@RazorbackVB | 2014 Year in Review

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – For the third-consecutive season, the University of Arkansas volleyball team capped its year with an All-American selection. The three-year streak is the longest such run in program history. The Razorbacks finished the season with at least 15 wins overall and nine SEC wins for the four-consecutive year.

All-American Campaign
On the heels of one of the most outstanding offensive seasons in program history, senior Meredith Hays was named an AVCA All-America Honorable Mention performer for the second time in her Razorback career. She and former standout Jasmine Norton are the only players in program history to collect two All-America certificates during their respective careers. Hays led the SEC with 4.34 kills per set which also ranked 22nd overall in the NCAA. She also led the team with 13 double-doubles. Hays was previously honored with selections to the All-SEC and AVCA All-South Region teams.

Clark-Bibbs Earns All-SEC, AVCA Honors
In her first season at Arkansas, junior Chanell Clark-Bibbs was named to the 2014 All-SEC Team. With the selection, she became the 33rd all-conference player in program history and the eighth to do so under head coach Robert Pulliza. She also went on to earn AVCA All-South Region Honorable Mention honors. Clark-Bibbs led the team with a .337 hitting percentage and ranked among the top 20 in three statistical categories in the SEC. The Houston, Texas, native reached double-digit kills in 13 matches including a career-high 21 kills at Georgia (Nov. 9). Clark-Bibbs also led the Razorbacks with 121 total blocks and 24 service aces.

Pulliza Wins No. 100
With the Razorbacks’ five-set victory over Georgia (Oct. 12) at Barnhill Arena, head coach Robert Pulliza tallied his 100th career win. At season’s end, Arkansas had won at least 15 matches for the fourth-consecutive season under Pulliza who just completed his seventh season in Fayetteville. In the milestone victory, the Razorbacks trailed 13-10 in the fifth set before rallying to win the final five points of the match.

Championship Opener
With the program’s first-ever win over Michigan (Aug. 30), the Razorbacks won the season-opening Arkansas Invitational in a five-set battle at Barnhill Arena. The team also posted wins over Stephen F. Austin and Tennessee State during the season-opening weekend. MVP honors went to Clark-Bibbs while Hays and junior Monica Bollinger earned all-tournament accolades. Clark-Bibbs and Hays combined for the match-winning block. The Razorbacks trailed 4-1 in the fifth set before rallying for the win.

Road Win at No. 20 Texas A&M
The Razorbacks posted the program’s first road win over a ranked opponent since 2012 with their four-set victory at No. 20 Texas A&M (Oct. 15) in front of a national audience on the SEC Network. The triumph also represented the program’s first win over the Aggies since the two teams became conference foes. Arkansas benefitted from three double-double performances and a .342 hitting percentage over the final three sets including a .420 mark in the close-out set.

Bollinger donned the libero jersey in 107 of 120 sets during the season and responded with 15 or more digs in 12 matches including a career-best 28 digs against Oral Roberts (Sept. 9). With the effort, she became just the seventh player in program history to reach that figure in a single match. Bollinger finished eighth in the SEC with 3.57 digs per set. Against South Dakota (Sept. 12), she and the Razorbacks tallied a season-high 83 digs.

Offensive Output
Arkansas wrapped its SEC-opening weekend with a season-high .354 hitting percentage vs. Mississippi State (Sept. 28). Collectively, the Razorbacks committed just eight attack errors in 96 swings against the Bulldogs. The team’s eight attack errors in one match were the program’s fewest since 2011. The season-high effort surpassed the team’s .339 mark established in the previous match in an SEC-opening win against Tennessee (Sept. 26).

Dishing It Out
Freshman setter Bailee Hankenson collected a season-high 61 assists in the Razorbacks’ win over Georgia (Oct. 12) at Barnhill Arena. The 61 assists represented the fifth-highest total by an SEC setter in 2014. Overall, Hankenson had nine matches with at least 40 assists including five matches with 50 or more assists. The Decatur, Ind., native was second on the team with six double-doubles. Hankenson earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors (Nov. 10) after a pair of road wins at Auburn and Georgia.

Clean Swinging
Coinciding with a three-match winning streak, redshirt sophomore Ana Sofia Jusino put together a three-match stretch in which she did not commit an attack error. The Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, native hit .561 (23-0-41) during the run. She had six or more kills in each of those matches including 10 kills on 19 swings against South Carolina (Nov. 19). Earlier in the year, Jusino established a career high with 12 kills against Oral Roberts (Sept. 9).

Quartet Posts 10+ Kills
In the team’s five-set win against South Carolina (Nov. 9), the Razorbacks were paced by four different players who had double-digit kills. Junior Liz Fortado led all players with a career-high 19 kills and was joined in double digits by Hays (18), Clark-Bibbs (16) and Jusino (10). Collectively, Arkansas tallied 70 kills compared to 49 by the Gamecocks. Earlier in the year, Fortado had established a then-high of 17 kills against Georgia (Oct. 12).

Welcome to Barnhill Arena
The Razorbacks’ five-set victory over South Carolina (Nov. 19) was played in front of 2,349 fans at Barnhill Arena, good for the second-largest home crowd in program history. Arkansas added a second top-five attendance mark during its 2014 season opener with 1,463 fans in the stands against Tennessee State (Aug. 29). Overall, nine of the top-10 home crowds have been registered since the start of the 2010 season.

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