VB v Miss State

Rachel Rippee (left), a senior, and Devyn Wheeler (right), a junior, go up for a block Nov. 24 during the Razorbacks’ match against the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

Arkansas women’s volleyball pushed its win streak to four after defeating Mississippi State on senior day Sunday evening, 3-2 (28-26, 25-18, 20-25, 20-25, 15-13). Arkansas has won 14-straight contests against the Bulldogs.

The Razorbacks (11-17, 5-11) came out swinging in the first set. The Hogs were up 15-13 before the Bulldogs (13-16, 2-15) tied it late in the set at 23. The Hogs scored three straight points and freshman Maggie Cartwright got a kill to give Arkansas a 1-0 advantage, winning the set 28-26. 

The Hogs took a 2-0 advantage after winning the second set 25-18. However, the Bulldogs rallied to win the next two sets, both by a score of 25-20, forcing a decisive fifth set.

Arkansas managed to get things back on track, winning the last set 15-13 after junior Elizabeth Pamphile delivered a final blow to prevent the Bulldogs from ending their losing streak against Arkansas.

Freshman Jillian Gillen has now recorded four-straight 20 plus kills and senior Rachel Rippee had 44 assists, a season best for her. Pamphile had three blocks and 12 kills as well. 

Arkansas coach Jason Watson was satisfied with how his team responded after losing two sets in a row and thinks fatigue may have played a factor in how long the game was, he said.

“This is our fourth or fifth set match in a row, so there is a little bit of fatigue, and we are pretty tired,” Watson said. “I think that showed through (tonight), especially once we got up 2-0, and we just kind of tried to coast for a bit.”

Watson was proud of how the team responded in the fifth set, calling it a gut check for the Hogs to win after losing two sets in a row.  The team needs to be healthy for its trip to Florida for the Hogs to be at the best, Watson said.

The Razorbacks’ next two games will be on the road at South Carolina and Florida. The Hogs play Florida on Nov. 27 and will try to extend their win streak to four.

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