Weekend SEC Road Trip to the Magnolia State
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas volleyball team is back on the road this weekend for a pair of matches in the state of Mississippi, beginning Friday evening at Ole Miss. First serve of the SEC matchup is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. (CT) at the Gillom Sports Center in Oxford. On the heels of a split home slate last weekend, the Razorbacks enter the match with a 14-8 overall record and a 4-6 mark in SEC play.
Arkansas will close out the weekend Sunday with a 1 p.m. match against Mississippi State in Starkville. Both matches are scheduled to be streamed live on SEC Network+ and through the WatchESPN app. The Razorbacks’ next home match is Wednesday, Nov. 11, against LSU on the SEC Network.
Friday’s match in Oxford marks the second meeting of the season between Arkansas and Ole Miss (19-7, 5-6 SEC). In the first matchup, an Oct. 18 five setter in Fayetteville, the Razorbacks hit .291 and amassed 20.0 total team blocks but Ole Miss came away with the win. Junior Pilar Victoria led the way with a career-high 35 kills, the No. 2 single-match performance in program history. Arkansas leads the all-time series, 30-12, including two-straight wins on the Rebels’ home court.
The Razorbacks will enter Sunday’s match against Mississippi State (14-10, 3-7 SEC) having won 36 of 41 in the all-time series including the previous seven. The two teams last met Sept. 28, 2014, in Fayetteville, a straight-set win for Arkansas with Chanell Clark-Bibbs and Ana Sofia Jusino combining for 18 kills and eight total blocks. In road matches, the Razorbacks are 16-4 against Mississippi State in Starkville.
Arkansas carries a .250 hitting percentage this season which is good for fourth in the SEC and 47th in the NCAA. Individually, the Razorbacks are paced by Victoria who leads the conference and is sixth in the nation with 4.81 kills per set and 5.35 points per set. In Monday’s weekly awards release, she was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season. Victoria is the first Razorback since Jasmine Norton in 2011 to earn multiple offensive accolades in one season.
Junior Breana Jones enters the weekend second in the league and seventh in the NCAA with her .430 hitting percentage. She qualified for national ranking with a career-high 26 attacks against Alabama; she finished the match with 13 kills. Jones has tallied seven or more kills nine times this season and is hitting .463 with just 10 attack errors in those matches. In the Razorbacks’ last three outings, she has totaled 37 kills including a career-high 15 at South Carolina (Oct. 25).
Defensively, Arkansas is holding opponents to a .205 hitting percentage this season. For the fifth time this season, and first since the SEC opener at LSU, the Razorbacks had four players reach double figures in digs in the team’s five setter against Alabama and finished the match with 67 digs. Freshman libero Okiana Valle collected 41 digs in two matches last weekend. Senior Monica Bollinger enters the weekend 55 digs shy of the reaching the program’s career top-10 list.
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