Tigers Pounce on Panthers, 3-1
MILWAUKEE – The LSU Volleyball (4-3) rallied from behind to defeat Milwaukee (1-6), 3-1 (22-25, 25-16, 25-16, 25-20) Friday at the Klotsche Center.
LSU improves to 3-0 when hitting over .300 as they recorded a .333 hitting percentage against Milwaukee and had 63 kills on 58 assists in the win. LSU won the battle at the net with eight blocks to UWM’s four and out dug its opponent 63-54. Both teams had five aces in the match. LSU held Milwaukee to a .190 hitting percentage and have now kept four of the last five opponents below a .200 hitting percentage.
“I thought we started the match a little flat and slow,” said head coach Tonya Johnson. “In our first three of four matches this season we came out the gates fast, but we didn’t do that tonight. But in between sets one and two, I think we made up our mind that we wanted to compete and because of that we took care of business in sets two, three and four. Things that we did not do in the first set that we did in the rest of the match that helped us be successful was that we started serving Milwaukee tough. We got them out of system, and they could not run their offense and move their players around like they do. The second thing we did was that we started digging balls. I think that team effort of doing those two things turned the match around.”
Outside hitter Sanaa Dotson turned in a season high 23 kills (.296) and had nine digs and two blocks. Outside hitter Samarah Hill tallied 11 kills and nine digs, and right side Hannah Jacobs also finished with 11 kills, a .364 hitting percentage and three blocks in the win.
Setter Josie Vondran handed out 29 assists and a season-best seven kills on 11 errorless attacks (.636) to go along with two blocks and an ace. Setter Maddie Waak contributed 17 helpers and a match-high two aces.
Libero Ella Larkin led all players with 18 digs and had one kill and one ace, and defensive specialist Jill Bohnet had 14 digs on the night. Middle blocker Alia Williams had a match high four blocks and added seven kills on 12 attacks with no errors, marking a career high .583 hitting percentage.
Ari Miller led the Panthers with 13 kills and a .333 hitting percentage while outside hitter Madi Malone had a double-double with 11 kills and 12 digs in the loss.
- LSU led by as many as three points early in the set, but Milwaukee took a 17-16 lead when the Tigers called their first timeout.
- After the Panthers scored two of the next three points to take a 19-17 lead, the Tigers burned their second timeout.
- Milwaukee registered a kill out of the timeout, but Dotson ended the 3-0 run with a kill and Waak cut the lead to one point, 20-19 with an ace that forced the Panthers to use their first timeout.
- The home team built a 23-20 cushion behind a 3-1 run and ultimately won the opening frame, 25-22. The competitive first set saw a total of 13 ties and seven lead changes.
- The Tigers sprinted to a 5-0 start in the second stanza thanks to a kill from Dotson, back-to-back blocks from Jacobs and Williams and an ace from Vondran. Milwaukee calles a timeout and got within three points at 7-4, but LSU expanded its lead to 13-7 which pressured the home team to use the last of their two timeouts.
- LSU grew its margin to 16-8 and although Milwaukee chipped away at the lead to get back to a five-point deficit at 18-13, five answered points from the Tigers propelled them to a 25-16 victory to tie the match.
- LSU hit .379 in the set behind 14 kills and logged four aces in the set. Defensively, LSU held Milwaukee to a .033 hitting percentage thanks to four blocks.
- Dotson led the Tigers with five kills and Jacobs followed with four kills and two blocks.
- Milwaukee scored the first two points in the third, but LSU struck back with a 6-2 run highlighted by a 3-0 burst for a 7-4 edge. The Tigers stretched its margin to 11-6 when the Panthers needed a break in the action. LSU went on to score four of the next six points to build a 15-8 advantage and Milwaukee used its final timeout.
- The Tigers continued to dominate the set as their lead ballooned to 22-11. The visiting team took a 2-1 match lead after taking the third set, 25-16.
- LSU bested its second set hitting percentage with .389 in the third led by Dotson’s six kills. Hill, Jacobs and Vondran each finished with three kills in the set.
- Fully in rhythm, LSU held another early advantage at 10-5 and was up 15-9 when Milwaukee burned through both of its timeouts.
- The Panthers clawed their way back and trailed 18-14 when the Tigers used their first timeout of the set. That would be the closest they would get however as LSU closed the set by scoring seven of the next 13 points to win the frame 25-20.
- LSU had a match-high .441 hitting percentage in the set behind 19 kills and had a .750 sideout percentage.
- Dotson continued her hot hitting with seven kills and a .600 hitting percentage and Williams followed with five kills on six swings with no errors (.833).
LSU takes on No. 23 Marquette at 1 p.m. CT Saturday at the Al McGuire Center.
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