Volleyball Defeats Texas A&M in Home Finale, 3-2
BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU Volleyball (12-13, 8-8 SEC) defeated Texas A&M (12-14, 5-11 SEC) in five sets (25-9, 25-20, 13-25, 32-34, 15-12) on Sunday afternoon in the final home match of the season in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
In what turned out to be a five-set instant classic, the Tigers outhit the Aggies .217-.194. LSU’s nine aces bested seven from Texas A&M, and they also showed up at the net to the tune of 10 blocks to the Aggies’ five. The Tigers have now won their last four matches when accumulating 10 or more blocks.
“We were very good with our serving at the beginning of the match. And because of that success, the seemed to become too easy and we let our guard down,” said head coach Fran Flory. “You start to expect that you do not have to fight and it is hard to snap out of that. I am very proud of my senior team who was able to bounce back against a Texas A&M team that played like they should have been playing. That is the best they [Texas A&M] has played in a long time. Credit to our side of the net to fight through and find a way at the end to win the match.”
LSU was led by outside hitter Kylie DeBerg, who posted 15 kills and a season-high seven service aces. Middle blocker Allee Morris turned in a season-high 10 kills and a match-high six total blocks, including two solo blocks. Right side Taylor Bannister added 10 kills and was a dig shy from another double-double, while outside hitter Sanaa Dotson rounded out the top hitters for the Tigers with 10 kills on a .381 hitting percentage.
Libero Raigen Cianciulli led all players with 17 digs and setter Ella Larkin posted a double-double with 39 assists and 10 digs.
The Aggies were led by outside hitters Lauren Davis and Morgan Christon, who had 19 and 18 kills, respectively. Middle blocker Mallory Talbert also chipped in 14 kills, and setter Camille Conner had a double-double with 49 assists and 11 digs.
- LSU opened the game with a remarkable run, winning the first eleven points of the set to take a commanding lead.
- Although the Aggies cut their deficit to 13-5, the Tigers responded with eight unanswered points, highlighted by six consecutive aces from DeBerg, to make the score 21-5.
- The set finished with a 25-9 score line, the largest margin of victory that the Tigers imposed this season.
- LSU again began the second set strong by jumping out to a 5-2 lead thanks to a DeBerg kill and a Bannister ace.
- DeBerg continued to make an impact as her fifth kill of the set gave the Tigers a 14-10 advantage.
- Texas A&M won four straight points to cut the score to 22-18, but two Aggie service errors and another kill from DeBerg gave LSU the second set by a score of 25-20.
- The success of LSU’s attackers told the story of the first two sets; the Tigers hit .300 while the Aggies could only muster a .098 hitting percentage.
- For the third consecutive set, LSU grabbed an early lead. The Tigers led 4-0 thanks to a kill and a block from Morris.
- The Aggies would not concede a defeat that easily however, as they won five consecutive points to take their first lead of the day, 7-6.
- Texas A&M’s Davis had three kills as the Aggies’ lead extended to 17-11, forcing LSU to take a timeout.
- It was the Aggies’ turn to control the set, as they reversed their fortune to win set three, 25-13.
- Texas A&M edged the set early, 6-4, before an Aggie error and DeBerg’s seventh ace of the match leveled things.
- LSU took a 13-11 lead, but the Aggies won four of the next five points to lead, 15-14, heading into the media timeout.
- Texas A&M pushed their lead to 22-19 and forced an LSU timeout. The Tigers responded by taking two straight points, and the Aggies called a timeout of their own.
- Facing a 24-22 set point, the Tigers won the next two points to knot it up at 24. After a heated exchange of points, the Aggies squeaked by, winning 34-32.
- Both Dotson and DeBerg tallied early kills, as LSU came out to a 6-3 lead.
- Two kills from Morris pushed the Tiger lead to 12-8 and forced Texas A&M to call a timeout.
- The Aggies proved to be resilient through the entire match, cutting their deficit to two points, but LSU was finally able to win the pivotal set, 15-12.
The Tigers will travel to Athens, Ga. to take on Georgia in the final two matches of the season on Nov. 26-27. Both matches will start at 1 p.m. and will be broadcast on SEC Network+.
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