Balance strike lifts Arkansas to win over MS State

6 hours ago
Arkansas Athletics

Photo: Arkansas Athletics

The 23rd Razorbacks entered Sunday’s game looking for a reaction after being swept for the first time of the season the night before, and the Hogs did so with a 3-2 win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

The home team claimed the same first setup as Saturday, but Arkansas led 2-1 after three. Bulldog’s late return sealed the final score 25-23 in the fourth set for Mississippi State and ended the game, but Razorback’s foul was unstoppable and hit the blistering .615 mark in the second half. five for Arkansas’ first five-set win this season.

Hogs are currently 11-3 in the season and 2-2 in the SEC game. Mississippi also drew 2-2 in the conference, and the final was 9-5.

Arkansas’ offensive play was just as balanced as could have been in the finale of Sunday’s series, and the four Hogs scored more than 10 kills on Jill Gillen, Taylor Head, Hailey Dirrigl and Maggie Cartwright. Gillen leads with 16, while Head is just behind with 12 kills and 10 double-doubles. Dirrigl also has dozens of kills on 24 spins with just one error giving the team the highest hit rate at .458.

Graduate mid laner Tatum Shipes made a big impact on either side of the day with six saves and three serves, and a top seven kills of the season.

1st half

The opening half began to close between the two teams, but the Bulldogs took the lead 10-5 and went five games ahead of the media timeout. They took two more points to get a 17-10 advantage, which gave Arkansas a call of time. Mississippi State maintained a seven-point lead with the Bulldogs over 20 points, and the Hogs answered with just two more. Then an Arkansas service fault closed the 25-15 opening in favor of MSU.

Set of 2

There were six second-set relationships with neither team giving the other much breathing room, but the 4-0 Hog win was fueled by a kill from Maggie Cartwright and blocked by an ace from Gracie Ryan, make it 13-10 Hog. Mississippi State rallied with timeout, but Arkansas remained in control and didn’t let the Bulldogs take the lead down to less than two. Hogs hit the first 20 points with a Cartwright knock, and the home team clustered once again. Ryan responded with another ace, and while the Bulldogs added a pair of points, three consecutive Arkansas knocks ended the second game 25-19 for the Razorbacks and ended the game 1-1. .

Set of 3

Hogs wasted no time in the third set and immediately hit the gas to take a 5-1 lead. Mississippi State failed to generate any momentum after the timeout, and the Razorbacks continued to press with a 7-2 victory capped by aces from second-year scorer Hannah Hogue. The Bulldogs called for time again down 12-3, but were unable to combine more than two points at once, which kept the Razorbacks in complete control. Arkansas never took a lead less than the following year, and a knockdown from Gillen made up the score. Mississippi State pulled back a goal after a service error, but Dirrigl knocked it down to give it a 25-18 win and 2-1 Arkansas lead in the game.

Set of 4

The home team’s early mistakes helped Arkansas cushion the ball 6-3 in the fourth round, but the Bulldogs added three more points in a row to equalize, and did it again with the score 8-8. A 3-0 Hog run sent the Bulldogs into a gathering, and while they came within a couple of times, Arkansas extended the advantage to four at 19-15 with two lives from Head and one from Dirrigl . Mississippi State wanted time later, but Arkansas held steady and pushed the score to 22-19 after a Gillen kill. The Bulldogs then responded with four straight points and a tight 23-22 lead. Arkansas won it again, but a service error placed the set point in the hands of MSU, and the Bulldogs finished it 25-23 with a kill and forced a fifth set.

Set of 5

MSU got the first point in the deciding set, but Arkansas stabilized and quickly took the lead with a four-point run, which opened with a Dirrigl kill. Abigail Archibong gave Arkansas a five-point advantage with a knockdown and the Razorbacks took an 8-3 lead during the break. Soon after, the Bulldogs scored three unanswered points, and Arkansas called the time with a comfortable 12-8 lead. Gillen then added a pair of kills to bring it to head-to-head, and Head closed in the fifth set 15-8 to win 3-2 for Arkansas.


Team 23 Arkansas hosts 18 Kentucky (8-5, 3-1) in an SEC match this weekend at Barnhill Arena. The opening match is set for this Friday, October 7 at 7pm and the match at 5pm on Saturday. Both matches will be streamed live on SEC Network Plus.


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