Victoria tallied a match-high 18 kills to lead the Razorbacks’ attack. The loss snaps Arkansas’ six-match winning streak and the Razorbacks are now 8-2 on the season. Arkansas returns to the court Saturday for matches against Kansas State and No. 11 Wisconsin.
With her performance, Victoria has reached double-digit kills in each match this season and is now averaging 4.48 kills per set through the first 10 outings of the year. She finished the match with a .333 hitting percentage, good for her fifth match at that figure or higher this season. Chanell Clark-Bibbs turned in another efficient showing in the middle with seven kills at a .455 mark and now has seven or more kills in seven matches this year.
Creighton 3, Arkansas 0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-18)
Attendance: 1,198 | Time: 1:27
D.J. Sokol Arena | Omaha, Neb.
• Stat Leaders vs. Creighton
o Kills: 18 – Pilar Victoria
o Digs: 8 – Okiana Valle
o Blocks: 3.0 (0-3) – Chanell Clark-Bibbs
In the opening set, Creighton (5-6) took an early 11-7 lead before the Razorbacks won five of the next six points to pull to within one at 12-11 after a kill by Victoria. However, the Bluejays took six of the next eight points to re-establish control of the set. The home team led by as many as seven before Arkansas used a late push to cut its deficit to 23-19 but Creighton won the next two points to clinch the first.
The Razorbacks fought out of a four-point hole early in the second set and led 13-11 after three-consecutive kills off the hand of Victoria. With the score tied at 15-all, Creighton went on a 5-1 run to pull ahead for good. Arkansas saved one set point with a kill by Ana Sofia Jusino but the Bluejays wrapped up the 2-0 match lead on the next point. The Razorbacks lost the set despite hitting .400 in the frame.
Out of the intermission, the teams traded points evenly but Creighton pulled away midway through the set with a seven-point surge to take a 17-8 advantage. The lead grew to 10 before the Razorbacks began chipping away. Consecutive kills from Barbara Dapic and Victoria followed by a Creighton error pulled Arkansas to within five at 23-18. However, the Bluejays won two straight from a timeout to close out the match.
The Creighton Classic marks the end of the non-conference season and begins a stretch of seven-straight matches against opponents that played in last year’s NCAA Tournament. Conference play begins Sept. 23 at LSU. The Razorbacks’ next home match is Oct. 4 for their SEC home opener against fifth-ranked Florida.
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