Razorbacks Drop Season Opener to Kansas

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – For the fourth time in the past six meeting between Arkansas and Kansas, the winner was decided in five sets but, unfortunately for the Razorbacks, the visiting Jayhawks came away with the victory Friday night at Barnhill Arena. Sophomore Hailey Dirrigl led all players with 18 kills while sophomore co-captain Elizabeth Pamphile tallied a career-high nine total blocks.

The two teams will turn around and face off again Sunday afternoon, this time in Lawrence. First serve of the rematch is set for 1 p.m. (CT) at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center. The match will be streamed on ESPN+ through the WatchESPN app.

Kansas 3, Arkansas 2 (21-25, 23-25, 25-20, 27-25, 15-8) | Box Score
Attendance: 1,129 | Time: 2:48
Barnhill Arena (Fayetteville, Ark.)

• Stat leaders vs Kansas
o Kills: Hailey Dirrigl – 18
o Digs: Okiana Valle – 24
o Blocks: Elizabeth Pamphile – 9.0 (1-8)
• Six of the 12 all-time meetings between Arkansas and Kansas have gone five sets including four of the past six

Senior Kelly O’Brien joined Dirrigl in double figures with a career-high 13 kills, surpassing her previous best of seven kills in a road match at LSU last season. Fellow senior Okiana Valle began her final season with her 19th-career outing with at least 20 kills, finishing Friday’s match with 24 digs. She also contributed seven assists from her libero position.

Pamphile added nine kills to her defensive showing at the net. Junior setter Rachel Rippee, and fellow co-captain, registered 44 assists and nine digs to finish just one dig shy of the 20th double-double of her career. She also chipped in with four kills and four total blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Logan Brown added nine kills against the Jayhawks.

The Razorbacks jumped out to a 2-0 match lead before Kansas avoided the sweep by taking the third set. In the fourth, the teams traded blows in a set that was tied 11 times. Arkansas saved a set point at 24-23 and had a match point at 25-24 on a Dirrigl-Pamphile tandem block. However, the Jayhawks rattled off the next three points to win the set and force the decisive frame.

In a back-and-forth start to the fifth set, Arkansas and Kansas battled through five early ties and were tied at 7-7. However, the visiting Jayhawks won eight of the last nine points of the match to complete the rally.

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