Tigers Blank Oregon State to Open Tulane Invitational
NEW ORLEANS – LSU (5-4) opened the Tulane Invitational by sweeping Oregon State (4-5) 25-18, 27-25, 25-22 Friday night at Fogelman Arena.
With the win, LSU secured its fourth sweep of the season surpassing last season’s total sweeps. The Tigers hit .254 in the match and registered 45 kills and 39 assists. They also turned in seven aces in the victory. Although the Beavers won the battle at the net with five blocks to LSU’s four, OSU was held to a .173 hitting percentage, making them the fifth opponent over a seven-match span that the Tigers has held under .200.
“I thought we followed the gameplan well and we executed,” said head coach Tonya Johnson. “Most importantly, I thought we finished in the crunch times when we needed to, especially in that second set. Winning brings confidence and this team needed some confidence tonight. They needed to come out and compete the way they did and earn a victory. I did not think a lot was given to us. We had to earn this win tonight and our team played well. There was a lot of trust and communication out there tonight.”
Outside hitter Sanaa Dotson turned in her fifth consecutive match with 10 or more kills as she put down 14 kills and had a .324 hitting percentage. Dotson also had nine digs, one ace and one block. Outside hitter Paige Flickinger finished with eight kills and 11 digs, and right side Hannah Jacobs recorded seven kills and one block in the win.
Setter Josie Vondran handed out 23 assists and added five kills, five digs, one ace and one block. Libero Ella Larkin had a team-high 13 digs, middle blocker Anita Anwusi paced the team with three blocks to go along with five kills, and middle blocker Alia Williams led the team with a .400 hitting percentage behind six kills on 15 attacks with no errors.
Izzi Szulczewski logged a double-double for the Beavers with a team-high 11 kills and match-high 14 digs, while setter Inna Balyko led all players with 26 assists.
- The Tigers rolled in the first set 25-18 behind an overall 13-5 run.
- LSU took its first lead in the match at 6-5 and held a 14-10 advantage behind a 4-0 run when Oregon State called a timeout.
- The run continued on the other side of the break for the Tigers with four unanswered points before the Beavers scored again. LSU kept applying pressure however and had a 22-14 advantage when OSU used its final timeout.
- Oregon State trimmed the lead 24-18 but an error gave LSU the opening set.
- LSU held Oregon State to a -.032 hitting percentage while hitting .267 in the frame. Flickinger led the Tigers with five kills, while Dotson and Jacobs followed with three kills each.
- Oregon State jumped out on top quickly and led 11-7 when LSU was forced to use its first timeout of the match.
- LSU stormed back and made it a one-point set at 15-14 when OSU called for time. The Tigers tied the score at 17 and again at 21 when the Beavers signaled for their final timeout of the set.
- The set saw its fifth tie at 22, but a kill from OSU put them ahead 23-22 when LSU called its final timeout. Tie No. six came at 24 and a kill from Dotson gave the Tigers their first lead 25-24 since having a 3-2 lead.
- The Beavers tied the set one final time but committed a service error and attacking error for the Tigers to win the set, 27-25 and take a 2-0 match lead.
- Dotson led the charge with five kills and an ace, followed by three kills from both Flickinger and Williams.
- LSU scored the first four points of the set and led 5-1 before OSU went on a 4-0 run to knot the set, 5-5. The Tigers built their lead back to five at 12-7 and led 16-10 when the Beavers called timeout.
- Oregon State used a 6-1 run to pull within one point at 17-16 and tied the set 19 and 20 before a block from Anwusi and Vondran, followed by an ace from Larkin gave the Tigers a 22-20 lead.
- After a Beaver timeout. Williams logged two kills for the Tigers and an attacking error from OSU gave the Tigers a 25-22 win.
- Dotson logged six kills on 14 errorless swings (.429) in the set, while Jacobs and Willams both finished with three kills.
LSU and Tulane will go head-to-head at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow night to wrap-up the weekend.
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