Volleyball defeats Mississippi State, 3-1, in Home Opener

by Lacey Dodson | Communications Student
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Volleyball defeats Mississippi State, 3-1, in Home Opener

BATON ROUGE – The LSU volleyball team defeated Mississippi State in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center Tuesday night in four sets by scores of 25-17, 22-25, 25-11 and 25-23. The Tigers moved to 1-2 on the season while Mississippi State fell to 0-3.

LSU is set to square up against Mississippi State again Wednesday night at 6 p.m. CT in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. The match will be streamed on SEC Network+ and via live stats. 

Taylor Bannister recorded her 10th career double double and her third straight with a match high 18 kills to go along with 14 digs.  

Samarah Hill also recorded a double-double with 12 digs and 10 kills. She earned her 10th kill of the match on the closing point. Karli Rose was the third Tiger with a double-double, tallying 52 assists and 10 digs.

Freshman Alia Williams recorded her first career kill and tallied three in total for the night.

Raigen Cianciulli recorded 19 digs and needs only two more tomorrow night to move into the No. 2 spot on LSU’s all-time digs list. Emmaline Walters added two aces and six digs. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

SET ONE

  • LSU opened the match with a 4-0 scoring run with kills from Samarah Hill, Taylor Bannister and Allee Morris. Mississippi State fought back and added points to the board, but the Tigers kept the lead 6-4. 
  • LSU capitalized on attacking errors from the Bulldogs to increase their lead. Anita Anwusi added a kill to take the score 15-5. 
  • Bannister followed with a kill to tack on to the 16-7 LSU lead. The Tigers gained momentum and forced the Bulldogs to take their first timeout of the set. 
  • Whitney Foreman tallied a kill late in the set to move the Tigers lead to 22-15 over the Bulldogs and Anwusi closed out the set a few points for the Tigers with a kill to secure the win 25-17.

SET TWO

  • Anwusi got it started for the Tigers in the second set with a kill and Morris followed to make the score 2-1. 
  • The Bulldogs took their first lead of the night, 6-4, early in the second set but a block from Bannister put the momentum back on the Tigers’ side. Emmaline Walters recorded an ace to even the score 8-8 for LSU. 
  • The Tigers took the lead 11-10 on a big kill from Foreman and the Tigers added a 4-0 scoring run behind kills by Bannister and Anwusi to increase the lead over the Bulldogs to 14-11. 
  • Hill added a kill to the late in the set to increase the Tiger’s 18-14 lead and Bannister tallied yet another kill to move the scoreboard to 19-14 and forced a Bulldog timeout. 
  • Mississippi State pulled within one of the LSU lead, 21-20, and forced the Tigers to take their first timeout of the set. The Bulldogs took the momentum from the Tigers coming out of the timeout and took the lead 23-21, forcing LSU’s final timeout. Despite fighting back the Tigers couldn’t close out the second set and fell, 25-22. 

SET THREE

  • In the third set the Tigers and the Bulldogs battled back and forth, but an ace from Hill allowed the Tigers to take their first lead of the set. Paige Flickinger recorded a kill to increase the lead to 7-4 and force a Bulldogs timeout. 
  • Flickinger added a massive kill for the Tigers followed by a kill from Karli Rose bring the score to 12-8. 
  • Alia Williams recorded her first career kill to add to the make it 13-9, and LSU went on a 4-0 scoring run to force a Mississippi State timeout. Coming out of the timeout Hill added to the lead with two aces to make it 20-10. 
  • The Tigers went on a 10-0 scoring run behind clutch serving from Hill to increase their lead to 23-11. The Tigers closed out a dominant third set behind a kill from Anwusi, 25-11.  

SET FOUR

  • The Tigers took the early lead in the fourth set behind key kills from Hill and Anwusi to take a 6-4 lead over the Bulldogs. LSU gained momentum in the set behind explosive offense led by Anwusi and Hill to move their lead to 13-9 and force a Bulldog timeout. 
  • Following the timeout, the Bulldogs evened the score at 14, but a kill from Williams quickly put the Tigers back in the lead, 15-14. The Tigers took their first timeout of the set after MSU took the lead, 17-16. 
  • The Tigers evened the score at 20 until a kill from Bannister gave LSU the lead, and Flickinger added a kill to tack on another point for the Tigers. LSU capitalized on a Bulldog’s error increasing their lead to 23-21 and forcing Mississippi State to take their final timeout of the set. Hill closed the match for the Tigers and earned her double-double with a kill to secure the set win, 25-23. 

Head Coach Fran Flory

On picking up the first win of the season…

“Well it feels good, but disappointed in our level of execution. Certainly, thrilled with the outcome. We fought hard. Mississippi State is a team that keeps you on the court. We had a great start, then they kind of lulled us into their style of play and we began to air out. They do a great job of that, so credit their coaching staff for preparing a great game plan. And our young kids responded to the game plan. We have to be more resilient on our side. We have to play more our style of volleyball and our type of pace. We have to be a whole lot more efficient tomorrow.

On Freshman Alia William’s performance tonight…

“A great start for Alia and she’s been doing that in practice slowly, coming along, adjusting to pace, level of play, and height above the net. What a great coming out party. That’s a great contribution. We don’t win the match without Alia coming off the bench today.”

On Bannister’s and Hill’s double-doubles…

 “You know, they’re stabilizers. they’ve been there done this, and have to be people that contribute in the ways they did tonight. You know we need defense, we need offense, they have to able to play the whole game, and I thought they did a good job of it tonight.”

Volleyball Social Center 

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