Volleyball Takes Opener Over EKU

by Brandon Berrio
Final Box Score +0
Volleyball Takes Opener Over EKU

DURHAM, N.C. – The LSU volleyball team (1-0) defeated Eastern Kentucky (0-1), 25-22, 25-14, 25-23, in its opening match of the 2016 season Friday afternoon at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

LSU won its season opener for the 12th time in the last 16 seasons. It was also the 15th season opening win under head coach Fran Flory.  

Flory’s Thoughts

“This was a really solid start for our team. Specifically to see Khourtni (Fears) back on the court already playing at a high level was great. It was also special to get Toni in.”

“I really think Anna (Zwiebel) set a really nice match, and Cheyenne (Wood) was outstanding in the libero jersey for the first time. 

Opening Set

Both Eastern Kentucky and LSU held on in the opening set with neither team gaining more than a three-point lead. Down 21-22 after a service error, LSU won four-straight points off of a pair of errors and kills by Tiara Gibson and Sydney Mukes.

Second Set

The Colonels returned to the court in the second set and were outhit .257-.095 by the Tigers. LSU opened up the second set on a 6-1 run and rang up three of the team’s four aces in the match. After EKU took a timeout down 12-17, LSU used a 10-2 run to take a 2-0 lead overall.

Final Set

LSU closed out the match with a match-best .302 hitting percentage and committed just four errors. The two teams went back and forth throughout the final set with EKU also tallying a match-best .282 hitting percentage. The Colonels fought back from a pair of match points but ultimately Gina Tillis‘ kill gave the Tigers the win.

Team Notes

>> Tillis led the squad in kills with 11 and was second in digs (10) for her sixth career double-double. 

>> Sophomore Olivia Beyer had the squad’s lone solo block. Beyer also had 2 assisted blocks and six kills.

>> In just two sets, junior Khourtni Fears hit .333 with six kill on 15 attempts.

>> Freshman Anna Zwiebel made her debut as LSU’s setter with 37 assists and one kill.

>> Gibson just missed double-digit kill figures with nine. Gibson had a .348 hitting percentage.

>> Libero Cheyenne Wood had a team-best 24 digs on the night.

The Return

Fears and sophomore outside hitter Toni Rodriguez made their return to the court after each suffering season-ending injuries last season. Fears played two sets for the Tigers. Rodriguez’s lone kill was the final point in the second set.

Who’s Next

LSU continues its weekend at the Duke Invitational Saturday at 10 a.m. against UNCG and at 6:30 p.m. against the host Blue Devils. Both matches will be streamed live on ESPN3.com. Admission to Cameron Indoor Stadium is free. Live stats can be found at LSUsports.net, with updates through the team’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

For all of the latest news and information on Tiger volleyball, visit www.lsusports.net/volleyball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsuvolleyball along with @lsuvolleyball and @lsucoachfran on Twitter and @lsuvb on Instagram.