Volleyball Set to Open 2017 Season at USF Invitational

by Alissa Cavaretta
Volleyball Set to Open 2017 Season at USF Invitational

TAMPA, Fla. – The LSU volleyball team opens its 44th season in school history in the opening match of the USF Invitational at 3 p.m. Friday against Arkansas-Pine Bluff at the Sun Dome.

The USF invitational features the host Bulls along with Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Northwestern.

The Tigers’ matches on Saturday against Northwestern and USF at 1 p.m. CT  and 6 p.m. CT, respectively, will be broadcast on CST and available online on ESPN3 for those out of the CST footprint. Lyn Rollins will be on the call, and former Tiger Tiara Gibson will be the color analyst for both matches.

Live stats will be available online at LSUsports.net, and there will be live match updates through the team’s Twitter (@LSUvolleyball) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/lsuvolleyball) pages.

Flory’s Final Thoughts

“This team is excited to start the season. We have prepared well and we are ready to see that preparation pay off. This is a committed, team oriented group of athletes and they are on a mission to succeed this year. I am excited to share the ride.”

Series History with the Field

Friday’s match marks the first meeting between LSU and Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Wildcats of Northwestern own a 1-4 record against the Tigers while LSU and USF are tied at 1-1.

Team Notes

>> Head coach Fran Flory enters her 20th season at the helm of the LSU volleyball program. The winningest coach in school history, Flory has led the Tigers to NCAA Tournament appearances in eight of the last 12 seasons.

>> Three newcomers in Taylor Bannister, Raigen Cianciulli and Nicole Decker make up a team that features eight underclassmen. 6-5 Bannister will play a vital role as a middle blocker/outside hitter while Cianciulli and Decker will add tremendous depth to the back row.

>> The Tigers return four of the top five kill producers from 2016 in Gina Tillis (333), Sydney Mukes (186), Toni Rodriguez (114) and Olivia Beyer (110).

>> LSU has a veteran presence at setter with both sophomore Anna Zweibel and junior Lindsay Flory, who combined for 70 percent of the Tigers’ assists last season (1,042).  

>> LSU will have experience on the back row with Cheyenne Wood, who finished last season with a team-high 369 digs, Kelly Quinn, who notched 301 digs and Katie Kampen, who totaled 142 digs.

>> The Tigers will also have new faces on the sidelines with first year assistant coach Sarah Rumely and volunteer assistant coach Tania Schatow joining third year assistant Ethan Pheister to round out the coaching staff.

Volleyball Social Center

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.