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Razorbacks sweep Gamecocks in SEC opener


FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas returned to home court at Barnhill Arena on Friday and delivered a dominant performance as the No. 16 Hogs swept the South Carolina Gamecocks in the team’s SEC opener.

Three Razorbacks had double-doubles on the day in Jill Gillen, Taylor Head and Hannah Hogue. Gillen led Arkansas in kills with 15, while Head held the advantage in digs with 18. Hogue contributed 35 assists over the three sets and tallied 13 digs.

Arkansas had eight service aces to South Carolina’s zero and hit .266 to the Gamecocks’ .018, the lowest opponent hitting percentage for the Hogs all season.

Set 1

The Hogs got off to a hot start in the first set with a 9-2 run, which sent the Gamecocks to an early timeout. South Carolina got two points back, but couldn’t do anything to stifle the Arkansas offense. The Razorbacks went up by as many as 13 at one point, and while the Gamecocks did get over 10, Arkansas held them to a .031 hitting percentage and two straight Razorback points closed it 25-11 in favor of the home team.

Set 2

The second set started tighter, but a pair of Sania Petties kills doubled on the lead at 10-5 for the Hogs. Arkansas held on to the lead and pushed it to seven off a dump kill and an ace from Hogue, and South Carolina called time down 14-7. The Gamecocks made up some ground but an ace from Gillen and a South Carolina attack error regained a seven-point lead for the Razorbacks and the Gamecocks huddled again. A South Carolina service error pushed it to 20 points for Arkansas, and the Hogs locked in from there. Back-to-back kills from Gillen finished the set 25-15 for the Razorbacks. The Hogs hit .237 to the Gamecocks’ -.056 in the second.

Set 3

South Carolina began to hit a stride in the third set and had the lead four times early, but a four-point run capped off by kills from Maggie Cartwright and Gillen got the Hogs a two-point edge at 11-9. Another four straight shortly after made it 17-12 Arkansas, and the Gamecocks called time. South Carolina got one back, but the Razorbacks strung together another quartet of points for the 23-15 advantage. The Gamecocks scored three of the next four, but a kill from Gillen sealed the sweep for the Hogs at 25-18.