The Razorback volleyball team swept the Georgia Bulldogs 3-0 at Barnhill Arena on Saturday.
Arkansas (11-4, 2-2) returned to Fayetteville after suffering two losses at No. 21 Tennessee last weekend. It was the first time the Hogs lost back-to-back matches this season.
Junior Jillian Gillen and sophomore Taylor Head led Arkansas’ scoring effort with 17.5 and 17 points, respectively, in the match against Georgia.
In the opening set, the Hogs got off to a big lead early thanks to several service errors and outs by the Bulldogs. When the Razorbacks got up to a 7-1 lead, Georgia took a timeout, attempting to slow Arkansas’ momentum. They did not succeed, and the Hogs kept scoring until they were up 13-1.
Backed into a corner, the Bulldogs started to mount a comeback, trading scores until Arkansas went up 19-8 and Georgia called a second timeout. From then, the Bulldogs went on a 10-3 run to make the score 22-18 before the momentum shifted back to Arkansas. Head recorded a kill to end the set at 25-21.
Arkansas finished the first set with a .229 hitting percentage, compared to Georgia’s .111.
To start off set two, Georgia used the momentum it built towards the end of set one to get off to an early 3-1 lead, its first of the match. Although the set was close, the Bulldogs led until one of their digs went out of bounds to give Arkansas its first lead of the set, 21-20.
It was all Arkansas from there, including two kills from Head, one sealing Arkansas’ 2-0 start to the match. Despite eight errors by the Hogs and a match-low .158 hitting percentage, Georgia never led by more than four points throughout the set and had a hitting percentage of 0.
In the third set, neither team scored more than three points straight, trading small leads throughout. The Hogs scored two straight kills to go up 13-11 before a Georgia timeout slowed them down. From there, the Bulldogs went on a 7-4 run to make it 18-17.
Arkansas answered with a dig and a Georgia service error to go up 20-18, and after a failed challenge by Georgia, the Hogs coasted from there.
Arkansas had another two straight kills, up 23-21, to end the intense third set. The Razorbacks finished with 12 kills and four errors to give them a match-best hitting percentage of .276.
“I was really pleased with the work we did this week,” Arkansas head coach Jason Watson told Razorback Athletics after the match. “Our schedule was beneficial in that we got three really good days of practice in, and we saw a significant return in our ability to score some points from the service line.”
Across all three sets, Arkansas scored 51 points and boasted a scoring percentage of 47.3%. Georgia challenged two Arkansas points in the match, neither of which were overturned. Arkansas finished with 32 kills, 9 blocks, and 43 digs.
With the win, Arkansas improved its conference record to 2-2 and improved to 11-4 overall, good for eighth in the Southeastern Conference standings.
Coming up for the Hogs is a road trip to Oxford, Mississippi, for a match against the Ole Miss Rebels at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The match will be broadcast on SEC Network+.