Arkansas Sweeps LSU on National TV
Arkansas defeated the LSU in three sets Wednesday night at Barnhill Arena in front of a crowd of 1,000-plus on ESPNU (25-20, 25-19, 25-22).
Three teams are ahead of the Razorbacks (15-8, 7-5 SEC) in the SEC, but the he win tied Arkansas for first place in the West division with the Tigers.
“Every win in the SEC is a big win, regardless of who you’re playing,” Arkansas coach Robert Pulliza said. “It’s the match at hand so it’s definitely a big win. Down the stretch, every win you’ve got to treat as a must-win. And we treated it like that today and we executed and we got it done, so I’m very excited for it.”
Junior outside hitter Jasmine Norton led Arkansas to victory over the Tigers with 12 kills and 7 digs while junior Amanda Anderson added eight kills and four blocks. Freshman libero Christa Alvarez also tallied 14 digs.
“I think we really built up some defensive confidence. I think that our blocking is coming together and our defense is. I’m really excited,” senior outside hitter Kelli Stipanovich said.
LSU broke away to an 8-5 lead in the first set. The Razorbacks recovered to tie the game 13-13, but Arkansas called a timeout after a two-point run by the Tigers. Still trailing, Arkansas took the team’s final timeout at 15-17.
Arkansas took the first lead 20-19, forcing LSU into a timeout. The Razorbacks’ two-point run sent LSU into the final timeout of the set. Arkansas kept the lead and closed the set, 25-20.
Arkansas took a 6-4 lead to open the second set. After keeping the lead for half the set, Arkansas called the first timeout when LSU pulled ahead 18-17. A kill each for Acosta and Stipanovich after the timeout put Arkansas back in the lead 19-17, forcing LSU to call a timeout.
The Razorbacks kept the lead and the Tigers called their second and final timeout of the set. Arkansas finished set two with a six-point lead, 25-19.
Arkansas opened the third set with a 3-1 lead, but a kill by Desiree Elliot and Madie Jones pulled the Tigers into a 6-5 lead. Arkansas and LSU battled for the lead midway through the set, but the Razorbacks broke away 17-15 to send LSU into their first time of the set.
Arkansas maintained the lead following the timeout, but LSU came back trailing only by one point when Arkansas called a timeout 23-22. Acosta’s kill sent the Razorbacks to match point, and an attack error by LSU finished the match.
“All I know is Arkansas is a family,” Anderson said. “We asked all the people to come, and they came through. It was unbelievable.”
Arkansas will travel to Starkville, Miss., this weekend to play Mississippi State (10-11, 5-7 SEC) on Friday at 7 p.m. The Bulldogs are currently third in the SEC West.