Arkansas Sweeps Portland, Wins Bobcat Classic
The Razorback volleyball team had its final match of the 2021 Bobcat Classic on Saturday morning and made quick work of the Portland Pilots. Arkansas swept Portland 3-0 with set scores of 25-17, 25-13 and 25-19 for a 3-0 tournament record and the title.
Sophomore Taylor Head was named the tournament MVP after she had her best match of the trip on Saturday. She hit .500 on the day with 11 kills in 20 attempts, led the team in digs with nine and posted three service aces.
Senior Ellease Crumpton also earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team after a record-setting weekend. Her 15 kills and 21 attempts against Montana State on Friday are new personal bests, and she matched a personal high in blocks with nine. In Saturday’s tournament finale, Crumpton hit .389 on eight kills and added two blocks.
Freshman Courtney Jackson made a statement in Montana, which garnered her All-Tournament honors as well. She had 21 assists, 22 digs and four service aces over the three matches and played in each of Arkansas’ 13 sets in Bozeman.
The first set began close between the two teams, and they volleyed points back-and-forth early. The Hogs began to break away with a 4-1 run that started on a kill from junior Maggie Cartwright and featured two kills from Head and an ace from Jackson for a 19-15 lead. After a Portland timeout, Arkansas tacked on two more points. The Pilots only mustered two more of their own and began to run out of time as the Hogs kept the pressure on. The final two points, a kill from sophomore Jillian Gillen and a Portland attack error, sealed the 25-17 set victory for Arkansas, the first time the Razorbacks captured the first set all weekend.
Arkansas capitalized on an early 3-0 run with two Gillen kills and one from Cartwright to grab a 7-3 lead in the second set. The Pilots then came within two, but an ace and kill from Gillen pushed the deficit for Portland back to 9-5. A kill from Head and two from Gillen put the Pilots in a tough spot down 15-9, and they took a timeout. The momentum did not shift and the Razorbacks kept pushing. A Portland attack error and an ace from Head widened the gap to 17-9 in favor of Arkansas. Senior Lauren Evans registered an ace that put the Razorbacks up by 10, and three Pilot attack errors and another Evans ace pushed the score to 24-10 and set point. A kill from Abigail Archibong finished it off 25-13 for the Razorbacks. Arkansas hit .345 to Portland’s -0.083 in the second.
The Hogs showed no signs of slowing down in the third set, and they got a 4-1 lead off of a successful challenge and yet another ace from Evans. The Pilots came within one five times, but the Razorbacks answered right back with each attempt until they pulled away for good with an 11-9 lead. A kill from Gillen and Evans’ fourth ace of the day pushed the deficit to six and Portland called a timeout. The Pilots were able to string together a 5-2 run, but redshirt senior Hailey Dirrigl’s second pair of kills in the third set thwarted any real momentum, and the Hogs went up 20-15. Arkansas added two more kills from Head and benefited from three late Portland attack errors, including two that pushed the Razorbacks to set point and then ultimately ended the set and match in favor of Arkansas, The final score was 25-19 for a 3-0 Hogs match sweep.
Arkansas continues its streak of three road tournaments with the Tulsa Invitational Sept. 10-11. The Hogs take on Oral Roberts Friday at 10 a.m. and host Tulsa at 7 p.m. Arkansas closes out its Oklahoma action on Saturday with a match against Stephen F. Austin at noon.
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