UK volleyball sweeps Razorbacks, clinches share of SEC title

Arkansas head coach Jason Watson talks to an official, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023, during a volleyball match at Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville.

No. 10 Kentucky continued its dominance of the No. 9 Arkansas volleyball team, notching its 18th straight win over the Razorbacks to clinch at least a share of the Southeastern Conference title on Wednesday evening in Barnhill Arena.

Kentucky (18-7, 16-1 SEC) controlled the first two sets, then turned back an Arkansas set point and closed out a 3-0 (25-19, 25-14, 26-24) win.

Brooklyn Deleye led the Kentucky attack with a match-high 16 kills and hit .360. Erin Lamb added 12 kills and Reagan Rutherford chipped in 10. Eleanor Beavin contributed a match-high 19 digs and setter Emma Grome dished out 36 assists.

Kentucky enjoyed a statistical advantage including 59-49 in digs and 13-6 in blocks. Elise Goetzinger finished with a match-high seven blocks, while three other Wildcats added six each.

Arkansas (24-5, 14-3 SEC) was limited to just an .096 hitting percentage compared to .271 for Kentucky. Jill Gillen led the Razorbacks with 10 kills, while Taylor Head chipped in eight. The Razorbacks dropped to 15-35 all-time against Kentucky, losing 28 of the last 30 meetings. 

Arkansas has not beaten the Wildcats since sweeping the season series in 2012.

The Razorbacks finished the regular season home slate at 12-3. They only lost to top-10 opponents in Barnhill Arena. 

With 2,947 fans in the stands on Wednesday – yet another top five program crowd – Arkansas’ regular season home attendance record comes in at 32,674 over 15 matches, shattering the previous high of 19,607 set last year.

Arkansas, which dropped to third in the SEC with the loss, closes the regular season at Auburn (20-8, 10-7) Friday at 3 p.m. Arkansas will learn its postseason fate during the NCAA Volleyball Selection Show on Sunday. The show will air live on ESPN and is set for 5 p.m.