FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Regina Thomas and Allegra Wells both put down 10 kills to lead the Rebels, but it wasn’t enough to get the win as Ole Miss (5-14, 1-10 SEC) fell to Arkansas (13-8, 5-5 SEC) by a score of 3-0 (23-25, 26-28, 23-25).
Thomas hit .350 in the match as she only committed only three attack errors on 20 swings. Morgan Springer led the back row defense with 19 digs, while Ashley Veach added 10 digs to help bolster the back row.
The loss was only the second for the Rebels against the Razorbacks in the last 12 matches. Ole Miss won the first meeting of the season in Oxford 3-2.
“We did a better job of serving and passing the ball tonight, we just didn’t make plays when we had opportunities to win the set. W we just didn’t close things out,” said Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin.
The Rebels scored first to open the match and quickly built a three-point lead on the hosting Razorbacks on a kill from Allegra Wells that put Ole Miss up 5-2. The Rebels held the advantage on Arkansas, even pushing the lead out to as much as five at 16-11, but the Razorbacks began to chip away at the lead.
With the score tied at 20, an attack error by the Rebels gave Arkansas its first lead of the set. It was the only opening the Razorbacks needed as the home team pushed on to claim the first set 25-23.
The second set again saw the Rebels score first, but the Razorbacks pushed back to take the lead. The two squads struggled to gain control of the set from there with each team answering a run from the other on the way to the finish line.
Ole Miss pushed out to a 24-22 lead for what looked to be the final time in the set, but the Razorbacks fought off three set points before taking a 27-26 lead off a block of a Rebel attack that sent Ole Miss into a timeout. Another attack error out of the timeout gave the set to Arkansas 28-26 and the home team took a two set lead into the break in action.
The squads found themselves locked in a back-and-forth battle in the third set coming out of the 10-minute break before the Rebels finally used a Courtney Cunningham kill to snap a 13-13 tie and spark a run that pushed Ole Miss to a four-point lead and Arkansas into a timeout.
Arkansas fought back out of the timeout, cutting into the Rebel lead before tying the set at 21 and pushing Ole Miss into its own timeout. The Rebels couldn’t halt the run, however, as Arkansas pulled out to match-point and forced Ole Miss to call its second timeout down 24-22.
A Whitney Craven kill out of the timeout pulled the Rebels within one, but Arkansas grabbed the next point to take the match with a 25-23 win in set three.
Ole Miss will return to action on Sunday, facing the LSU Tigers at 1 p.m. at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
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