Tigers Volleyball Takes on Tide in Critical SEC Matchup
BATON ROUGE — The LSU volleyball team will put its four-game Southeastern Conference winning streak on the line on Sunday against Alabama at 1:30 p.m. in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The Tigers (14-7, 6-4 SEC) will honor their five seniors as part of “Senior Day”. Lauren Cuyler, Jenny Greco, Katie Kubena, Jennifer Hampton and Rachel Vogt will be presented prior to the start of the match.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to honor our senior class,” said LSU head coach Fran Flory. “This class has been such an integral part of the rebuilding of this program and have been just an outstanding group of athletes.”
With LSU’s win on Friday over Auburn, the Tiger’s moved a half game ahead of Alabama in the SEC Western Division standings with just two weeks of play remaining. If LSU defeats the Crimson Tide and Ole Miss loses to Kentucky, the Tigers will qualify for the SEC Tournament at the end of the month.
“This is a crucial match for us,” said Flory. “We are getting near the end of the season and every match becomes important but it is even more vital to win those matches at home. We are in a close battle with Alabama for second place in the west and we still have a shot at winning the western division title, so we know what is on the line with this match.”
Alabama (16-10, 6-5 SEC) has dropped its last two SEC matches, falling to Arkansas on the road on Friday and dropping a match to Tennessee last week in Knoxville, Tenn.
Three weeks ago Alabama handed LSU its worst loss of the season. The Crimson Tide swept the Tigers, 3-0, in Tuscaloosa, Ala., the only match LSU has failed to win the first game all season.
“When we lost to Alabama at their place, it was a turning point in our season,” said Flory. “Alabama really took it to us and put us in a situation where we had to evaluate what we wanted from the rest of our season. Since then we have won five of our next six matches and played well in the one loss at nationally ranked Florida.”
In that match at Alabama, LSU was led by Kyra Lancon with 12 kills and Regan Hood with 11. Hood also led the match with five blocks. Cuyler added four blocks for the Tigers, while Kubena and Cara Causey added three blocks each as LSU outblocked Alabama 10-8.5.
The difference in the match was obvious in the number of kills for each team. The Tigers finished with 36 kills, the fewest for the team all season, compared to 59 for Alabama.
LSU could not overcome the powerful jump serving of the Crimson Tide. Alabama went on to record nine service aces in the match, compared to three for the Tigers.
LSU will close out the home schedule on Tuesday against Kentucky at 6 p.m. The match is a make-up for the Oct. 4 match that was postponed due to Hurricane Lili.