Volleyball Swept at No. 9 Florida

by Lacey Dodson | Communications Student
LSU at Florida +0
Volleyball Swept at No. 9 Florida

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The LSU Volleyball team struggled to get into rhythm Wednesday evening against No. 9 Florida as the Gators swept the Tigers in the Exactech Arena.

The two teams will go to battle once again Thursday night in Gainesville at 5 p.m. CT on the SEC Network +.

“We need to kill more balls,” said head coach Fran Flory. “Their size backed us down a little bit. They had six blocks in the second set and I haven’t had that happen very frequently. We can’t allow their blocking and their size to affect us. We have to be assertive and decide that we’re going to score. We’re athletic enough, we’re fast enough and we have enough shot selection; we just have to pick the right shot at the right time and swing like we’re going to score.”

LSU battled in a tightly contested first set before Florida inched to the win, 27-25. The Gators dominated in set two, 25-15. The Tigers battled until the end though. They trailed 24-20 and rattled off five straight points, but ultimately fell 28-26.

“We’re a whole lot closer than our team may understand,” said Flory. “We left so many point on the floor and gave away a lot of opportunities. I think when our team watches the film they will notice that we can clean this stuff up.”

Raigen Cianciulli came closer to becoming LSU’s all-time digs leader. She had 15 digs tonight and needs just 21 more to set the LSU record.

Taylor Bannister led the Tigers with 10 kills. Down 24-23 in the third set, Bannister threw her body on the line, flipping in to press row to save a ball as LSU rallied late before dropping the match.

How It Happened

Set 1

  • The Tigers were able to put a point on the board early with a kill from Taylor Bannister to cut into the Gators lead, 2-1. Karli Rose added her first kill to put the Tigers within two, 5-3. 
  • The Tigers recorded a 3-0 scoring run behind a block from Alia Williams to keep Florida from pulling away. 
  • Allee Morris came up huge for the Tigers and recorded a kill to inch LSU closer to cutting into the lead, 15-11. Morris then added block for LSU to keep the Gators from gaining any ground, 15-12.
  • The Gators added a 3-0 run to increase their lead to 17-12 and forced LSU to take their first timeout of the set. 
  • Morris recorded the first ace of the night for the Tigers to move within four of the Gators. The Tigers then capitalized on a Florida error, forcing them to call timeout.
  • Bannister added a big kill for the Tigers which moved the score, 20-18, getting closer to closing the Florida gap. LSU fell behind, 22-19, and was forced to take its final timeout of the set. 
  • Dylan Maberry tallied a kill late in the set to put the Tigers within one and Florida called timeout. Maberry later added a kill to knot it up at 24. Despite fighting back late in the set the Tigers couldn’t hold off the Gators offense and fell, 27-25. 

Set 2 

  • Bannister evened the score early at 2 but Florida pulled away taking a 2-5 lead. 
  • Rose put an ace on the board to even the score at 6 early in the second set. The Gators pulled ahead 10-6 though and forced LSU to take its first timeout of the set. 
  • Coming out of the timeout Hannah Brister tallied her first kill to try and move the momentum in LSU’s direction, 10-7. Paige Flickinger put a kill on the board to cut into the Gators’ lead, 13-8.
  • Florida went on a 4-0 run and forced LSU to take its last timeout.  The Tigers couldn’t hold off the explosive Florida offense late in the set and fell, 25-15. 

Set 3 

  • The Tigers pulled ahead early in the third set 3-1 on Florida errors, but the Gators responded with a 4-0 run to take the lead, 5-3.
  • Raigen Cianciulli tallied an ace to even the score at 6. Whitney Foreman added her first kill of the night to move the Tigers within one, 9-10.
  • The Tigers fell behind, 19-17 and were forced to take their first timeout of the set. The Gators eventually increased their lead to 24-20.
  • LSU punched back and went on a 5-0 scoring run, forcing a set-point, but a Florida kill evened the set. It went back and forth before the Tigers were able to close it out, 28-26.