Arkansas Defeats Ole Miss in Straight Sets
Arkansas volleyball defeated the Ole Miss Rebels in three sets Friday night (25-23, 28-26, 25-23).
The Razorbacks (13-8, 5-5 SEC) were led by junior outside hitter Jasmine Norton with a double-double of 17 kills and 10 digs. Senior outside hitter Kelli Stipanovich also contributed 10 kills and 9 digs.
“We did some good things today,” coach Robert Pulliza said. “We were able to play from the front and able to play from behind, something we’ve been talking about. Our energy was consistent, and we were able to just find our play when we needed it.”
Ole Miss took a 6-3 lead early in the first set after a pair of kills from Regina Thomas and Kara Morgan. The Rebels held a steady 2-point lead throughout the set, forcing the Razorbacks into a timeout at 19-16.
A block from 6-foot-2 Roslandy Acosta and an attack error by the Rebels put Arkansas ahead 21-20 to send Ole Miss into its first timeout. A kill by Stipanovich put Arkansas at game point, and the Razorbacks clinched set one 25-23.
Arkansas and Ole Miss battled for the lead for the first half of set two, but a pair of kills for Acosta and junior middle blocker Amanda Anderson put Arkansas in the lead 14-10 when the Rebels took a timeout.
Ole Miss came back and took the lead 20-19 after two attack errors by Arkansas and a kill by Allegra Wells. The two teams exchanged the final few points, sending the game into overtime. Arkansas finished the set 28-26. Norton tallied over half of her 17 total kills in the second set.
Arkansas and Ole Miss fought for the lead again throughout the third set. Ole Miss pulled away to a 17-13 lead and Arkansas called the first timeout, but the Razorbacks came back and tied the set 21-21. Arkansas closed the match with a win after a pair of kills for Acosta and one for Anderson in the third set.
Ole Miss (5-13, 1-9 SEC) came into Barnhill Arena seated sixth in the SEC West, with its only SEC win coming against Arkansas last month in the first week of conference play.
“It was just a very big match, mentally for us,” Stipanovich said.
“I feel like we took it personal,” Norton added. “We went out there and got it (the win).”
Arkansas will face Alabama (3-8 SEC) on Sunday in Barnhill Arena at 1 p.m.
“We’ve got to make sure we take care of business with our preparation on Sunday the same way we do on Fridays,” Pulliza said. “Alabama is a good team and they’re going to come ready.”