Senior Day Sweep, Razorbacks Beat Auburn

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Behind 18 kills from redshirt senior Pilar Victoria and a double-double for sophomore setter Rachel Rippee, the University of Arkansas volleyball team posted a straight-set win over Auburn on Saturday afternoon at Barnhill Arena. On the way to their 11th sweep of the season, the Razorbacks finished the match with a .282 hitting percentage and collected their 10th home win of the year.

Arkansas closes out the regular season with a 19-11 overall record—a 10-win improvement from 2016—and a 9-9 mark in SEC play. Saturday’s match was played in front of 1,042 fans, the sixth home crowd of the season with 1,000 or more.

Arkansas 3, Auburn 0 | Box Score
Attendance: 1,042 | Time: 1:26
Barnhill Arena (Fayetteville, Ark.)

• Leaders vs Auburn
o Kills: Pilar Victoria – 18
o Digs: Okiana Valle – 19
o Blocks: Hailey Dirrigl, Kelly O’Brien – 3.0
• Double-Doubles
o Rachel Rippee – 34 assists, 12 digs (19th career)

With her offensive production, Victoria pushed her season total to 634 kills which is tied for 16th in NCAA history during the 25-point scoring era. In response to being held to seven kills in the first meeting of the season against Auburn (Oct. 1), she put down 18 kills and has now recorded at least 15 kills in 26 of 30 matches this year.

Prior to the match, Victoria and fellow seniors Krista Kolbinskie and Kori Ortiz were recognized for their respective careers. Kolbinskie finished the match with eight digs and two assists while Ortiz had seven digs of her own. Anchoring the team’s floor defense, junior libero Okiana Valle picked up 19 digs. The Razorbacks’ 62 digs are a three-set team high in 2017.

Rippee collected her 12th double-double of the year with 34 assists and 12 digs. Along the way, she surpassed 1,300 assists to become just the fourth setter in program history to hit that mark in a single season. She was aided by freshmen Elizabeth Pamphile and Hailey Dirrigl who had 11 and nine kills, respectively. In six of her eight matches with 10 or more kills, Pamphile also registered a .400 or better hitting percentage; she hit .409 against the Tigers.

Each of the three sets were characterized by back-and-forth play before the Razorbacks put together late scoring runs to pull away. In the first, the score was tied at 19-all but Arkansas won six of the last eight points close out the opening frame. Auburn (15-12, 8-10 SEC) led 20-16 in the second set before the home team rallied with a 9-2 surge to take the 2-0 match lead.

The third set featured 15 ties and six lead changes. The Razorbacks led by as much as three points but the score was tied at 20-20 after a kill by the visitors. From that point, however, Arkansas took advantage of three Auburn attack error to rattle off the final five points of the match. On the last rally, Kelly O’Brien put down an overpassed ball to secure the sweep.

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