- Arkansas def. Tennessee 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-21)
- Arkansas improves to 11-2 (1-0 SEC); Tennessee falls to 7-3 (0-1 SEC)
- Fayetteville, Arkansas (SEC Conference Match)
- Box Score
Fayetteville, Arkansas – As Arkansas continues their bounce back season in 2017 they got started on the right foot in SEC play by taking down Tennessee in straight sets.
Outside hitter Pilar Victoria has been an All-American type player in the first half of the season and continued her stellar play with a match-best 17 kills while also adding seven digs and a team-high four blocks. A native of Puerto Rico, Victoria was able to perform at a high-level amidst thoughts of her homeland.
She got plenty of help around her too as the Razorbacks out-hit the Vols .291-.206 and logged seven more digs (46-39). Elizabeth Pamphile was second in the match with 12 kills for Arkansas while hitting .500 as Kelly O’Brien (.545) and Reagan Robinson (.316) netted seven kills on efficient clips. Rachel Rippee was the center of it all with 39 assists.
On the defensive end, Arkansas was able to hold Tennessee down with three players in double-figures for digs, but it was their serve that put the Volunteers in tough situations. The Razorbacks recorded seven aces to Tennessee’s zero, as Victoria and Krista Kolbinskie each had a pair.
The defense of Tennessee helped to keep them close, but instead of the back row it was the front as they out-blocked Arkansas 11 to seven. Alyssa Andreno (six) and Erica Treiber (five) were at the fore front while Kendra Turner (10 kills) led the offense.
Overall, there were just 11 ties and two lead changes for the entirety of the match as Arkansas seemed to be in control throughout. They still have one more SEC match in the week and will have an opportunity to really test if they can be an SEC dark horse title contender as they host the top-ranked Gators on Sunday. Tennessee meanwhile heads back home to prepare for their SEC home opener as they take on Mississippi State.
Courtesy of Arkansas:
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Behind a balanced attack featuring 19 combined kills from middle blockers Elizabeth Pamphile and Kelly O’Brien, the University of Arkansas volleyball team posted a straight-set victory over Tennessee in Wednesday’s SEC opener. Redshirt senior Pilar Victoria led all players with 17 kills and the Razorbacks registered seven service aces on their way to a fifth-consecutive win. With the win, Arkansas improves to 11-2 overall and 1-0 in league play.
The Razorbacks return to their home floor Sunday afternoon to host third-ranked Florida. First serve of the weekend finale is scheduled for 1 p.m. (CT) at Barnhill Arena. Single match tickets are $5 while UA students and fans 17 years and younger receive free admission with a valid ID.
Arkansas 3, Tennessee 0 | Box Score
Attendance: 833 | Time: 1:26
Barnhill Arena (Fayetteville, Ark.)
- Leaders vs Tennessee
Pamphile and O’Brien each tied their respective career highs with 12 and seven kills, respectively, and combined for a .517 hitting percentage. The pair also contributed defensively with three total blocks each. Sophomore setter Rachel Rippee had 39 assists in the match and guided the team to a .291 hitting percentage. Reagan Robinson and Hailey Dirrigl added seven and six kills, respectively.
Victoria, the reigning and three-time SEC Offensive Player of the Week, added seven digs, four total blocks and two service aces to her kill production. With 17 kills against Tennessee, she continues her run of having at least 15 kills in each match this season. Junior libero Okiana Valle paced a trio of double-digit performers with a match-high 11 digs. Seniors Kori Ortiz and Krista Kolbinskie each had 10 digs.
Arkansas led throughout the opening set, building an early 9-5 lead after back-to-back-to-back kills by Robinson that forced Tennessee (7-3, 0-1 SEC) to use its first time out. The visitors pulled to within two at 14-12 but the Razorbacks won four of the next five points for an 18-13 advantage. Arkansas won the last three points of the set, securing the frame with a service ace by Rippee for a 1-0 match lead.
After dropping the first point of the second set, the Razorbacks rattled off six of the next seven to seize control of play. The lead reached as high as eight points after a block by Pamphile and Victoria gave the home team a 14-6 lead. The Volunteers never got closer than three points in the set and a tandem block by Dirrigl and O’Brien took Arkansas to set point at 24-19. The ensuing play featured a kick save by Rippee that extended a rally that was eventually ended by Victoria’s 11th kill.
With the score tied at 5-all in the third set, Tennessee used a 4-1 surge to go ahead and used a block to further its lead to 11-7. However, the Razorbacks responded to tie the score on a Dirrigl kill and take its first lead of the set at 15-14 with an ace by Valle. Looking to post its seventh sweep of the season, Arkansas turned a 7-1 push to turn a tie score into a 22-16 lead with a kill by Pamphile. Tennessee saved three match points but Victoria closed out the match with a kill down the line.
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Courtesy of Tennessee:
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Tennessee fell on the road 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-21) to open SEC play against the University of Arkansas at Barnhill Arena on Wednesday night.
Tessa Grubbs led the way for the Lady Vols (7-2, 0-1 SEC) with a hitting percentage of .538 with eight kills on 13 attacks. Aiding her was senior Kendra Turner who finished with a team-high 10 kills and a .320 hitting percentage on 25 attacks.
Arkansas (11-2, 1-0 SEC) took the opening set 25-17 behind a slow start from Tennessee. Turner had three kills in the opening set, while Breana Jeter and Grubbs had two each.
Tennessee would pick things up in the second set behind the combination of Kanisha Jimenez and Turner who combined for six of the 11 kills in the set but the Razorbacks took a close set 25-19.
The Vols looked like themselves in the third set scoring 21 points and holding the lead for a large portion of the set. Early in the set, with the score tied 5-5, Tennessee would score eight of the next 13 points. The set would go back and forth from that point on until the Razorbacks broke through on a service ace by Krista Kolbinskie.
The Vols hit .206 for the match and had 35 kills but didn’t get the start that they wanted against a hot-hitting Arkansas team that had 49 kill on 110 attacks.
Arkansas was led by Pilar Victoria, who finished with 17 kills on 40 attacks and a hitting percentage of .250, and Elizabeth Pamphile who added 12 kills and a hitting percentage of .500.
Tennessee is back in action on Sunday when they welcome the Bulldogs of Mississippi State to Thompson-Boling Arena for a 1:30 p.m contest.