Hogs Handle Huskies for Highest-Ranked Win Since 2007
Arkansas welcomed its highest-ranked home-opening opponent in program history on Friday and made the most of the challenge.
The Hogs defeated the No. 8 Washington Huskies 3-1 on Friday night, the team’s highest-ranked win since No. 5 Florida in 2007 and first top-10 win since 2015.
“Initially when we came in, we were a little concerned that we didn’t have the time that we needed to prep,” head coach Jason Watson said. “Proud of our team, I thought they played well and composed themselves, especially in that fourth set when they were making a run at us, it was a little bit of a challenge there, but I thought that was really mature volleyball at the end of the match.”
Junior Taylor Head led the way with 16 kills and 10 digs for Arkansas’ first double-double of the season. Seniors Jill Gillen and Maggie Cartwright both had 14 kills apiece and Cartwright hit .429. Graduate student Hailey Dirrigl had nine kills and hit .444, second highest on the night.
Arkansas benefited greatly from playing two setters on the night. Seasoned veteran Gracie Ryan posted 23 assists and 10 digs, while sophomore Hannah Hogue also had 10 digs and a career-high 31 assists.
The Hogs outhit the Huskies .352 to .245, had seven aces and doubled Washington in blocks, 12 to six. With the victory, Arkansas takes the all-time series lead 2-1, in the first meeting between the two teams since 2004.
The Razorbacks take on the Huskies in the series finale on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Barnhill Arena. The match will be streamed live on SEC Network+.
Tickets for the match are available online, by phone or at the door.
The two teams battled closely to begin the night, but two kills from Dirrigl and an ace from Gillen pushed the Hogs to a three-point lead at 8-5. Arkansas held the lead from there and got up by as many as six points thanks to Gillen’s second ace of the night. The Huskies called a time out down 19-13, but the Hogs didn’t let up and grew the lead to nine points off an ace from graduate transfer Tatum Shipes. Washington tacked on five more points, but a kill from Cartwright closed the set 25-18 for the home team.
The Huskies got out to an early lead in the second set, but a kill and another ace from Gillen knotted things up at 7-7. Shipes added her second ace to make it 9-9, but the Huskies took the lead from there and didn’t give it up. Arkansas threatened late with a kill from Cartwright and came within three, but Washington evened the match with a 25-20 victory.
Washington grabbed the first two points of the third set, but Arkansas came back with a vengeance and scored six straight points, including kills from Cartwright and Gillen, which prompted a Washington timeout. The Hogs gave the Huskies no breathing room and didn’t allow them to score more than three points at a time. The Razorbacks went on a four-point run which saw a solo block, block assist, and kill from Abigail Archibong and finished off with a kill from Head, and Washington went to a huddle again. Arkansas was the first to 20 with a kill from Head, which extended its lead to six. The Huskies made a push and crossed the 20-point threshold as well, but a kill from Gillen and a Washington attack error closed the door for a 25-20 set win.
There were eight ties in the fourth and final set to start, until the Hogs strung together three straight points, sparked by a kill from Cartwright and an ace from sophomore libero Courtney Jackson. Following a Washington timeout, the Huskies added three points, but kills from Head and Gillen and Gillen’s fourth ace in as many sets pushed the lead to 17-12. Head again put the Razorbacks past 20 points, and Arkansas led by as much as seven. Just two points away from the match victory, the Huskies posted a three-point run to make it 23-21. Arkansas called time to regroup and put up a block out of the break. Washington responded with a kill, but Gillen put down her 14th of the night to seal 25-18 victory.
Visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com for the latest information on all things Arkansas Volleyball. You can also find the Hogs on social media by liking us on Facebook (Arkansas Razorback Volleyball) and following us on Twitter and Instagram (@RazorbackVB).