LSU Gold

OXFORD, Miss. — Nine blocks and 14 kills by Regan Hood led the LSU volleyball team past Ole Miss, 31-29, 32-34, 30-25, 23-30, 15-5, in a hard fought Southeastern Conference match on Sunday afternoon in the Gillom Sports Complex.

With the win, the Tigers (17-8, 9-5 SEC) have now won seven of their last eight matches with two regular-season matches remaining. Ole Miss drops to 9-17 overall and 2-12 in the SEC.

“Once again this weekend, we are really lucky to come away with a victory,” said LSU head coach Fran Flory. “Our offense had trouble finding its rhythm today and just never seemed to find its pace. As a credit to Ole Miss, they put up a great fight for their senior day, but we really did not play well until the fifth game.”

Hood tied her career-high with nine blocks, including three solo efforts. She also recorded 14 kills and a service ace. Jennifer Hampton led the team with 24 kills, marking her first back-to-back 20-kill performances of the season. She also recorded a season-high 24 digs.

Kyra Lancon added 16 kills and Cara Causey finished with 12 kills for the Tigers. Rachel Vogt recorded her career-high with 18 digs. Jenny Greco added 16 digs, while Beth Cowley and Rachel Pittman each added 10 digs. Cowley also recorded her career-high with 36 assists, playing for three games during the match.

Neither team could really get things going offensively as the Tigers recorded only a .177 hitting percentage, while Ole Miss hit at a .170 clip. LSU did, however, set the season-high with 95 digs and recorded 13 blocks for the match.

With the scored tied at eight in the first game, the Tigers used a 7-2 run to open a five-point lead. LSU stretched that lead to six points, 20-16, before sloppy play by the Tigers allowed Ole Miss to rally. The Lady Rebels tied the game at 24 before taking the two-point lead, 28-26.

LSU used back-to-back kills by Hood and Lancon to tie it up at 28. A service error by Hampton gave game-point to Ole Miss, but Hood and Katie Kubena came away with the block. An attacking error by the Lady Rebels and a service ace by Blaise DeRouen gave the Tigers the game, 31-29.

Ole Miss came out and took charge early in game two. The Lady Rebels stormed to a 13-3 lead before LSU scored four-straight to cut the lead to 13-7. Ole Miss once again extended its lead, taking the 19-10 advantage, but the Tigers would not go away.

LSU used strong hitting and three blocks on an 11-2 run to cut the Lady Rebel lead to one, 22-21. The Tigers went on to tie the match at 26 on a kill by Hampton before taking the lead on a block by Vogt and Causey.

Ole Miss came back to tie the game and send the game to game-point on an error by Vogt. LSU fought off a pair of game-point with a kill by Hampton and a block by Hood tied the game at 29. Ole Miss served for the game four more times before finally putting it away on a service ace.

In the third game, the Tigers jumped ahead hear, 9-2 on five kills by Hampton. LSU led by as many as eight, 21-13, but the Tigers had trouble putting the game away. Ole Miss cut the lead down to as few as one point, 26-25, before the Tigers closed out the game three win with 5-0 run that ended with a kill by Hampton.

LSU once again took charge early in the fourth game, capitalizing on five-straight Lady Rebel errors to take the 9-4 lead. With the Tigers leading 14-9, Ole Miss began to find the floor and went on an 11-2 run to take the 20-16 advantage.

Although the LSU offense struggled to put a ball away, the Tigers rallied back to tie the game at 20, but the Lady Rebels used a 7-1 run to jump ahead 27-21 before putting the game away, 30-23.

It was all LSU and Hood in the fifth game. With the Tigers leading 5-4, LSU went on a 10-1 run to end the game and put the match away 15-5. Hood recorded six kills and a block in the fifth game and was responsible for six of the Tigers last nine points.

The Tigers now travel to face Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark., on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The SEC Western Division-leading Lady’Backs won the first meeting 3-1 in Baton Rouge earlier this season.

LSU will close out the regular season at Tennessee on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. The Tigers defeated the Lady Vols in the first meeting this season, 3-0, in Baton Rouge in a match that was televised on SEC-TV.