Volleyball Falls in Five-Set Heartbreaker with Texas A&M
BATON ROUGE – After taking a 2-1 lead on the match, the LSU volleyball team dropped a heartbreaker, falling in five sets to Texas A&M by scores of 26-24, 21-25, 25-20, 23-25, 13-15, Sunday afternoon in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. The Tigers are now 5-10 on the year and 0-4 in the SEC. Texas A&M improves to 10-5 on the season and 3-0 in the league.
Sophomore Taylor Bannister led the Tigers with a match-high 21 kills, hitting at a .340 clip. Sophomore Raigen Cianciulli anchored the back row with a team-leading 21 kills. Anna Zwiebel finished the match with her 19th-career double-double, tallying 14 digs and 47 assists.
The Tigers out-hit, out-blocked and out-dug the Aggies. The Tigers hit at a .234 clip to the Aggies .201 clip. LSU tallied 97 digs to Texas A&M’s 90 and blocked a total of 10 balls to the Aggies four.
- The Tigers will have a week between matches as they travel to Ole Miss next Sunday. First serve is at 1:30 p.m. CT and will stream live on SEC Network+.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The match started off with a tight set early as the two teams were tied up 4-4. The Tigers scored back-to-back points off a kill from Sydney Mukes and service ace by Jacqui Armer to take a 9-7 lead.
- The set was tied up again at 11-11, but the Tigers went on a 4-1 run that was sparked by a Bannister kill, taking a 15-12 lead.
- Texas A&M worked its way back, tied the set up at 16-16 and took an 18-16 lead. But the Tigers went on a 6-1 run to take a 22-19 lead after back-to-back kills by Whitney Foreman and Taylor Bannister.
- Texas A&M took a 24-23 lead, but the Tigers gained some momentum after a Bannister kill. Milan Stokes found the floor and forced the Aggies to a timeout. Bannister came out of the timeout with a kill to claim the set for the Tigers, 26-24.
- The Tigers hit .409 in the first set, getting 17 kills on 45 attacks with only four attacking errors. Bannister led the squad with nine kills.
- The Aggies got out to a 3-0 lead, but the Tigers answered with three-straight of their own. The two teams went back and forth until the Tigers went on a 4-0 run to take a 12-9 lead and force the Aggies to a timeout.
- The teams went back and forth, but the Tigers led Texas A&M 17-13 after a Lindsay Flory service ace. Texas A&M worked its way back to come within one, 17-18 and eventually take a 19-18 lead, forcing The Tigers to take a timeout.
- The Tigers only scored three more points in the set as Texas A&M finished the set on a 5-3 run, tying the match up 1-1.
- Texas A&M started off the third set with a 6-2 lead and pushed to an 8-2 lead on the Tigers. The Tigers came back within one after a block by Toni Rodriguez and Olivia Beyer, 10-9.
- LSU would take a 12-11 lead after three-straight points. Texas A&M it up at 12, but a 6-0 run put the Tigers up 18-12.
- The Tigers sealed the deal in the third set on back-to-back points, a kill from Armer and an ace from Anna Zwiebel. The Tigers claimed the set, 25-20, and went up 2-1 on the match.
- The Tigers trailed the Aggies 5-0 to start the fourth set, but worked their way back to come within one, 5-4, after a 4-0 run.
- LSU tied the set up at 9-9 and took a 11-9 lead after a Stokes kill. The Tigers pushed to a 14-11 lead after a block by Zwiebel and Beyer, but a 4-0 run put Texas A&M back on top, 17-15.
- The Aggies took a 22-20 lead. The Tigers went on a 3-0 run to take a 23-22 lead, but Texas A&M scored three-straight points to force a fifth set.
- In the fifth set, the Aggies got out to a 3-1 lead, but LSU responded and took a 4-3 lead after a Bannister kill.
- The two teams went point-for-point until Texas A&M took a 8-7 lead and switched sides. The Aggies would go ahead 11-9, forcing the Tigers to a timeout. The Tigers scored back-to-back points to take a 13-12 lead, but Texas A&M finished the set and match on three-straight points.
- Bannister led the Tigers with 21 kills making it her 14th match in double digits and her fourth 20-plus match this season.
- Stokes finished with a season-high 13 kills making it her second match in double-digits.
- Zwiebel’s double-double of 47 assists and 14 digs was her second double-double of 2018 and her 19th in her career.
- This is Cianciulli’s fourth 20-plus dig match of the season.
- Four players finished with double-digit digs. (Cianciulli 21, Lindsay Flory 17, Katie Kampen 16, Anna Zwiebel 14)
- The Tigers out-blocked the Aggies 10.0-4.0. Jacqui Armer led the Tigers with five blocks.
- The match attendance of 1,660 is the seventh largest crowd in program history.
FRAN’S FINAL THOUGHTS
“Well, you know, once again if you look at the stat sheet, you don’t really understand how we lost. Because again, we’re winning on the stat sheet. We’re doing a lot of really good things, but we’re just not doing them when they really matter. I’m excited about the direction we’ve gone in the last two matches. I’m excited about the lineup we have going. I think Anna’s doing a tremendous job setting and leading. We’re super disappointed with the loss because we had every opportunity to win this match and we did not get it done.”
On improvement shown by the team in the past few matches…
“We have tried to reduce errors. We had 16 true hitting errors today and they had 16 true hitting errors, so what that means is we are a couple kills away from winning the match. You know, our serving and passing game was not great and we missed 11 serves, they missed nine. So, that is probably the match right there.”
On the seventh largest crowd in program history and atmosphere…
“I wasn’t sure after that late football game that we were going to have a big crowd, but what a great atmosphere, what great support. I would just say stick with us, we are going to get it figured out. It is a fun event. The band is incredible. Our kids are fighting hard. We fought harder tonight than on Wednesday night, so I am proud of them for that. If we have that fight and clean up a few things, the result will change.”