OMAHA, Neb. – For the second time in less than 12 hours, the University of Arkansas volleyball team found itself in a fifth set against a top-30 team in the country. And for the second time, the Razorbacks came out on top with a five-set victory over No. 11 Wisconsin Saturday evening at the Creighton Classic in Omaha. Arkansas defeated Kansas State earlier in the day. With the win, Arkansas finishes its non-conference slate with a 10-2 overall record.
Chanell Clark-Bibbs set a new career high with 24 kills to go along with a .556 hitting percentage; six of her kills came in the fifth set. She also had a match-high six total blocks. Pilar Victoria registered her second double-double of the day and sixth of the season with 16 kills and 13 digs. Liz Fortado chipped in nine kills. In directing Arkansas’ offense, including setting the team to a .476 figure in the fifth set, Adrien Wohlschlaeger had a career-high 59 assists.
Defensively, Arkansas posted 12.0 total team blocks, its fourth match of the season with 10 or more blocks. Four Razorbacks had at least three blocks against the Badgers. Okiana Valle tied for the match high with 17 digs. Coupled with her career-best effort earlier in the day against Kansas State, the freshman libero total 43 digs Saturday.
Arkansas 3, No. 11 Wisconsin 2, (25-21, 22-25, 25-20, 13-25, 15-11)
Attendance: 1,262 (session figure) | Time: 2:21
D.J. Sokol Arena | Omaha, Neb.
• Leaders vs. No. 11 Wisconsin
o Kills: Chanell Clark-Bibbs – 24 (career high)
o Digs: Okiana Valle – 17
o Blocks: Chanell Clark-Bibbs – 6.0 (2-4)
Down by two early in the fifth set, Arkansas rattled off five-straight points to take an 8-5 lead when the teams switched sides. A solo block by Barbara Dapic followed by a Badger miscue gave the Razorbacks an 11-6 lead and forced Wisconsin to call timeout. The lead never dropped below three down the stretch as Clark-Bibbs set up match point with a kill, and fittingly, clinched the upset victory with her final kill of the night.
With the score tied early in the first set, the Razorbacks won three in a row to take a 7-4 lead on a service ace by Adrien Wohlschlaeger. Arkansas never trailed after breaking the tie and led by as much as six points at 17-11 after a kill by Dapic. Wisconsin (8-2) pulled to within two at 21-19 but the Razorbacks won three of the next four points, arriving at set point after a Clark-Bibbs ace. On the third set point, Dapic found the floor to give Arkansas the opener.
The Badgers tied the match with a win in set two, but out of intermission, Arkansas won the first five points of the third and led 11-3 after a Wisconsin attack error. The Razorbacks maintained the lead throughout but Wisconsin got as close as three at 21-18. After a pair of Fortado kills, Clark-Bibbs posted the final two points of the set to lift Arkansas to the 2-1 match lead. Clark-Bibbs and Victoria each had five kills in the frame. Wisconsin made quick work of the fourth to send the match to a decisive fifth game.
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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