Fifth-Set Blocking Leads to Win Over Ole Miss

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Behind a quartet of double-digit performers and with the support of the fifth-largest home crowd in program history, the University of Arkansas volleyball team snapped its three-match skid Friday night with a five-set victory over Ole Miss. Redshirt senior Pilar Victoria and freshman Hailey Dirrigl paced the offense with 24 and 15 kills, respectively, while junior Kelly O’Brien led all players with eight total blocks.

With the win, the Razorbacks improve to 12-5 overall with a 2-3 mark in SEC play. Friday’s match marked Arkansas’ seventh five setter of the season; the team is 4-3 in those matches. Playing in front of 1,428 fans at Barnhill Arena, the Razorbacks also improved to 6-1 on its home floor this season.

Arkansas 3, Ole Miss 2 | Box Score
Attendance: 1,428 | Time: 2:20
Barnhill Arena (Fayetteville, Ark.)


  • Leaders vs Ole Miss
    • Kills: Pilar Victoria – 24
    • Digs: Okiana Valle – 17
    • Blocks: Kelly O’Brien – 8.0 (0-8)

After the teams split the first four points of the decisive fifth set, Arkansas won the next three points to go ahead 5-2 on the scoreboard and force Ole Miss (12-6, 3-2 SEC) into a timeout. The Razorbacks led 8-5 as the teams switched benches and went on to lead 13-10 after a Dirrigl-O’Brien tandem block. With the team’s lead cut to one, Dirrigl registered her final kill of the night to set up match point. On the ensuing point, she teamed up with Elizabeth Pamphile for the match-winning block.

With her eighth kill of the match, Victoria tallied the 900th kill of her Razorback career. She completed a double-double with 14 digs to go along with five total blocks. Sophomore setter Rachel Rippee had a double-double of her own with 53 assists and 12 digs. She was second on the team with six total blocks. Pamphile and Reagan Robinson each had 10 kills to round out the team’s double-digit outings.

Behind the block, junior libero Okiana Valle picked up a team-high 17 digs and had a season-high seven assists. She was one of five Razorbacks with 10 or more digs. With Friday’s showing, Valle is within five digs of cracking Arkansas’ all-time top five. Krista Kolbinskie had 12 digs Friday while freshman Paige Johnson had 11 digs for a second-consecutive match.

The Razorbacks close out their weekend with a road match Sunday afternoon at LSU. First serve of the conference match is scheduled for 1 p.m. (CT) at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, La. Sunday’s match will be the 47th in the all-time series between the two programs.

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