Creighton makes sure UA’s NCAA stay short
Arkansas' volleyball team fell in the NCAA Tournament on Friday.
Creighton rallied from a late fourth-set deficit by scoring the final four points of the match to eliminate Arkansas 3-1 in a first-round NCAA Tournament match in Lawrence, Kan.
Arkansas held four four point leads in the final set, the last at 23-19, before falling to a Blue Jays rally that featured kills from Jess Bird and Leah McNary that set up the match-winning point on a tandem block by Michelle Sicner and Kelli Browning.
Arkansas (16-14) wrapped up its season while Creighton (23-8) advanced to face the winner of Friday’s late match between host Kansas and Wichita State.
Senior Hayley Koop and freshman Barbara Dapic led Arkansas with 11 kills each. Raymariely Santos had 42 assists and Emily Helm led the Razorbacks with 29 digs.
Browning had a match high 15 kills and a .522 attack percentage. McNary added 14 kills, and Sicner led the Blue Jays with 45 assists.
The Razorbacks rallied from a four-point deficit to take the first set 25-22 with kills by Dapic, Danielle Harbin and Meredith Hays down the stretch as Arkansas broke away from a 20-20 tie.
Creighton raced to a 12-1 lead over the mistake-prone Razorbacks in the second set and won it going away, 25-14.
The third set featured five ties, and the Razorbacks led 10-9 after a spike from Hays. But Creighton rallied to move ahead 15-10, then withstood a late Arkansas push to close itout 25-22 on Jess Bird’s spike.
Creighton jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the fourth set before Arkansas rebounded. Dapic had a pair of kills, followed by a block from Ana Sofia Jusin and Dapic to put the Razorbacks ahead 14-11. Kills by Koop, Santos and Harbin and a combination block by Jusino and Koop all gave Arkansas four-point margins before the Blue Jays took command in the closing moments.
UCA swept by Purdue
Central Arkansas’ second trip to the NCAA Tournament ended in a 3-0 sweep for the second consecutive season, this time to Purdue at the Hearnes Center in Columbia, Mo.
Purdue (21-13) won 25-15, 25-17 and 25-13 and advances to the second round today, where it will face Missouri or Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
UCA, the Southland Conference champions, finished the season 29-4. It was the Sugar Bears’ first loss since Sept. 14 against Marquette at the Florida Gulf Coast Tournament in Fort Myers, Fla.
The Sugar Bears were making their second consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament, where they had lost at Washington in a first round match last season.
Marissa Collins, the Southland Conference’s player and setter of the year, led UCA with 23 assists in her final match. Shelbee Berringer finished with 11 digs and Evie Grace Singleton had seven kills.
Val Nichol led the Boilermakers with 19 assists. Sam Epenesa had eight kills.
Sports, Pages 24 on 12/07/2013