Tigers Rally to Defeat Ole Miss, 3-2
BATON ROUGE, La. – For the third time in four matches, LSU went the distance and came out on top in five sets (18-25, 25-18, 25-22, 24-26, 15-13) – this time over Ole Miss Friday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
LSU (9-5, 3-1 SEC) logged a .277 hitting percentage behind 58 kills, and held Ole Miss (4-9, 0-3 SEC) to a .198 attacking percentage thanks to eight blocks.
“Recently, we have had a hard time coming out and getting our stuff together in the first set,” said head coach Tonya Johnson. “If you go back and look at our five set wins the last week and a half, we lost to Arkansas in the first set, Kentucky in the first set, and we lose tonight in the first set and came back to win in five. I think what that showed tonight is that it didn’t matter how we started, but more so how we bounced back and competed going forward after that set.”
Outside hitter Sanaa Dotson finished with 16 kills with a .316 hitting percentage and totaled seven digs, and one block. Outside hitter Samarah Hill matched a season-high 12 kills off the bench and recorded a career-high .524 hitting percentage in the win. Hill also had eight digs and one ace. Middle blocker Anita Anwusi filled the stat sheet with 10 kills behind a career-best .643 hitting percentage and put down seven blocks, marking the third match in a four-match span that she has had seven or more blocks.
Setter Josie Vondran had 37 assists, four kills, three blocks, and a pair of digs, while setter Maddie Waak turned in 11 assists on the night. Libero Ella Larkin anchored the defense with 22 digs and defensive specialist Jill Bohnet added 10 digs.
- Ole Miss led LSU 15-13 at the first media timeout and the Tigers used their first timeout trailing 18-15.
- LSU called its final timeout with the score in favor of the visiting team 22-18, but the Rebels did not relinquish their lead as they won the first set, 25-18.
- The Tigers jumped out to an early lead and was on top 12-7 when the Rebels called timeout.
- LSU’s margin grew to seven and Ole Miss used its final timeout with the score at 20-13.
- The Tigers scored four of the next six points, but the Rebels responded with a 3-0 run to make the count 24-18, forcing an LSU timeout.
- Anwusi ended the set with a kill on the first play out of the timeout and LSU tied the match with a 25-18 victory. Anwusi led the Tigers with five kills and three blocks in the frame.
- There were seven ties and three lead changes by the media timeout when LSU held a 15-13 advantage.
- Ole Miss tied the set at 19, but a kill from right side Hannah Jacobs ignited a 3-0 run for a 22-19 lead. UM had one final push and cut the lead down 23-22 when LSU signaled for time, however, a service error from Ole Miss and an ace from Hill gave LSU a 25-22 win and 2-1 match lead.
- The Tigers hit .346 in the stanza led by Dotson, Hill and Vondran’s three kills each.
- LSU called a quick timeout as they opened the set on the wrong side of a 5-2 run, but the Tigers went on their own 5-1 burst to take their first lead at 7-6.
- From that point, both teams tied eight times before LSU scored three consecutive points to take a 16-14 lead, forcing an Ole Miss timeout.
- Ole Miss pieced some points together and took a 20-19 lead behind a 6-3 run to pressure LSU into a timeout.
- Jacobs found the floor to tie the set at 20 and after a 3-0 UM run, the Tigers returned the favor with three unanswered points that began with a kill from Hill and a pair of aces from defensive specialist Bri Zamora, tying the set at 23.
- Both teams traded kills to 24, but Ole Miss forced a fifth set by scoring the final two points for a 26-24 win.
- LSU sprinted to a 5-1 lead to force an Ole Miss timeout and led 6-1 before the Rebels went on a 5-1 run of their own to make the score 7-6. Hill landed her 11th kill of the night to put the Tigers on top 8-6 when the clubs switched sides.
- Ole Miss tied the set at 11, but LSU held its lead thanks to a Dotson kill and a Rebel error to make the score 13-11.
- After the visiting club used their final timeout, LSU scored two of the next three points, highlighted by a kill from Hill and a block from Anwusi and Jacobs to seal the match with a 15-13 win.
The Tigers and Rebels will face off again Saturday night at 6 p.m. The match will be streamed on SEC Network+.
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