Arkansas Falls in series finale, splits with No. 8 Washington
The Razorbacks took on the No. 8 Washington Huskies on Saturday and earned the team’s highest-ranked win in 15 years. While the Hogs went the distance in the first set, the Huskies emerged victorious in the following three, 3-1 in victory.
Junior Taylor Head had 16 kills for the second straight night, also had 15 digs for a double-double and hit .484. Sophomore libero Courtney Jackson led the team with 18 digs and had five serve aces, a new career high.
The all-time series between the Hogs and the Huskies is now 2-2.
The first set was a back-and-forth battle between the two teams until Washington broke away with a three-point run to take an 8-5 lead. The gap widened, but the Hogs fought back with four straight points, a kill from senior Maggie Cartwright and three straight aces from Jackson, tying the set at 14-all. There were six draws from there through the 20th point, but another Jackson ace and three kills brought the set point for Arkansas. Washington came back immediately with a four-point run to force a timeout in Arkansas, and the Huskies cowered when the Hogs were a point away. A mistake in Washington and a block from grads Tatum Shipes and Hailey Dirrigl were enough to edge Arkansas over the edge for a 27-25 first set win.
Jackson’s fifth ace of the day closed the second set at four, but Washington took the lead from there and never wavered. Trailing 11-5, the Hogs regrouped with a time-out, but the Huskies scored 10 of the next 15 points, putting Arkansas in a 21-10 hole. The Razorbacks added three more points after a timeout but couldn’t make a comeback and the Huskies won the set 25-13 to level the match 1-1.
The Hogs came out in the third swing and had a 3-0 cushion early on that quickly grew to 7-3 after two kills from Cartwright and Head. The Huskies then ran ahead on a 6-3 run and took the lead, but the Hogs held them tight and took a 12-11 lead. The teams traded for the next seven points and it was 15 points at the media timeout. A kill by Head and two Washington offensive errors forced a Washington timeout with three razorbacks, and the Huskies regrouped to level the score at 20. Washington then ripped 4-1 and took it to the set point. A kill from senior Jill Gillen spoiled it, but the Huskies closed the next opportunity for a 25-22 third set and match lead.
Gillen and Cartwright’s kills started at four and five, respectively, but Washington scored seven of the next nine points for a 12-7 lead, prompting a time-out for Arkansas. The Hogs didn’t let the Huskies get more than two points at a time after that, but couldn’t generate a long scoring run either. Arkansas bet on three for an 18-15 deficit, which sent Washington to a timeout. The hogs threatened but couldn’t catch more than three. The Huskies ended the set and match with two kills and a final score of 25-20.
Arkansas heads to its first and only away non-conference event next week, a tournament in Fort Collins, Colorado. The Hogs will play the host Colorado State Rams on Thursday, September 1 at 7 p.m., Alabama State on September 2 at approximately 4:30 p.m. and the Florida Gulf Coast on September 3 at 11:30 a.m. Games will be broadcast on the Colorado State website via the Mountain West Network.
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