Volleyball fails against No. 20 Arkansas

Fayetteville, Ark. Ole Miss battled with the nation’s No. 20 team but came up short, losing 3-1 to Arkansas on Saturday afternoon inside Barnhill Arena.

The Rebels (4-8, 0-2 SEC) fought back, working the Razorbacks (10-2, 1-1 SEC) to their first conference victory. In the end, 15 kills of payton brgoch and 12 of Sasha Ratliff weren’t enough to overcome Arkansas’ powerful offense that hit .305 as a team. First year passer Aly Borellis finished with a career-high 15 digs to go along with 39 assists in the loss.

Tied at four in the first set, the Razorback opened things up with a 4-0 run to force an Ole Miss timeout. The Rebels came out of the break and scored a pair of points but lost a third on an unsuccessful challenge. Arkansas used it as momentum to open a 15-6 lead. Ole Miss continued to fight but couldn’t overcome the deficit, losing 25-14.

The Rebels flipped a switch in the second set, opening the game with a 7-1 start, highlighted by pocket aces from Bair that caused Arkansas to time out. They continued to take a 12-3 lead before the Razorbacks fell back in three. Ole Miss managed to restore their seven-point lead to 22-15, but Arkansas wouldn’t leave that easily. The Razorbacks make it interesting, recovering less than two, but Bair and Brgoch stepped up the stretch to help the Rebels win the set and even the match in one.

The intensity continued in the third set with both teams clicking. A home and away set that saw nine ties and a pair of lead changes ensued. Ole Miss found herself trailing two at the media break, but not for long as a pair of blocks from Brgoch and Bair tied the game at 17. Moments later, Brogch and Samantha Schnitta combined on another block to take a 19-18 lead and force Arkansas to call timeout. As the set went down to the wire, the Rebels called a one-point timeout with Arkansas at set point, but couldn’t get the stoppage they needed as Arkansas won set 25 -23.

Arkansas kept the momentum going from set three to fourth, opening with a 4-0 run. Ole Miss fought back to even things up at five, and from there the two teams traded points until Arkansas used a 4-1 run to take a 19-16 lead. Coming out of a fast small group, the Rebels found themselves on a quick 3-1 run to make it a one-point set again. The Razorbacks regrouped with a timeout and found a way to take the set and win the match.

The Rebels are back in action next weekend when they take on LSU in Baton Rouge on September 30 and October 1.

Follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissVB, Facebook at Ole Miss Volleyball and on Instagram at @olemissvb. You can also follow the head coach Kayla Banwarth on Twitter @KaylaBanwarth2.

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