Harbin Ties Career High in Season Opener

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Senior co-captain Danielle Harbin tied her career high with 14 kills Friday night but preseason No. 14 Illinois came away with a straight-set win in front of 2,805 fans on their home floor. The Razorbacks return to Huff Hall for a pair of matches Saturday, beginning with a 12:30 p.m. (CT) contest against Missouri State.

2016 Illini Classic
Saturday, Aug. 27
12:30 p.m. – Arkansas vs. Missouri State – Live Stats | Video
4:30 p.m. – Arkansas vs. Xavier – Live Stats | Video

No. 14 Illinois 3, Arkansas 0 (25-19, 25-13, 25-22)
Attendance: 2,805 | Time: 1:43
Huff Hall (Champaign, Ill.)

#RazorStats | Box Score
• Leaders vs. Illinois
o Kills: 14 – Danielle Harbin (ties career high)
o Digs: 10 – Okiana Valle
o Blocks: 2.0 (1-1) – Barbara Dapic

Harbin’s effort against the Fighting Illini marked the eighth double-digit performance of her career, and first against a ranked opponent. The Mobile, Alabama, native committed just two attack errors on 35 swings and finished the match with a .343 hitting percentage. The Razorbacks’ middles combined for 10 kills with Breana Jones and Ana Sofia Jusino registering five each.

Defensively, sophomore libero Okiana Valle picked up 10 digs to go along with two service aces, and in her collegiate debut, freshman Rachel Rippee tallied 27 assists, seven digs and an ace.

The home team jumped out to quick starts in both sets one and two, forcing head coach Jason Watson to use early timeouts at 9-3 and 8-2, respectively. In the opening frame, the Razorbacks recovered to pull to within one at 18-17 on a Savannah Voelzke kill but Illinois won seven of the last nine points to secure the set win.

After a back-and-forth start to the third set, Illinois gained control and took a 10-6 lead but the Razorbacks battled back and took their first lead of the match at 13-12 on a solo block by Barbara Dapic. In a set that featured 14 ties, Arkansas had its final lead when Harbin put down a kill to put her team ahead 19-18. With the score tied at 20-all, however, the Fighting Illini rattled off five of seven to seal the season-opening win.

After three road trips to begin the season, the Razorbacks return to Fayetteville for their home opener Sept. 16-17 with the Arkansas Invitational at Barnhill Arena. Season tickets are available for purchase through the Razorback Ticket Center with pricing options beginning at $40. Fans can call 800-982-HOGS (4647) or buy tickets online.

For more information about Arkansas volleyball, follow @RazorbackVB on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.