Tigers Fall to No. 21 Penn State in Tight Three Set Match
BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU Volleyball (3-3) dropped a tightly contested match to No. 21 Penn State (6-0), 20-25, 24-26, 25-27 Saturday at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center (PMAC) to close out the 2022 Tiger Classic.
Saturday’s match against the Nittany Lions featured 27 total ties, seven lead changes and was decided by only nine points. The Tigers hit .222 on the day tallying 44 kills and nine blocks, while Penn State had a .233 hitting percentage behind 48 kills and registered eight blocks and five aces.
“For whatever reason today, every time we got it going and made a run, we shot ourselves in the foot,” said head coach Tonya Johnson. “We have to be prideful in those pressure situations and I do not think we did a good job at that today. But I did see a lot of great things and a lot that we can build on to get better. Everything that we struggled with today is fixable.”
Outside hitter Sanaa Dotson turned in her second double-double of the season with 13 kills and 15 digs. Dotson also finished with four blocks and two assists. Outside hitter Samarah Hill followed closely with 11 kills and recorded the team’s single ace in the match. Freshman setter Maddie Waak had a season-high 29 assists and added eight digs and in three kills. Defensively, the Tigers were led by Alia Williams’s six blocks who also chipped in five kills. Defensive specialist Jill Bohnet and libero Ella Larkin finished with 13 and 12 digs, respectively.
Penn State’s outside hitter Anjelina Starch had 13 kills and outside hitter Kashauna Williams turned in 11 kills and a .375 hitting percentage in the win. Setter Seleisa Elisaia and libero Maddy Bilinovic had match-highs of 40 assists and 21 digs, respectively.
- The Nittany Lions held a 9-5 lead when the Tigers called their first timeout of the match. LSU battled back and tied the score on four different occasions, but Penn State ripped off three straight points for a 19-16 lead when the home team used their final timeout of the set.
- PSU’s run continued and ultimately closed the frame on a 9-4 run to grab the 25-20 set win. It was the first time this season that the Tigers dropped the first set.
- Dotson and Hill led LSU offensively with five kills each although LSU was outhit in the set, .306-.205.
- LSU trailed 7-4 when they called a timeout to slow down Penn State’s 3-0 run. The Tigers responded and used a 5-1 run to tie the score at 12 when PSU used its first timeout of the match.
- The Tigers recorded another block out of the break to take a 13-12 lead behind four unanswered points. Penn State regained the lead quickly by scoring the next two points and from there the clubs tied five times, including 21-21.
- The teams continued to trade kills to another 24-24 tie before Penn State logged back-to-back kills for the 26-24 win. In total, the set featured 11 ties and a pair of lead changes.
- A 4-0 run put the Tigers ahead 6-2 early, but the Nittany Lions took a 13-12 lead to force LSU to call a timeout.
- PSU stretched its lead to 19-15 when LSU called its final timeout, but the Tigers answered the challenge and scored the next three points to force the Nittany Lions into a timeout as they clung to a 19-18 lead.
- Hill continued the run for LSU with a kill that tied the set at 19 and after two points for Penn State to take a 21-19 lead, LSU took back control of the lead with a 3-0 run, including a crafty kill from Larkin that put the Tigers on top, 22-21.
- Both teams traded kills to a 25 tie, but an ace and kill from Penn State ended the set 27-25 in favor of the road team.
LSU will travel to Milwaukee, Wisc. for a pair of matches at Milwaukee (Sept. 9) and Marquette (Sept. 10).
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