The Tennessee volleyball team fell in four sets to Arkansas (12-8) Sunday, 21-25, 22-25, 25-17, 17-25. The Lady Vols split the weekend series with the Razorbacks and now sit at 9-7 on the season with just four matches to go before the end of spring play.
Tennessee’s outing fared similar to that of Arkansas from match one on Saturda . The Razorbacks came out swinging and the Lady Vols could never recover, dropping the first two sets. The play of Arkansas made it obvious the home team was keen to end their four game losing streak.
Jillian Gillen was the star of the day for the Razorbacks. The sophomore outside hitter doubled her offensive production from game one, recording 20 kills and 15 digs, including four to close the match in set four. Also contributing heavily for the Razorbacks were Devyn Wheeler and Maggie Cartwright, each adding 12 kills. As a group, Arkansas produced an impressive .304 hitting percentage off 61 total kills.
Leading the way for the Lady Vols was Lily Felts with 13 kills, followed closely by Jasmine Brooks, who recorded her second double-digit kill game in a row with 12 kills. Danielle Mahaffey and Ava Bell also added 13 blocks, which proved instrumental in Tennessee’s set three victory, saving the Lady Vols from their fifth set sweep of the year.
After taking set three by a score of 25-17, the Lady Vols jumped to a 13-11 lead off 11 early kills. It looked as if the Lady Vols would overcome the Razorbacks’ high powered offense and take the match to set five, but Wheeler and Cartwright had other plans. Behind the duo, Arkansas finished the set on a 14-4 run, capturing their third set and taking a step further to advancing to the NCAA tournament.
The Lady Vols continue their away stretch travelling to Tuscaloosa to take on Alabama. The Crimson Tide have lost four of their last six and sit at 6-12 on the season, looking to bounce back after a weekend series loss at Texas A&M. The first match is set for 6 p.m. ET on Friday.