Hogs Defeat LSU in Four Sets
The Razorbacks extended their winning streak to four over the weekend, beating LSU (6-9, 2-4 in Southeastern Conference) in four sets Sunday afternoon.
The Hogs are now 13-3 overall and 4-1 in SEC play. The Razorbacks also defeated Auburn this weekend, beating them in three sets Friday night at Barnhill Arena.
“It’s not easy to get one and it’s even harder to get two,” head coach Robert Pulliza said of the Razorbacks’ weekend. “It’s always hard to close out the weekend and get a sweep but we did that today and I’m proud of our kids for that.”
“We know when we play together we do great,” senior Roslandy Acosta said. “And that’s the key for us – to just play together.”
The Hogs lost the first set against LSU 25-21 before winning the next three sets.
“We were just a little bit off in that first set,” Pulliza said. “And part of that was what LSU was doing to keep us off. We did some bad things, and against a good team that’ll get you a loss most of the time.”
The Razorbacks’ hitting average was .167 to the Tigers’ .323. However, Arkansas had more kills and more digs in set one, but just couldn’t come up with the win.
“After that first set, we all just came together, remained calm and realized we just need to keep doing our jobs and playing together,” senior Amanda Anderson said.
The second set was very close throughout, the two teams tying several times during the set. The final tie of the set was at 21 before the Razorbacks pulled away to win the set 25-21.
“In the second set we were able to regather, gain some momentum, then after the break we came out and looked like the Arkansas team I expected us to be,” Pulliza said.
Razorback hitting improved dramatically in the second set, from the .167 in the first set to a .323. This was largely thanks to Anderson, Acosta and Janeliss Torres-Lopez who had 14, 15 and 15 kills respectively on the match.
“I’m very proud of all of those three guys, in terms of scoring they did a great job for us,” Pulliza said. “Different people keep stepping up on different nights and it’s a collective effort.”
“I knew we could do it, we’re a good team,” Torres-Lopez said. “Our team needed us today and we came ready to play.”
The third and fourth sets were controlled by the Razorbacks. In the third set, the Razorbacks hit a .314 to the Tigers’ .189. The Razorbacks won the third set 25-20 before dominating the Tigers in the fourth set to win 25-15.
Raymariely Santos had 47 assists on the day, as she made sure the ball was distributed where it needed to go.
“She’s doing some really good things right now,” Pulliza said of Santos. “She’s a mature leader for us and she knows offensively what needs to happen.”
The Hogs had 66 kills to LSU’s 47 and had 54 digs to the Tigers’ 42.
Next up for the Hogs is a trip to Gainesville to play Florida, the team that has given the Razorbacks their only SEC loss this year.
“That game is not over,” Torres-Lopez said of their competition with Florida this year. “We didn’t finish it last time, and we’re ready to go down there.”