BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU fell short to Ole Miss, 3-2 (25-22, 21-25, 16-25, 25-18, 12-15) Saturday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. LSU splits the weekend series with Ole Miss for the third consecutive season.
LSU (9-6, 3-2 SEC) was held to a .257 attacking percentage with 61 kills, 57 assists and six aces, while defensively registering nine blocks and 71 digs. Ole Miss (5-9, 1-3 SEC) picked up its first league win with a .257 hitting percentage, 67 kills, 51 assists and totaled eight blocks. The Rebels dug 69 balls and had 14.0 blocks.
“Obviously it is tough to beat a team back-to-back, but I thought we put ourselves in a position to win and we did not take care of business,” said head coach Tonya Johnson. “We did not do a great job in first contact balls and keeping things calm on our side. We felt rushed and everything was fast. We do not like when things are chaotic. We have to learn to control the ball, get it up high and give us time to transition to do what we need to do.”
Outside hitter Sanaa Dotson recorded her fourth double-double this season with 16 kills and 13 digs. She also had two blocks. Middle blocker Anita Anwusi posted a season-high 13 kills behind a .346 hitting percentage and had four blocks, including one solo block. Middle blocker Alia Williams and right side Hannah Jacobs each had four blocks as well and finished with nine and seven kills, respectively.
Setter Josie Vondran handed out 36 assists to go along with six kills, three digs, two aces and one block, and setter Maddie Waak logged 16 assists with six digs and one ace. Libero Ella Larkin turned in a match-high 30 digs and had four assists and one ace. It marks the second time this season Larkin has had a performance of 30 or more digs.
- LSU scored the first point of the match, but Ole Miss scored six unanswered points to build a 6-1 lead and forced an LSU timeout.
- The Tigers pulled within one point at 14-13 after a kill from Williams, but another 4-1 run by the Rebels made the home team used their final timeout trailing 18-14.
- Ole Miss called its first timeout as LSU clawed its way back and cut the deficit to 20-19 behind a 4-1 run. Out of the break, Williams landed another kill to tie the set at 20, and Dotson tooled the block to put the Tigers on top, 21-20.
- Both teams traded blows to a 22-22 score, but a block from Vondran and Williams, followed by another attacking error from Ole Miss stretched LSU’s lead to 24-22. The Rebels used their final timeout, and outside hitter Paige Flickinger completed the rally with a kill, making the score 25-22.
- Dotson landed six kills in the set and had one block, while Williams finished with four kills on six errorless swings and had two blocks in the set.
- The Rebels started fast for the second consecutive set and led 8-4 when LSU signaled for time. The Tigers responded out of the timeout however and took a 15-14 lead to pressure Ole Miss into a timeout.
- UM scored the first three points out of the timeout to regain a 17-15 edge, and although LSU tied the set twice, the home team needed another timeout with Ole Miss gaining momentum with a 20-18 lead.
- The Tigers scored two straight points to tie the set at 22, but the Rebels closed the set on a 5-1 run and won the set 25-21.
- Ole Miss opened the set by scoring the first four points and held a 15-12 lead at the media timeout. LSU called its first timeout of the set down 17-13 and its final timeout trailing 19-13.
- The Rebels ran away with the set, 25-16 and took a 2-1 match lead.
- LSU built a 10-7 lead highlighted by a 6-1 run when Ole Miss called a timeout.
- After an overall 8-1 run that gave LSU a 12-7 lead, Ole Miss reeled off four consecutive points to make it a one-point set at 12-11. The Tigers pushed their lead back up to 16-11 and led 21-17 when the Rebels burned a timeout.
- LSU took the fourth set 25-18 after closing out the frame on a 5-1 run highlighted by four unanswered points.
- Dotson and Anwusi split 10 kills evenly in the set and Williams added three kills, one ace and one block.
- Vondran started the set with an ace, but Ole Miss took the lead at 5-4 and was up 6-4 when LSU called for a timeout. LSU scored the next two points out of the break, but Ole Miss led 8-6 when the teams switched benches.
- The Tigers called timeout as they trailed 10-7, and the Rebels claimed an 11-7 lead behind a 3-0 run. LSU continued to chip away and pulled within two points at 12-10 when UM called its first timeout.
- LSU got within one point at 13-12, but Ole Miss never let the lead go. UM claimed the next two points to win the set, 15-12.
LSU concludes its homestand with a 7 p.m. match on Wednesday, October 5 against Auburn. The match will be televised on SEC Network.
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