Jump to Ole Miss box score
OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Arkansas volleyball team suffered a Southeastern Conference loss on the road at Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss., Wednesday night. Arkansas (5-16, 2-8 SEC) fell to the Rebels (9-10, 5-5 SEC) 15-25, 26-24, 21-25, 18-25 as both teams completed their first pass through the 11-team league schedule. “It was a very disappointing loss,” said Arkansas head coach Robert Pulliza. “We did not play up to our potential tonight and that’s disappointing. We’re a better team than we showed tonight. You gotta get it done in the SEC and we didn’t get it done tonight. “We’re going to continued to work hard and coach this team to the end,” Pulliza continued. “We have a lot of season left. We have things we can do to be better this year. We have 10 SEC matches left and we’re going to make the most of it.” Senior Christina Lawrence paced the Arkansas hitters with 10 kills and a .227 hitting percentage. She was the lone Razorback in double-digits. Senior Yun Tang hit .500 with six kills and four blocks and junior Kristin Seaton had eight kills and nine digs. The Razorbacks hit .144 as a team while Ole Miss bettered that with a .234 mark. The Rebels out-dug (62-54) and out-blocked Arkansas (7-6) in the win. Nothing went right for Arkansas in the first set. The Razorbacks scored the first point and it was the last lead Arkansas would have. Ole Miss blasted out to a 9-2 lead behind some hard serves from Rachel Kieckhaefer. The lead grew to eight, 12-4, and Arkansas was out of timeouts. The Razorbacks hit just .138 with three kills from Lawrence but Ole Miss dominated the frame hitting .433 with 16 kills and just three hitting errors. “We just didn’t come out ready to play,” said Pulliza. “We’ve worked so hard on playing consistently from start to finish but we certainly did not start the match the way we would have liked.” Like the Emperor, Arkansas found its grove in the second set and held on for the win. It was the Razorbacks’ turn to go up 8-2 to start the set but Ole Miss wouldn’t go away. The Rebels chipped away at the lead as Arkansas’ offense stalled. Pulliza burned a timeout leading, 22-18 but Ole Miss would continue to eat away at the Razorbacks’ advantage. Arkansas took its final timeout with a one-point lead, 24-23, only to surrender the next point to the Rebels to tie the set. Lawrence stepped up to answer with a floor-rattling kill that split the defenders in the middle of the court as the Razorbacks reclaimed the lead. Ole Miss followed with a hitting error handing Arkansas the win and evening the score at one set apiece. The Razorbacks hit just .152 in the second set but held Ole Miss to a .146 mark for the win. Arkansas’ balanced attack was led by Lawrence who had five kills. Tang, Kelli Stipanovich and Seaton were each credited with three at that point of the match. Ole Miss’ Regina Thomas was dominating the offense at the break with 11 kills and a .643 hitting percentage leading all hitters. The third set was much more indicative of how closely matched Arkansas and Ole Miss are. The teams traded points with neither able to gain more than a two-point advantage until late in the set. Arkansas pulled ahead by two, 21-19, and Ole Miss burned its final timeout. A Razorback hitting error followed by an Ole Miss kill tied the score and shifted the momentum to the Rebel side of the net where it would stay. The Razorbacks committed two unforced errors and allowed two Ole Miss service aces as the Rebels escaped with a 25-21 third-set victory. By the end of the third set, Ole Miss had a clear offensive advantage, out-hitting Arkansas .231-.138 and had posted better defensive numbers out-digging Arkansas by 10, 45-35. Arkansas scored first to start set four and the teams played even, trading points early. Ole Miss would take the 7-6 lead on a kill from Emily Jones eventually opening a four-point advantage prompting a Pulliza timeout. The Rebels’ lead continued to grow and Arkansas took its final timeout trailing, 10-16. The Razorbacks managed several long rallies and some great plays but couldn’t overcome the early home team advantage dropping the set and the match. The Razorbacks continue SEC action Sunday hosting Auburn at 1:30 p.m. in Barnhill Arena. For more information about Arkansas volleyball, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.