Volleyball Opens Play Friday in Dog Pound Challenge

by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports)
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Volleyball Opens Play Friday in Dog Pound Challenge

STORRS, Conn. – The LSU volleyball team looks to stay hot as the 3-0 Tigers return to action Friday, September 1 and Saturday, September 2 at the Dog Pound Challenge in the Guyer Gym at the University of Connecticut

The Dog Pound Challenge features the host Huskies along with Hartford and Iona. The tigers open up competition Friday at 9 a.m. CT against Hartford and will follow with a match at 6 p.m. CT against UConn. To wrap up the tournament, LSU will face Iona at 10 a.m. CT Saturday.

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
“We are excited to get another chance to play some different teams. I think that it will be nice to see how this team will adjust to having some information, having a real game plan and making some adjustments from the first weekend that we needed to make. I think we have settled in to a pretty good rhythm.”

“This team worked really hard in the offseason to gain some confidence that we lacked so severely in the last couple of years. We’ve also added the freshmen in there. Everyone is talking about Taylor Bannister and her significance, but I think that Raigen Cianciulli is as if not more significant to our team with her attitude on the court. You add those two with the players with the work ethic—with the Toni Rodriguez‘s and the Gina Tillis‘. I think that group has really found their groove, and I think that this is going to be a really fun season.”

Series History with the Field
>> Friday’s meeting between the Tigers and the Hartford Hawks marks the first meeting for both teams in school history.

>> LSU and UConn are tied at 1-1 in the lone two court appearances. The Tigers faced UConn last season in the LSU Invitational and fell in three sets, 25-20, 25-18, 25-19.

>> The Tigers will square off against Iona in the school’s first meeting on Sunday to wrap up the Dog Pound Challenge.

Team Notes
>> For the first time since 2013, the Tigers have opened the season 3-0. The last time that LSU opened the season with four or more wins was in 2010 when the Tigers went on a 13-match tear to start the season before finishing the season ranked No.17.

>> Gina Tillis [11 K, 10 Digs] and Anna Zwiebel [32 Assists, 11 Digs] recorded the first double-doubles of the season in Saturday’s contest against South Florida.

>> 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).

>> At setter Anna Zwiebel paved the way for the LSU offense during the USF Invitational, with 81 assists for 7.36 assists per set, and the sophomore was named the USF Invitational MVP.

>> Tiger freshmen Taylor Bannister and Raigen Cianciulli have made immediate contributions to the team as Bannister is tied with Toni Rodriguez and Gina Tillis for the team lead in kills with 25, and Cianciulli has a team-best five service aces and has averaged 3.73 digs per set with 42 total digs.

>> Sophomore Jacqui Armer has a total of 14 blocks and is averaging 1.40 blocks per set for fourth in the Southeastern Conference.

>> LSU is seventh in the league in hitting percentage at .261 and fourth in the league in opponent hitting percentage, holding opponents to a .114 hitting percentage.

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 @lsuvolleyball on Instagram.