Hogs treat huskies for highest ranking win since 2007
Arkansas welcomed its highest-ranking home opening opponent in program history on Friday and made the most of the challenge.
The Hogs defeated the No. 8 Washington Huskies 3-1 on Friday night, the team’s highest win since No. 5 Florida in 2007 and their first top 10 win since 2015.
“At first when we came in we were a bit concerned that we didn’t have the time we needed to prepare,” said head coach Jason Watson. “Proud of our team, I felt they played well and composed themselves, especially in the fourth set when they ran towards us, it was a bit of a challenge there but I found that really mature volleyball at the end of the game. “
Junior Taylor Head led Arkansas’ first double-double of the season with 16 kills and 10 digs. Seniors Jill Gillen and Maggie Cartwright both had 14 kills apiece and Cartwright hit .429. Graduate student Hailey Dirrigl had nine kills and hit .444, the second-highest on the night.
Arkansas benefited greatly from playing two setters that night. Seasoned veteran Gracie Ryan had 23 assists and 10 digs, while sophomore Hannah Hogue also had 10 digs and a career-high 31 assists.
The Hogs beat the Huskies .352 to .245, had seven aces and doubled Washington in blocks, 12 to 6. With the win, Arkansas takes the all-time lead 2-1, in the two teams’ first meeting since 2004.
The Razorbacks take on the Huskies in the series finale Saturday at 4 p.m. at Barnhill Arena. The game will be streamed live on SEC Network+.
Tickets for the game are available online, by phone or at the box office.
The two teams fought closely early in the night, but two kills from Dirrigl and an ace from Gillen put the Hogs to a three-point lead at 8-5. Arkansas held the lead from there, moving up as much as six points thanks to Gillen’s second ace of the night. The Huskies called a timeout at 19-13, but the Hogs didn’t let up, extending the lead to nine points, an ace from Tatum Shipes, the grad transfer. Washington picked up five more points, but a Cartwright kill ended the set 25-18 for the home team.
The Huskies took an early lead in set number two, but a kill and another ace from Gillen got things rolling at 7-7. Shipes added their second ace to the 9-9, but the Huskies took the lead and didn’t give it up. Arkansas threatened a kill from Cartwright late and came within three, but Washington leveled the match with a 25-20 win.
Washington grabbed the first two points of the third set, but Arkansas came back with a vengeance, scoring six straight points including kills from Cartwright and Gillen, leading to a timeout for Washington. The Hogs didn’t give the Huskies any breathing room and didn’t allow them to score more than three points at a time. The Razorbacks went on a four-point run that saw Abigail Archibong a solo block, a block assist, and a kill, ending with a kill from Head, and Washington went to an impasse again. Arkansas was first on 20 with a kill from Head who extended his lead to six. The Huskies made a push and also crossed the 20-point threshold, but a kill from Gillen and a Washington attacking error closed the door for a 25-20 set win.
There were eight early ties in the fourth and final set until the Hogs had strung together three points in a row, sparked by a kill by Cartwright and an ace by sophomore libero Courtney Jackson. After a time out in Washington, the Huskies added three points, but kills from Head and Gillen and Gillen’s fourth ace in as many sets increased the lead to 17-12. Head again took the Razorbacks to over 20 points and Arkansas led by as much as seven points. Just two points away from winning the match, the Huskies hit a three-point run to 23:21. Arkansas called time to regroup and set up a block from the break. Washington responded with a kill, but Gillen put down her 14th of the night to seal the 25-18 win.
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