Arkansas Volleyball capped off its first road trip with another sweep and ended the weekend at Colorado 3-0 without dropping a single set.
The Razorbacks beat the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles 25-14, 25-17 and 25-23 on Saturday. Senior Maggie Cartwright led the offense with 11 kills on 27 attempts for a .333 hit percentage and also had four digs.
Senior outside hitter Jill Gillen made history with her first kill of the day, which placed her in the top 10 in Arkansas program history for career kills. She finished the game with nine, bringing her current tally to 1,276, and she is the first addition to the list of top 10 career wins in 10 seasons. Gillen also posted a team-high four service aces that day and had eight digs.
Sophomore setter Hannah Hogue had a double-double with 19 assists and 13 digs, both team highs, and also contributed three aces to Arkansas’ 12 as a team.
The Hogs quickly built a two-point lead to start the game and went on a three-point streak soon after, highlighted by two aces from Courtney Jackson, for a 6-2 advantage. Arkansas stayed sharp on the service line and with another pair of aces from Gillen and a kill from Tatum Shipes, it went up 10-6. FGCU called time and were able to cut Arkansas’ lead to just two, but the Hogs responded with back-to-back kills from Gillen and an ace from junior Taylor Head for a 17-10 advantage. The Eagles recovered three after a timeout, but the Razorbacks were first at 20 on a win by Shipes. FGCU responded with one run, but Arkansas added five, including an ace from Gillen to finish 25-14 for the Hogs.
Arkansas started the second set with a big 6-1 run, which included Jackson’s third ace of the day, and despite FGCU’s best efforts, the Hogs held them to no more than two runs at a time. . The Hogs were the first to 15 kills on a Shipes and rolled from there. The Hogs had a five-point run to reach 20, which featured three FGCU errors, a kill from Cartwright and an ace from Hogue, which sent the Hogs to set point. The Eagles fought back and put up four of their own, but a Cartwright kill finished it, 25-17 in favor of Arkansas.
The Eagles came closest to catching the Hogs all day in the third set and held an 8-5 lead early. Arkansas then scored four of the next five points on a pair of wins from Cartwright and one from Head and Shipes, who tied the score at 9-9. The Hogs extended the lead to five at 17-12 with another kill from Shipes, but FGCU put the pressure on from there. The Eagles had three straight points and took a 21-20 lead, sending Arkansas to a timeout. The Hogs regrouped and thanks to a kill and an ace from Head and an error from the FGCU, reclaimed the lead at 23-22. The Eagles regrouped and tied once more, but Gillen’s ninth kill of the day brought a set and match point for the Hogs. A block from Gillen and Shipes sealed a narrow 25-23 victory for Arkansas’ third sweeping game in as many days.
Arkansas hosts Little Rock, Florida International and Colorado at Barnhill Arena next weekend for the Arkansas Invitational. The Hogs will face the UALR on Friday, September 9 at 10 a.m. and the FIU at 7:30 p.m., and return to action with Colorado on Sunday, September 11 at 1 p.m. Tickets are available now and can be purchased online, over the phone or in person.
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