Ole Miss volleyball comes up short against No. 20 Arkansas

Published 8:00 am Sunday, September 25, 2022

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Ole Miss battled with the number 20 team in the nation but came up short, falling 3-1 to Arkansas Saturday afternoon inside Barnhill Arena.

The Rebels (4-8, 0-2 SEC) put up a fight, making the Razorbacks (10-2, 1-1 SEC) work for their first conference victory. In the end, 15 kills from Payton Brgoch and 12 from Sasha Ratliff weren’t enough to overcome the high-powered Arkansas offense that hit .305 as a team. Freshman setter Aly Borellis finished with a career-best 15 digs to go along with 39 assists in the loss.

Tied at four in the opening set, the Razorback broke things open 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 battle but couldn’t overcome the deficit, falling 25-14.

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The Rebels flipped a switch in set two, opening play with a 7-1 start, highlighted by a pair of aces from Bair that prompted an Arkansas timeout. They continued to build up a 12-3 lead before the Razorbacks pulled back within three. Ole Miss managed to restore its seven-point lead at 22-15, but Arkansas wouldn’t go away that easily. The Razorbacks make things interesting, clawing back within two, but Bair and Brgoch stepped up down the stretch to help the Rebels take the set and even the match at one.

The intensity carried into the third set with both teams clicking. A back-and-forth set that saw nine ties and a pair of lead changes ensued. Ole Miss found itself trailing by two at the media break but not for long as a pair of blocks from Brgoch and Bair tied the match up at 17. A few moments later, Brogch and Samantha Schnitta combined on another block to grab a 19-18 lead and force Arkansas to call timeout. With the set going down to the wire, the Rebels call a timeout trailing by one with Arkansas at set point but were unable to get the stop they needed as Arkansas took the set 25-23.

Arkansas carried the momentum from set three into the fourth, opening with a 4-0 scoring run. Ole Miss battled back to tie things up at five, and from there, both teams traded points until Arkansas used a 4-1 run to take a 19-16 lead. Coming out of a quick huddle, the Rebels found themselves a quick 3-1 run to make it a one-point set once again. 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 head coach Kayla Banwarth on Twitter @KaylaBanwarth2.