Razorbacks Complete Road Sweep of Aggies on Wednesday
The Volley Hogs’ last midweek match of the season ended in straight sets for Arkansas as the Razorbacks defeated the Aggies 25-18, 25-20 and 25-20 on Wednesday in College Station.
The Hogs are now 18-8 overall and 9-6 in SEC play. The team’s 18 wins are the most since their 2017 slate (19) with three matches remaining in the regular season. With the victory over A&M, Arkansas went an unblemished 4-0 in Wednesday contests this year.
An extremely well-balanced attack helped lead the Razorbacks to success, and four Hogs hit over .300 on the night. As a team, Arkansas hit .277 and its .516 first set percentage is its highest in a set since the Hogs’ season opener on Aug. 27.
Junior Maggie Cartwright had a team-best 14 kills on the night and hit .478. Junior Jill Gillen added a double-double with 12 kills and 14 digs, and sophomore Taylor Head also contributed 12 kills. Senior setter Gracie Ryan had 37 assists and 12 digs for the double-double, and also tallied three kills and an ace.
Arkansas had another successful night at the service line and posted eight to A&M’s zero. Head had three, which matches a season high, and Gillen added two. The Razorbacks remain atop the SEC standings in aces per set with 1.66 and 164 total.
The Hogs jumped out to a three-point lead off kills from Cartwright and Gillen and a Gillen ace, but the teams played close from there. Arkansas found a way to answer back each time and three straight kills from Abigail Archibong and Head widened the gap to 15-10 at the media timeout. The Hogs kept the momentum and were the first to 20, and the Aggies ran out of time to catch up. Cartwright took it to set point and put the first away for Arkansas 25-18.
Arkansas began the second set on a 3-0 run that set the Razorbacks up to lead the entire way through. Back-to-back kills from Gillen and Head pushed the Hogs’ lead to 10-4 and sent the Aggies to a timeout. Arkansas continued to stay up by at least four from there until an attack error made it 17-14. A&M made another push with three straight points to make it 21-19, but the gap was too much to overcome. Back-to-back Aggie errors closed the set 25-20 for the Razorbacks and put Arkansas up 2-0 in the match.
The Razorbacks had a comfortable lead to start the first set, and a kill from Ryan and ace from Head made it a five-point advantage for Arkansas at 11-6. A&M went to a timeout, and Head answered with another ace, but the Aggies gained some ground from there. While the Hogs managed to keep them at bay by at least three, the home team used a three-point run to come within one at 15-14. Back-to-back kills from Cartwright righted the ship, and while the Aggies stayed on their heels, a kill from Gillen and another Head ace pushed the Hogs over 20. Gillen took it to set point with her 11th kill and while the Aggies spoiled it, Jill fired off another for the 25-20 set and 3-0 match victory.
The Hogs return to Barnhill Arena for a pair of matches against Mississippi State on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 5 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 21 at 3 p.m. Saturday will be streamed on SECN+, while Sunday’s match will be broadcast live on SEC Network. Sunday will also serve as Senior Day for Arkansas’ Lauren Evans, Ellease Crumpton, Abbigail McGee and Gracie Ryan.
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