TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The LSU volleyball team could not overcome the powerful jump serves and swings of Alabama, falling 30-27, 30-22, 30-28, to the Crimson Tide on the road in the Cave on Friday night.
The Tigers fall to 9-6 overall and 1-3 in Southeastern Conference play. Alabama, winners of five of their last six matches, improves to 13-6 overall and 4-1 in SEC play.
“I am disappointed with our performance tonight,” said LSU head coach Fran Flory. “I really thought our intensity would have been much higher to start the match. They really got their swings in and controlled the match and we just let the match come to us. Now we have to regroup after this loss and prepare to stay on the road and head to Auburn on Sunday.”
LSU was led by Kyra Lancon with 12 kills and Regan Hood with 11. For the first time this season, Jennifer Hampton failed to record double-figures in kills, finishing with four kills on 17 attempts for the match.
The difference in the match can be seen in the number of kills for each team. The Tigers finished with 36 kills, the fewest for the team this season. Alabama, however, finished with 59 kills for the match. The Crimson Tide also recorded nine service aces, compared to three for the Tigers.
For the first time this season, the Tigers failed to win the first game of the match. After Alabama jumped out to a 7-4 lead, LSU clawed back to tie the game at 10 each on a block by Hood and Hampton. The Tigers then took their first lead on a block by Hood and Rachel Vogt.
The game would be tied three more times before Alabama would take the lead for good 16-15 on a service ace. The Crimson Tide led by as many as five down the stretch, 21-17, but the Tigers would not go away without a fight.
LSU came back to within one, 28-27 on a kill by Kubena, but a kill by Alabama and a blocking error by Rachel Vogt gave the Crimson Tide the game one win, 30-27.
After hitting .367 in the first game, the Tigers managed to hit at just a .161 clip in the second game, falling behind by 10 points early, 13-3. During that run, Alabama recorded three of its six service aces during the game.
LSU could not cut into the Crimson Tide lead, falling behind by as many as 11 points. With Alabama leading 24-13, LSU put together its first rally of the game, scoring eight of the next 11 points to cut the Tide lead to seven, 28-21, but could get no closer. Alabama went on to win the game, 30-22, and take a two game lead.
In the third game, the Tigers jumped out to an early lead, 7-4 but Alabama came back to tie the match at 8-8. There were four more ties before Alabama took the lead 15-14.
The Crimson Tide led by as many as three, 20-17, but a three-point run by the Tigers tied the match at 20 each. After a tie at 22, Alabama again jumped out to a three-point lead, but LSU would not go away, tying the game at 27. A kill and a block by the Tide gave Alabama match point, but a kill by Lancon kept the Tigers alive. A final kill by the Tide gave them the game and the match, 30-28.
The Tigers now travel to Auburn to close out the weekend swing through Alabama. LSU will face the Auburn Tigers at 2 p.m. on Sunday.