(University of Arkansas Volleyball)
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (Univ. of Ark.) - The University of Arkansas volleyball team lost in four sets to Texas A&M Friday night in front of 1,199 fans at Reed Arena in College Station. The Razorbacks were paced by a double-double performance-21 kills and 14 digs-from junior Meredith Hays. With the loss, Arkansas drops to 13-8 overall and 6-4 in Southeastern Conference play.
Hays' double-double was her seventh of the season and fifth during against an SEC opponent. It also marked her fourth match of the season with at least 20 kills. Sophomore Liz Fortado added a season-high 11 kills to go along with a .320 hitting percentage.
With her 15th dig of the match, senior libero Emily Helm moved into 13th place on the program's all-time digs list. The Queen Creek, Ariz., native finished the match with a match-high 22 digs and now has 843 in her Razorback career. She now has eight matches this season with at least 20 digs. Helm now trails teammate and fellow senior Raymariely Santos-875 digs-who is in 12th place on the Arkansas digs list.
On its fourth opportunity to win the opening frame, Arkansas went to freshman Breana Jones who found a space in the Aggie defense to clinch the set. The Razorbacks trailed by as many as three points early but pulled even at 13-all with a kill from Fortado. Arkansas went on to lead by as many as three before arriving at its first of four set points at 24-23. Texas A&M (11-8, 3-5 SEC) had a set point at 27-26 but it was erased by a kill from freshman Ana Sofia Jusino.
After dropping sets two and three, Arkansas jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the fourth set with the help of two kills from Hays and a service ace from senior Ashley Vazquez. Texas A&M rattled off nine points in a row later in the set to go ahead on the scoreboard, 14-8. The Razorbacks fought back and pulled to within one after a kill from freshman Savannah Voelzke. Senior Hayley Koop served up an ace to cut the lead to one late in the match but the Aggies won three of the last four points to clinch the four-set win.
The Razorbacks now travel to Baton Rouge, La., in preparation of their weekend finale against LSU. Sunday's matchup with the Tigers is scheduled for a 1 p.m. (CT) start at the Maravich Center. Arkansas holds a 25-15 advantage in the all-time series with LSU and has won three of the last four meetings.