Tigers Fall at Georgia in Five Sets
ATHENS, Ga. – The LSU volleyball team (13-14, 9-9 SEC) fell short in five sets (25-16, 21-25, 19-25, 25-20, 11-15) at Georgia (12-17, 8-10 SEC) 25-16, 25- at Stegeman Coliseum.
The Tigers outhit the Bulldogs .282-.222 won the battle at the net in blocks 10-6. However, Georgia outlasted LSU and registered just two more kills, 60-58. UGA also had 11 aces to the Tigers’ eight and LSU recorded 11 service errors in the match.
“I think we fought as hard as we could fight. Unfortunately, we ended up on the wrong side of things,” said head coach Fran Flory. “We did not play as gritty as we needed to. We started great but we could not maintain it. It was a hard-fought match. You must credit Georgia because they made some incredible plays. They dictated the outcome more than we did and that is the story of the match. It is sad to end for these seniors, but they gave their heart to this program, and we appreciate them.”
Outside hitter Taylor Bannister registered another season-high with 29 kills and hit .511 on the day. She also had 10 digs for her 17th career double-double. Bannister logged 20 or more kills for the second consecutive match. She was followed by outside hitter Kylie DeBerg who chipped in nine kills, had three aces and 11 digs with three blocks.
Setter Ella Larking notched another double-double with 51 assists and 11 digs, while also adding three aces and three blocks. Libero Raigen Cianciulli led all players with 19 digs.
Outside hitter Amber Stivrins led Georgia with 17 kills followed by 14 from outside hitter Kaci Evans and 13 from middle blocker Sage Naves.
- The Tigers jumped out to an early 10-5 lead thanks to five kills from Bannister, forcing Georgia to use its first timeout.
- LSU continued to roll as an overall 8-1 run pressured Georgia to call its final timeout with the score reading 15-6.
- The Tigers continued to roll, taking the set 25-16 behind 10 kills on 13 errorless swings (.769) with an ace from Bannister. As a unit, LSU hit .500 and had a 75 percent sideout rate.
- LSU kept its energy high and used a 3-0 run to build an 11-5 lead that forced a Georgia timeout.
- Georgia responded with an 11-5 run of its own to lock the set score at 16 and LSU called its first timeout of the match.
- After trading a few points, a ballhandling error gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the match at 21-20 and the Tigers called their final timeout of the set.
- After the Tigers scored the first point out of the timeout, the Bulldogs scored the final four points to even the match thanks to a 25-21 set victory.
- Georgia struck first in the set and led 15-12 at the media timeout.
- The Tigers fought back but could never gain much momentum, finding themselves down 22-18 before using their final timeout.
- The Bulldogs finished the set by scoring three of the next four points and took a 2-1 match lead after winning the frame 25-19.
- LSU jumped out to an 8-3 lead to open the set and forced a Georgia timeout. After the Tigers scored two points of the break, Georgia used its final timeout. The run continued as the Tigers led 13-3 behind an overall 6-0 run.
- Later, Georgia’s 4-0 burst chipped into the Tigers’ lead 15-9. The visiting teamed called timeout to talk it over. LSU stretched its lead back to double digits at 20-10.
- The Bulldogs fought all the way back with a 10-3 run, making the score 23-20 before the Tigers burned their second timeout of the set.
- DeBerg found the floor after the timeout and an UGA attacking error gave the Tigers a 25-20 set win to force a fifth set.
- The Tigers scored the first two points of the set, but the Bulldogs charged back and lead 6-4 when LSU used its first timeout.
- After the pause, LSU tied the set at nine thanks to a 5-3 run, but Georgia reeled off two consecutive points to take a late 11-9 advantage, forcing LSU to use its final timeout of the match.
- The Bulldogs landed another kill to increase their led to three points but committed back-to-back errors and called timeout holding on to a 12-11 lead.
- UGA came out of the break with a block that sparked a 3-0 run to close the set 15-11.
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