The No. 10 Hogs survived a scare on Wednesday night and battled back from an 0-2 deficit for a reverse sweep over Ole Miss.
It was Arkansas' first reverse sweep since the 2021 season, and only the fourth five-setter for the Hogs this season. The Razorbacks improved to 13-2 in SEC play and 23-4 overall with the victory, the most wins for the program since 2003.
Graduate outside hitter Jill Gillen led the offense with 24 kills and hit .333. She also had 16 digs for a double-double and contributed three service aces. Taylor Head and Hannah Hogue also posted double-doubles for the Hogs: Head with 17 kills and 17 digs, and Hogue with 47 assists and 14 digs.
Junior middle blocker Zoi Evans had six blocks to anchor the Arkansas defense, three of which were solo. It's a new career high in solo stuffs for her, and ties the season high that Jill Gillen set against Michigan State on Aug. 25.
The Rebs held the momentum early on as they limited the Hogs to one point at a time and found every gap on the floor for a 9-4 advantage. The Razorbacks locked in from there though and used a five-point run highlighted by two Gillen kills and an ace by Hannah Hogue and quickly tied it at 9-all. The score was tied seven more times after that, but the Rebels scored four straight for a lead they carried all the way to the end of the set, which finished 25-21 in favor of Ole Miss.
The second set again saw the Hogs limited to one point at a time early while Ole Miss padded a lead. Arkansas called time down 11-6 and regrouped from there, with a couple of runs that put the Hogs within one at 15-14. The Razorbacks couldn't get anything going for very long though, and they found themselves down 22-19. The Hogs called time, which gave them a big boost and three straight points had the score knotted 22-22. Ole Miss took a timeout of its own, which was enough momentum to get the lead back and keep it for a 25-23 victory.
While the third set was close to start, the Razorbacks found a rhythm and strung together five straight points, capped off by an ace from Gillen, for an 11-7 advantage. The Rebs kept chipping away and came within one at 15-14, but the Hogs responded with a three point run and extended the lead 18-14. The home team huddled and then scored five of the next six and tied it at 19-all. The Hogs called time and regrouped quickly with a four-point run, which made it 23-19. Arkansas held on to the lead and a kill from Taylor Head sealed the set 25-21.
With their backs against the wall, the Razorbacks started to roll in the fourth and got out to a hot start at 5-1, which sent the Rebs to a timeout. Any time Ole Miss threatened, Arkansas answered right back and extended the lead to 12-6 off a 5-1 run that featured aces from Head and Maggie Cartwright. Ole Miss called time again, but it was no use as the Hogs fired off five straight points and pushed the lead to 10 at 16-6. As Arkansas went over 20 points, Ole Miss came within seven, but couldn't do anything to stifle the Razorback offense. The Hogs finished the set 25-15 with five aces and held the Rebs to a negative hitting percentage as Arkansas forced a fifth.
The Rebs got the first two points of the deciding set, but Arkansas went on a three-point run with kills from Gillen, Head, and a Gillen ace. The score was tied four times from there, but the Hogs went up 8-6 off a Rebel service error and Gillen kill as the teams switched sides. Arkansas then added three more points, including a solo block from Zoi Evans and two kills from Gillen, which made it 10-6 Razorbacks. Ole Miss added two more, but five straight Arkansas points finished the set 15-8 and secured the reverse sweep for the Hogs.
The Hogs head home for a ranked match-up as No. 10 Arkansas takes on No. 20 Florida on Sunday at 3 p.m. at Barnhill Arena. The match will serve as Arkansas' Senior Day, honoring Maggie Cartwright, Laura Ehieze, Jill Gillen, Taylor Head and Hailey Schneider, and will be streamed on SEC Network+.