STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Sealing its first conference sweep of the season with its ninth team block, the University of Arkansas volleyball team closed out its weekend road trip with a straight-set win Sunday afternoon at Mississippi State. Junior Danielle Harbin matched her season high with 13 kills while Pilar Victoria and Breana Jones added nine and seven, respectively, in the victory. Defensively, freshman libero Okiana Valle collected a team-high 15 digs. With the win, the Razorbacks improve to 15-9 overall and 5-7 in SEC play.
Arkansas 3, Mississippi State 0 (25-21, 25-23, 29-27) Attendance: 571 | Time: 1:44 Newell-Grissom Building | Starkville, Miss.
o Leaders at Mississippi State o Kills: Danielle Harbin - 13 (ties season high)
o Digs: Okiana Valle - 15
o Blocks: Four tied with 4.0
Behind the serve of sophomore Kori Ortiz-including her third ace of the season-the Razorbacks jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first set but Mississippi State (14-12, 3-9 SEC) put together a run of its own to take a 10-7 advantage. With the score tied at 14-all, Arkansas won five of the next six points to take a 19-15 lead on a kill by Victoria. The home team got as close as two before a kill by Harbin gave the Razorbacks set point at 24-21. Arkansas clinched the opener on the next point with an MSU attack error.
After a back-and-forth start to the second, the Razorbacks took an 11-6 lead after Harbin and fellow junior Breana Jones teamed up for a block. Arkansas' lead grew to as much as six at 19-13 after consecutive kills from Victoria and Harbin. The Bulldogs surged back to pull to within one down the stretch, once at 23-22 and again at 24-23. However, on the team's second chance to close out the set, Victoria flew in out of the back row for the game winner.
Arkansas was the first team to reach double figures in the third at 10-8 with a kill by Victoria and led by as much as four at 18-14 on an MSU attack error. However, the game, and ultimately the match, was decided in a see-saw finish. Beginning at 19-all, the score was tied seven more times in the set. The Razorbacks had three match points and saved two set points before closing out the match, 29-27, on a tandem block by Harbin and Breana Jones.
The Razorbacks play five of their final six matches of the regular season at Barnhill Arena beginning this Wednesday, Nov. 11 against LSU. The midweek matchup will be televised on the SEC Network with first serve scheduled for 7 p.m. (CT). It marks the second meeting between the two teams this season with Arkansas opening conference play with a five-set win on Sept. 23 in Baton Rouge.