FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – In No. 8 Arkansas’ second match against a Bulldog mascot this week, the Hogs got their vengeance with a 3-0 sweep over Mississippi State at Barnhill Arena.
While the Hogs have won seven of the last 10 outings against the Bulldogs, it was Arkansas’ first victory over Mississippi State at home since 2019.
Senior outside hitter Taylor Head led the Razorbacks’ offense on the day with 13 kills and 10 digs, her 15th double-double of the season. Junior setter Hannah Hogue also contributed a double-double with 32 assists and 11 digs, and junior libero Courtney Jackson had a team-high 16 digs and three service aces.
The match was attended by 3,298 fans, the new No. 2 on the program attendance highs. Four of the highest-attended matches in Arkansas history have now come in 2023, all with over 2,000 in the stands.
The Razorbacks are now 21-4 on the season, which matches the most wins in a single season for head coach Jason Watson and prior to 2022, the most for Arkansas since 2012.
The first set was close to start until the Hogs used a pair of points to get a solid 6-4 lead. While the Bulldogs tied it shortly after at 9-9, a four-point run by the Razorbacks that featured two kills from Maggie Cartwright and an ace from Jackson pushed it to 13-9 Arkansas and sent State to a timeout. The Hogs stayed strong and limited the Bulldogs to two points at a time, but a huddle by the visiting team gave it newfound momentum and suddenly the score was tied 23-all. The Hogs called time and righted the ship and a kill by Head made it 26-24 for the set victory and match lead.
Arkansas rattled off four straight points early on for a 6-3 lead. The Bulldogs couldn’t manage more than one point at at a time, and back-to-back kills from Cartwright and Head grew the lead to five at 12-7. The Hogs didn’t let up from there and a four-point run highlighted by two kills from Sania Petties doubled up the advantage 18-9 for the Hogs. State called time and tacked on two out of the break, but Arkansas fired off six straight and a kill by Jill Gillen pushed it to set point. It was spoiled by a service error, but Gillen put down another kill to shut the door 25-12 and put Arkansas up 2-0.
The Bulldogs wouldn’t go quietly and rolled to a 5-1 start in the third set, a lead they held through the seventh point. Arkansas then locked in and went on an 8-1 run that featured two aces, one from Cartwright and one from Jackson, and the Razorbacks took a 12-8 lead. The Bulldogs then scored four of the next five and came within one. The Hogs got one back, but a 5-0 State point streak made it 17-14 for them. Arkansas regrouped with a timeout and used a six-point run with two Gillen kills, a solo block by Zoi Evans and capped with an ace from Hogue for the 20-17 advantage. The Bulldogs tied it shortly after at 21-21, but Arkansas scored three straight and an ace from Jackson pushed it to match point. State added a kill, but Petties put her eighth of the day down against her former team and sealed the set 25-22 and the sweep 3-0.
The Hogs go back on the road and have just one match next week at Alabama on Nov. 10. First serve is set for 6 p.m. in Tuscaloosa and the match will be streamed live on SEC Network+.
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