Big numbers lead Razorbacks to 3-1 win

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Behind three players with double-digit kill totals and a conference-high .383 hitting percentage, the University of Arkansas volleyball team downed South Carolina, 3-1, Sunday afternoon at the Volleyball Competition Facility in Columbia, S.C. Jasmine Norton tallied a career-high 25 kills with Kelli Stipanovich and Kristin Seaton adding 14 and 11 kills, respectively. Running the offense, setter Lindsay Scanlan dished out a match-high 49 assists. All five of Arkansas’ primary attackers hit at least .340 in the match.

The Razorbacks also equaled their season high with 11 service aces. Amanda Anderson tallied four aces, a career high, Norton and Phoebe Bautista had three and two, respectively, while Scanlan and Katelyn McCarthey each chipped in one ace against the Gamecocks.

"What an exciting win for this team today," head coach Robert Pulliza said. "It was a total team effort and I could point to each person and say what they did to contribute to the victory. Certainly Jasmine Norton was big for us with 25 kills, but Kelli Stipanovich and Kristin Seaton were right there with impressive numbers, too. We also saw good things from Allison Johnson and our serving was very important all match."Seaton got things started with the first two points of the match and Arkansas (11-12, 5-7 SEC) seized early control in the first set of Sunday’s match. Back-to-back service aces by Anderson gave the Razorbacks a 7-3 lead. Consecutive kills by Johnson on South Carolina overpasses gave Arkansas a 12-6 advantage and forced a timeout by the home team. Johnson finished the match with a season-high seven kills.Tough serving was key in the opening set as Arkansas totaled six aces. Anderson had two more aces in a row to give her team a 20-10 lead, its biggest advantage of the set. An ace by Norton, her second of the set, brought Arkansas to set point and a ball-handling miscue by South Carolina’s Ivana Kujundzic gave the Razorbacks the set, 25-16.In a complete turnaround, South Carolina (12-9, 4-8 SEC) won the first three points of the second set to take the momentum away from the Razorbacks. Leading 5-3, the home team reeled off eight of the next nine points to take a 13-4 advantage. Arkansas fought back and closed to within four points, trailing 16-12, after a Stipanovich kill, but the Gamecocks remained steady to maintain its lead through the remainder of the set. A kill by Megan Laughlin secured the second set for South Carolina, 25-22.After intermission, the Razorbacks gained an early lead and went ahead 8-4 on a kill by Norton. Arkansas held on to its four-point lead through the early stages of the set, but the Gamecocks pulled to within one after a Laughlin kill and eventually tied the set, 17-17, on a putaway by Brandi Byers.The rest of the set was a back-and-forth affair with neither team gaining more than a one-point lead. South Carolina grabbed its first lead of the set after an ace by Laughlin and went on to have a set point, 24-23, after a ball-handling error by Scanlan. Kills by Stipanovich and Anderson reversed the situation to give Arkansas a set point of its own. A service ace by Bautista put the set away in favor of the Razorbacks, 26-24.As it had done in previous sets, Arkansas jumped out to a lead in the fourth and, after an Anderson kill, led 7-3. The team appeared to be on the verge of a victory when a kill by Norton gave the Razorbacks an 18-11 advantage, their biggest lead of the set. However, the Gamecocks started to chip away at their deficit and closed the gap to two to force Pulliza into a timeout.Arkansas would not falter and won the final three points of the contest. Stipanovich had a kill on the first play out of the timeout and Bautista brought the team to match point with her second ace of the match. Stipanovich smacked one last kill to seal the set, 25-20, and the match for Arkansas.The Razorbacks play their next three matches on their home court at Barnhill Arena, beginning with an Oct. 30 matchup with No. 7 Kentucky. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. (CT) and fans are encouraged to wear their Cardinal as Arkansas looks to "Red Out" its events during the homecoming weekend. For more information, log on to

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