FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Alabama volleyball opened its road weekend with a three-set sweep over Arkansas by set scores of 25-22, 25-12 and 25-19. The win is head coach Ed Allen's 50th conference win at Alabama, reaching the mark faster than any coach in program history.
Alabama (15-6, 4-4 SEC) hit .348 as a team, its highest mark in conference play, while limiting Arkansas (3-17, 1-7 SEC) to a .097 clip over three sets. Alabama's 44 kills were its most in a three-set match this season, led by Krystal Rivers with 25, just two shy of the entire Razorback offensive output. Rivers also tallied a season-high four service aces while Leah Lawrence added a pair as well, giving her at least one ace in five-straight matches and a total of 12 over that stretch. Shannon Mikesky earned her team-leading ninth double-double of the season as well, pacing the offense with 38 assists and totaling 10 digs on defense.
Arkansas score the first two points of the opening set but Alabama responded with seven- straight points to take an early 7-2 lead. The Tide continued to widen its lead, pulling ahead by seven points at the media timeout, 15-8. The Razorbacks fought back within three points thanks to a 7-3 run following the media timeout but back-to-back points by Alabama on a kill by Brittany Thomas and an ace by Krystal Rivers made it 20-15 as Arkansas took its first timeout. The Razorbacks would draw within two points in the closing stretch but the Tide held steady to win, 25-22.
Tied at 2-2 in set two, the Tide strung together five unanswered points capped by a Leah Lawrence service ace to make it 8-2 as Arkansas took a timeout. Later leading 9-4, the Tide again scored five-straight points to make it a double-digit lead, 14-4, at the Razorbacks' second timeout. Up 18-12, Alabama closed out the set with seven-straight points, including back-to-back aces by Rivers at 23 and 24 points to win, 25-12.
The two teams traded points evenly early on in a close third set, but Alabama started to pull away near the halfway point, eventually leading 15-11 at the media timeout. Kills by Thomas and Rivers after the media timeout forced Arkansas to quickly burn its own timeout with the score now 17-11. A 4-2 run by the Tide extended the lead to eight points at the Razorbacks' second timeout, 21-13, but the Razorbacks fought back with a 5-1 run after the break to draw within four, 22-18. Arkansas would only score one more point in the remainder of the match however as Alabama held on to win, 25-19, and complete the sweep.
Next up, Alabama travels to Oxford, Miss. to face Ole Miss (12-9, 1-7 SEC) on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 1:30 p.m. CT.