Behind her defensive performance, Helm moved into a tie for 10th place on the program’s career digs list. The Queen Creek, Ariz., native has registered 966 digs in her two-year career as a Razorback, pulling her even on the all-time list with Anna Velikanova. Sunday’s effort was her 11th match with at least 20 digs, eight of which have come during SEC play. Helm now has 32 sets this season with six or more digs, including a 10-dig showing in the first set against MSU.
The Razorbacks’ offense was led by the 12 kills from Hays and 11 kills from freshman Savannah Voelzke, the first double-digit match of her career. Fellow freshman Barbara Dapic capped her weekend with seven kills on 11 swings with just one error, good for a .545 hitting percentage. Senior Raymariely Santos finished the match with 28 assists, eight digs, five kills and five total blocks.
Sunday’s match was controlled the Arkansas’ defense that limited Mississippi State to a -.075 hitting percentage. That mark is the lowest by a Razorback opponent since the 2009 season. Arkansas tallied 50 digs in Sunday’s sweep and added 13.0 total team blocks at the net. Freshman Danielle Harbin led the team’s efforts at the net with a career-high seven total blocks including a solo stuff on match point.
Trailing 15-14 in the opening set, Arkansas ended the frame by winning 11 of the last 12 points and took a 1-0 lead on the match scoreboard. The Razorbacks used another big scoring run in the second—this time a 12-4 surge—to turn a set tied at 7-all into a 19-11 advantage. Santos found a gap in the MSU defense with a second-touch kill to send Arkansas into intermission with a 2-0 lead.
The Razorbacks jumped out to an early 5-1 lead in the third set and later used a five-point run to take a 16-8 advantage. Harbin had three of her seven blocks over the final four points of the match, teaming up with Santos for two and then ending the match with a solo block on a would-be MSU attack in the middle.
Up next, the Razorbacks will travel to No. 4 Missouri for a midweek match. The regular-season finale is set for Nov. 27 at the Hearnes Center in Columbia, Mo. It will be the second meeting between the two teams this season and Arkansas’ first trip to the Tigers’ home floor since the 2005 season.
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