Volleyball Downs Samford, 3-1
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The LSU volleyball team (4-4) picked up its second consecutive win as they defeated Samford (1-9) in four sets Friday night at the Pete Hanna Center.
The Bulldogs dominated the first set 25-10 but the Tigers responded by winning the next three frames 25-22, 25-21, 25-19, respectively. LSU improves to 4-0 this season when they lead the match 2-1.
“I thought we came in undisciplined and unprepared, but we are fortunate to be able to turn it around and play some good volleyball in sets two, three, and four,” said head coach Fran Flory. “In those final three sets we were very efficient and low-error.”
Outside hitter Kylie Deberg recorded her seventh consecutive match with double-digit kills as she paced the Tigers with 16 kills and added one ace and eight digs. Outside hitter Sanaa Dotson followed with 12 kills and hit .321 in the match, marking her second-straight match with a hitting percentage over .300.
“I was super proud of Sanaa Dotson who came in and had key moments for us when our normal key players struggled a little bit,” Flory said.
Setter Ella Larkin finished with 35 assists, eight digs, and four blocks. Middle blocker Whitney Foreman led all players with eight blocks and chipped in seven kills on 20 errorless swings (.350).
Defensive specialist Emmaline Walters anchored the defense with 12 digs and also had an ace, while libero Raigen Cianciulli followed with 11 digs.
“When we can get into uncomfortable situations and still succeed, then those are good situations to be in because it helps us grow as a team and gain confidence in understanding our system,” Flory said.
Outside hitter Lauren Deaton recorded a match-high 20 kills for Samford and contributed two aces, eight digs and a solo block. Outside hitter Kenya McQuirter turned in 12 kills, and outside hitter Sarah Hayes Farley rounded out the Bulldogs’ top hitters with 10 kills.
- The Bulldogs scored the first seven points of the set and led by as many as 12 as they built a 20-8 lead.
- The Tigers scored the next two points, but Samford ended the frame on a 5-0 run to win the set 25-10.
- LSU recorded a -.033 hitting percentage, while Samford hit .321 behind 13 kills and registered four aces.
- LSU held a 5-4 advantage before Samford’s 5-1 run to gain the lead 9-6.
- The Tigers responded by scoring nine of the next 13 points to regain the lead 15-13 at the media timeout.
- Two points from LSU out of the media timeout extended a 5-0 run and forced a Bulldog’s timeout with the Tigers on top 17-13.
- The Bulldogs bit back and pulled within one point, 23-22, but the Tigers walked away with a 25-22 victory to tie the match.
- LSU outhit Samford .262-.109 led by Deberg’s five kills, and six kills split evenly between Dotson and middle blocker Allee Morris. The Tigers also stuffed the Bulldogs at the net five times and Foreman ended the set with four blocks.
- Overall, the third set featured 11 ties and five lead changes.
- Samford held an early lead, but a Tiger 6-1 run tied the set at 14 and forced a timeout from the home team.
- Both teams exchanged points to a 20-20 tie and Dotson’s kill sparked a 5-1 burst to close the set 25-21 to give the Tigers a 2-1 match lead.
- LSU registered a .364 hitting percentage and Deberg led the way with six kills in the frame.
- With LSU trailing 5-3, the Tigers scored nine of the next 10 points to take a 12-6 lead.
- The Tigers pressured the Bulldogs to use their final timeout as they ballooned the lead to 15-7. LSU continued to pour it on as they increased its margin to as many as nine points at 18-9 and claimed the set with a 25-19 win.
- LSU continued to dominate offensively and hit a set-high .467. Dotson led the charge with six kills on 11 swings and just one error (.455).
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