Arkansas Falls in series finale, splits from No. 8 Washington
The Razorbacks took on the No. 8 Washington Huskies on Saturday after earning the team’s highest-ranked victory in 15 years, and while the Hogs went the distance in the first set, the Huskies emerged victorious in all three following for a 3-1 victory.
Junior Taylor Head had 16 kills for the second straight night, also had 15 digs for a double-double and hit .484. Sophomore Libero Courtney Jackson led the team with 18 digs and five service aces, a new career high.
The all-time series between the Hogs and Huskies is now tied at 2-2.
The first set was a back-and-forth battle between the two teams until Washington split with a three-point run and went up 8-5. The gap widened, but the Hogs fought back with four straight kills from senior Maggie Cartwright and three straight aces from Jackson to tie the set at 14-all. There were six deuces from there until the 20th point, but another Jackson ace and three kills gave Arkansas the point. Washington came right back with a four-run run to force a timeout from Arkansas, and the Huskies hunkered down once the Hogs were within a point. An error from Washington and a block from graduates Tatum Shipes and Hailey Dirrigl was enough to push Arkansas over the edge for a 27-25 first-set win.
Jackson’s fifth ace of the day tied the second set at four, but Washington took the lead from there and never wavered. Down 11-5, the Hogs regrouped with a timeout, but the Huskies scored 10 of the next 15 points, which put Arkansas in a 21-10 hole. The Razorbacks added three more points after a timeout but couldn’t make a comeback and the Huskies won the set 25-13 to tie the game at 1-1.
The Hogs came out strong in the third and had a 3-0 cushion to start, which quickly went to 7-3 after a pair of kills from Cartwright and Head. The Huskies then went on a 6-3 run and took the lead, but the Hogs kept it close and went up 12-11. The teams traded the next seven points and it was tied at 15 in the media timeout. A kill from Head and two offensive errors from Washington forced a timeout in Washington with the Razorbacks up three, and the Huskies regrouped to tie the score at 20. Washington then made a 4- 1 and brought it to the set point. A kill from senior Jill Gillen spoiled it, but the Huskies closed the next opportunity for a 25-22 third set and a game lead.
Gillen and Cartwright tied the set kill at four and five to start, respectively, but Washington scored seven of the next nine for a 12-7 lead, prompting a timeout for Arkansas. The Hogs didn’t allow the Huskies to score more than a pair of runs at a time afterward, but also couldn’t generate a long run streak. Arkansas nailed down three for an 18-15 deficit, which sent Washington into a timeout. The Hogs threatened but couldn’t close the gap more than three. The Huskies closed the set and the match with a pair of kills, with the final score at 25-20.
Arkansas hits the road for its first and only non-conference road action next week, a tournament in Fort Collins, Colorado. on Sept. 2 and the Florida Gulf Coast on Sept. 3 at 11:30 a.m. Games will be streamed on the Colorado State website via the Mountain West Network.
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