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LSU Volleyball Drops Five-Set Thriller To Troy

LSU Volleyball Drops Five-Set Thriller To Troy

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – In a match that came down to the final points of the fifth set, the LSU Volleyball team (4-5) dropped a thriller against Troy (6-4) Saturday in the Pete Hanna Center

Troy recorded its third victory over a team from a power-five conference, already with wins over Alabama and Virginia Tech this season.

“After winning the second and third set I think we relaxed,” said head coach Fran Flory. “We made some assumptions and we lost our discipline. You cannot do that against a team like Troy who never quits.”

LSU got off to a slow start when it dropped the first set to Troy, 25-20. LSU won the following two sets, 25-20 and 25-18, but Troy took a hard-fought fourth set, 27-25. In the deciding set that was back and forth from the start, Troy outlasted LSU, 15-13.

“We lost this match in the fourth set,” said Flory. “We gave that set away with too many errors. This was a self-inflicted loss and we have to learn how to manage the game better.”

SEC play is on deck for the Tigers as they are set to travel to Fayetteville to take on Arkansas on Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. CT. The SEC home opener will be next Saturday against Alabama.

In both the sets LSU won, it hit over .390, but in the three the Tigers lost, they hit .211 or below.

The Tigers defense was formidable at the net, earning 20 blocks – a season high for LSU and its third straight match with double-digit blocks. It was the first time since 2013 against Auburn that LSU recorded 20 blocks in a match. Middle blocker Anita Anwusi led the way with nine blocks. In all, seven Tigers recorded blocks as Troy had no answer for LSU’s blocking. The Trojans only had three blocks.

Outside hitter Kylie Deberg owned the match offensively with 21 kills to hit .296. Saturday’s match was Deberg’s eighth straight match with double-digit kills. Deberg recorded a double-double, adding 14 added digs.

Libero Raigen Cianciulli, LSU’s all-time digs leader, had a match-high 25 digs. She became the first player in program history to surpass 1,900 career digs.

Outside hitter Alison Siersma led Troy with 17 kills and middle blocker Julia Brooks added 15. Four Trojans had double-digit digs, led by setter Amara Anderson who tabbed 19.

Set One

  • Troy got the match started with a 4-0 run, but the Tigers clawed back early and eventually tied the set at six after a kill from Deberg.
  • With the match tied, Troy went on a run to build a 12-7 lead, but the Tigers responded once again, going on a 5-0 run to tie things at 12. Troy responded with a 3-0 run to go up, 15-12, going into the media timeout.
  • Troy kept its run rolling, scoring five of the next seven points to give the Trojans a 20-14 lead, forcing LSU to take its first timeout of the opening set.
  • Out of the timeout, the Tigers tightened things up with their own 4-0 run to bring the score to 20-18. The Trojans called a timeout with the first set approaching crunch time. LSU brought the score within one with a Deberg kill after the timeout, but Troy scored the subsequent two points. LSU called timeout, trailing 22-19. The Trojans slammed the door on the set out of the timeout, 25-20.

Set Two

  • The Tigers trailed 2-0 early on, but LSU went on a run. Anwusi and setter Ella Larkin combined for a block assist to even the set and then Whitney Foreman squeezed a serve over the net for an ace as LSU took its first lead of the match.
  • After Troy tied the match at four, the two teams traded points back and forth and remained tied, 9-9, before Troy recorded a service ace and then the Tigers recorded back-to-back blocks to gain a three-point advantage. LSU carried a 15-12 lead into the media timeout.
  • LSU led by four, but Troy strung together three straight points to reduce LSU’s lead to one, 18-17. The Tigers took a timeout. Middle blocker Whitney Foreman recorded a solo block, LSU sixth block in the set, out of the timeout to end the run. LSU extended its lead back to three, 22-19, when Troy took its first timeout of the set. LSU evened the match with a 25-20 second set win.

Set Three

  • After LSU tied the third set at three, Deberg fired back-to-back aces to give LSU a 5-3 lead early on. The Tigers meticulously built a lead. They did not go on any major runs, but picked points up continuously, extending their lead to 12-6 when Troy took its first timeout.
  • LSU started to run away with the set, going on a 6-3 run to take an 18-9 lead when Troy took its first timeout of the set. Troy’s deficit was too large to overcome as LSU took the third set, 25-18, to go up 2-1 in the match.

Set Four

  • Needing a fourth-set win to keep the match alive, Troy put up a fight in the early part of the set. The teams remained knotted, trading the first 10 points in the set. Troy took a 7-5 lead for the first multi-point lead of the set, but recorded a service error the next point and then Foreman earned her fifth block of the match to tie it again at seven.
  • Fighting for the match, Troy prevented LSU from taking a lead through the middle part of the stanza, leading 15-12 at the media timeout. With LSU trailing, 20-16, Anwusi and Deberg went up for a combined block, looking to swing momentum to the Tigers. Troy responded though to hold a four-point lead as LSU took its first timeout of the set.
  • The Tigers scored two-straight points out of the timeout, trying to inch back with an opportunity to close the match. When LSU looked like it may go on a late run, Troy would respond. The Tigers called another timeout to regroup down, 23-20.
  • With LSU on a 3-0 run LSU trailed, 24-23, when Troy called a timeout, one point away from forcing a fifth set. LSU evened up the set at 24 with a kill from Deberg. Troy ended LSU’s run to go up 25-24 and serve for its sixth set-point opportunity. A kill from Foreman evened it back up, but Troy earned the next two points to force a deciding set.

Set Five

  • The teams traded hitting-errors for the first two points of the deciding set. The following two points, each team recorded a kill to keep it even at two points each. The trading of points continued and remained tied at five after 10 points. 
  • LSU took a two-point lead when defensive specialist Emmaline Walters fired her second ace of the match as LSU held a 7-5 lead as Troy took a timeout. Troy took another timeout after LSU gained an 11-8 advantage in the deciding set. Two LSU errors out of the timeout brought Troy back within one point as LSU took its first timeout. A third-straight LSU error out of the break tied the set at 11.
  • Troy earned the next point and then LSU had another error as Troy went up, 13-11 and LSU took its final timeout of the match. A Deberg kill out of the timeout ended Troy’s 5-0 run. Anwusi and outside hitter Ellie Echter got a clutch block after a long rally to even the set at 13. Troy scored the final two points to clinch the match with a 15-13 fifth set win.

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