Razorbacks complete Aggie sweep on Wednesday
The Volley Hogs’ final midweek game of the season ended in straight sets for Arkansas as the Razorbacks beat the Aggies 25-18, 25-20 and 25-20 on Wednesday at College Station.
The Hogs are now 18-8 overall and 9-6 in the SEC game. The team’s 18 wins are the biggest since their 2017 roster (19) with three games remaining in the regular season. With the win over A&M, Arkansas recorded an unblemished 4-0 in Wednesday’s games this year.
An extremely well balanced offense helped the Razorbacks to success, and four Hogs hit over .300 on the night. As a team, Arkansas hit 0.277 and their opening set percentage of 0.516 is the highest in a set since the Hogs started the season on August 27.
Junior Maggie Cartwright had 14 kills over the course of the evening and reached 0.478. Junior Jill Gillen added a double-double with 12 kills and 14 digs, and sophomore Taylor Head also contributed 12 kills. Senior passer Gracie Ryan had 37 assists and 12 digs for the double-double, and also had three kills and an ace.
Arkansas had another successful night on the service line and posted eight points to zero for A&M. Head had three, which is a season high, and Gillen added two. The Razorbacks remain atop the SEC rankings in aces per set with 1.66 and 164 overall.
The Hogs took a three-point lead over Cartwright and Gillen and an ace from Gillen, but the teams played close to it. Arkansas found a way to respond each time and three consecutive wins for Abigail Archibong and Head widened the lead to 15-10 by the time of the media hiatus. The Hogs maintained their momentum and were the first at 20, and the Aggies ran out of time to catch up. Cartwright took it to score and put the first aside for Arkansas 25-18.
Arkansas started the second set in a 3-0 run that saw the Razorbacks lead all the way. Gillen and Head’s back-to-back wins pushed the Hogs to 10-4 and sent the Aggies to a timeout. Arkansas continued to maintain a lead of at least four points until an attacking error brought the score to 17-14. A&M made another push with three consecutive points to make it 21-19, but the gap was too big to close. Aggie’s back-to-back errors closed the set 25-20 for the Razorbacks and put Arkansas 2-0 in the game.
The Razorbacks had a comfortable lead to start the first set, and a kill from Ryan and an ace from Head gave Arkansas a five-point advantage at 11-6. A&M went to a timeout and Head responded with another ace, but the Aggies gained ground from there. While the Hogs managed to keep them at bay by at least three points, the home side used a three-point run to get closer to one at 15-14. Cartwright’s back-to-back eliminations got the ship right, and while the Aggies remained on their heels, an elimination from Gillen and another ace in the lead pushed the Hogs over 20. Gillen took the starting point with her 11th elimination and while the Aggies spoiled That, Jill pulled another one for the 25-20 set and the 3-0 game win.
The Hogs return to Barnhill Arena for a pair of games against Mississippi State on Saturday, November 20 at 5 p.m. and Sunday, November 21 at 3 p.m. Saturday will be broadcast on SECN +, while Sunday’s game will be broadcast live on SEC Network. Sunday will also serve as a senior day for Lauren Evans, Ellease Crumpton, Abbigail McGee and Gracie Ryan of Arkansas.
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