Razorbacks Cap SEC-Opening Weekend With Sweep

    8:55 AM, Sep 30, 2013   |    comments
    Wesley Hitt/ Arkansas
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    STARKVILLE, Miss. (Univ. of Ark.) - The University of Arkansas volleyball team posted its second sweep of the weekend Sunday afternoon, knocking off Mississippi State in three sets (27-25, 25-21, 25-20) at the Newell-Grissom Building in Starkville, Miss. With the win, the Razorbacks improve to 9-4 overall and 2-0 in Southeastern Conference play. Arkansas is 2-0 in conference play for the first time since the 2003 season.

    Junior Meredith Hays led all players with 14 kills and completed her third double-double of the season with 15 digs, tying her season high in that stat category. Senior Hayley Koop was right behind her teammate with 13 kills, posting a .400 hitting percentage in the process. Defensively, the Razorbacks were paced at the net by six total blocks from freshman Breana Jones. Arkansas held Mississippi State (9-7, 0-2 SEC) to a .038 hitting percentage in the final two sets.

    In the opening set, the Razorbacks trailed by as many as seven points but used a 9-0 run to erase a six-point deficit and take a 20-18 lead behind the serve of senior Raymariely Santos. The Ponce, Puerto Rico, native served up three aces during the run of points. On the team's second opportunity to close out the set, Koop got up for a solo block to clinch game one.

    Arkansas jumped out to an early 7-1 lead in the second set and never trailed in the game. Mississippi State got as close as three points late in the set but the Razorbacks responded by winning four of the next five points. The Bulldogs saved two sets points but sophomore Summer Morgan found the floor in transition to clinch the set and give Arkansas a 2-0 match lead.

    Down by one point in the third set, the Razorback rattled off seven-straight points to take a 21-15 lead. Koop had four kills during the stretch while Jones chipped in with two blocks. Mississippi State pulled to within two late but on its second match point, Arkansas sealed the win with a Bulldog attack error.

    With the opening weekend of conference play in the books, the Razorbacks return to Fayetteville to prepare for their midweek matchup with Missouri. As part of the ESPNU Wednesday Night Volleyball package, Arkansas will play host to Missouri Oct. 2 at Barnhill Arena with first serve scheduled for 6 p.m. (CT)

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