Bannister Becomes All-Time Kill Leader, Volleyball Falls to No. 5 Kentucky
BATON ROUGE — Senior right side Taylor Bannister became LSU’s all-time leader in kills Thursday night, as LSU Volleyball (7-10, 3-5 SEC) fell to No. 5 Kentucky (12-3, 5-0 SEC) in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center 3-1 (20-25, 25-23, 20-25, 16-25).
Bannister tallied 11 kills to get her career total to 1,746. She tied the record, previously held by Nyla Shepherd, during Sunday’s win over Florida.
Outside hitter Kylie DeBerg led the way with a match-high 17 kills and added two blocks and an ace. Outside hitter Sanaa Dotson added 13 kills on a .306 hitting percentage.
Libero Raigen Cianciulli had a match-high 20 digs, while setter Ella Larkin posted her ninth double-double with 39 assists and 11 digs.
Kentucky was led by outside hitters Alli Stumler and Madi Skinner, who had 16 and 15 kills, respectively. Middle blocker Azhani Tealer had 13 kills, and libero Eleanor Beavin had a team-high 14 digs.
Kentucky recorded more kills (59-52) on a better hitting percentage (.311-.210). Both teams had 50 digs and LSU had five service aces to Kentucky’s seven.
“At times we played really well, we just could not sustain it,” said head coach Fran Flory. “We have to credit Kentucky for being physical and fast, but through portions, we have played about as well as we’ve played all year. The ability to maintain that just comes with doing it more often and for longer periods of time. Overall, I think it was a really good match for us and I liked that we fought. We will be prepared for tomorrow.”
- It did not take long for Bannister to take her spot atop the all-time kills leaderboard. Her kill on the second point of the match made it 2-0 LSU.
- After a Dotson kill gave LSU a 6-4 lead, Kentucky took five of the next six points to lead 10-7. They also rattled off five straight points with the score tied at 12 to lead 17-12.
- LSU took three consecutive points to cut it to 18-16, but Kentucky took the next three points to widen its lead.
- An ace from Larkin cut the lead back to two at 21-19, but Kentucky would pull away to win, 25-20.
- With Kentucky up 3-2, LSU scored four straight points thanks to a Bannister ace and kills from Bannister, DeBerg, and middle blocker Anita Anwusi.
- With the score deadlocked at 9, the Tigers won three consecutive points thanks to another pair of Bannister kills.
- Three kills from Kentucky’s Stumler helped knot the score at 14 before an Anwusi kill gave LSU a lead into the media timeout.
- The Tigers scored three unanswered points thanks to a Dotson kill and outside hitter Paige Flickinger’s ace to gain a 21-19 advantage.
- In a set that had twelve ties and six lead changes, LSU edged it out, 25-23.
- LSU trailed early, 6-3, before firing off a 4-0 run thanks to a DeBerg kill and an ace.
- Trailing 9-8, the Wildcats won the next four points thanks to three kills by Stumler, leading 12-9.
- After the Tigers cut it to 12-11, Kentucky went on a 7-3 run to take a 19-14 lead.
- Two Skinner kills widened Kentucky’s lead to 21-16, but kills from Bannister and DeBerg cut the lead to 21-19 and forced a Wildcat timeout.
- Kentucky went on a run after the timeout to close out the set, 25-20.
- After the Tigers took the first three points of the set, Kentucky won the next eight points to lead 8-3 and force an LSU timeout.
- LSU cut the lead to 13-10, but the Wildcats went on another 5-0 run to lead 18-10.
- Bannister logged her second ace, and Larkin recorded a late kill, but Kentucky took the final set, 25-16.
The Tigers will be back in the PMAC tomorrow, Oct. 15, against Kentucky at 8 p.m. to finish off the series. The match will be shown on SEC Network.
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