GAINESVILLE, Fla. – LSU’s rally attempt fell short as No. 15 Florida came out on top in five sets (18-25, 24-26, 27-25, 25-21, 9-15) Sunday afternoon at the Exactech Arena.
LSU (10-8, 4-4 SEC) hit .168 in the match behind 62 kills, 58 assists and two aces. Defensively, the Tigers held Florida (13-3, 5-1 SEC) to a .213 hitting percentage and matched a season-high 11 blocks in the loss. LSU also had 74 digs in the match.
Outside hitter Sanaa Dotson led the Tigers with 18 kills to go along with six digs and one block. Outside hitter Paige Flickinger followed her lead and matched her season-high of 15 kills and contributed 12 digs for her fourth double-double this season. Middle blocker Anita Anwusi rounded out the top hitters for LSU with 12 kills on a .450 hitting percentage and had four blocks.
Setter Josie Vondran handed out 37 assists and finished with four kills, two blocks and one ace, and counterpart Maadie Waak has 14 helpers and six digs.
Middle blocker Alia Williams and right side Hannah Jacobs led LSU with six blocks each. Williams finished with seven kills and Jacobs had six. Libero Ella Larkin had a match-high 26 digs in the match and defensive specialist Jill Bohnet followed with 15 digs.
- The Tigers were forced to take an early timeout after a Gator 4-0 run and later a 3-0 run gave them home team a 10-4 lead.
- LSU cut Florida’s lead down to four but used its second timeout trailing 18-12. Following the pause, the Tigers scored five out of seven points to force the Gators to call their first timeout of the match with the score at 20-17.
- Florida went on to close out the frame on a 5-1 to win the opening set, 25-18.
- LSU jumped out to an early 9-6 advantage and UF signaled for the early timeout. The Tigers margin grew to as many as six points, but a 4-1 run by the Gators made it an 18-15 set when LSU burned its first timeout.
- Florida’s run continued and after four more unanswered points, the home team took the lead 19-18 and LSU called its final timeout. It was an overall 10-0 run that put UF ahead 22-18.
- LSU responded with a 6-2 run to tie the score at 24, but back-to-back errors for the Tigers gave Florida a 26-24 win.
- Florida scored the first five points of the set when LSU called a timeout. LSU battled back and tied the set at eight before taking its first lead of the set after a Flickinger kill.
- LSU and Florida tied four separate times (19-19), but a kill from Williams sparked a 3-0 run that put LSU on top 22-19.
- The Gators made a push with a 4-2 run that forced the Tigers to use their final timeout with the score at 24-23, LSU. Out of the break, Florida tied the set at 24 and the teams exchanged points to a 25-25 tie. Anwusi registered a kill to give LSU the advantage, and a kill from Flickinger won LSU the set to avoid the sweep, 27-25.
- Flickinger led the Tigers with six kills in the set, followed by three kills from Anwusi and Dotson each. LSU outhit Florida in the stanza, .289-.245.
- LSU reeled off five unanswered points and led 9-5 when Florida needed a break. The Tigers pushed the lead to 11-6 behind an overall 6-1 run.
- The Tigers led 17-11 thanks to a 4-0 run when the Gators used their final timeout of the set. After the timeout, consecutive kills from Dotson stretched the run to six unanswered and the lead to 19-11.
- Florida began to build momentum and forced LSU to call a timeout after trimming the lead to 21-16. The Tigers’ lead continued to dwindle as Florida pulled within three points at 21-18, but Flickinger kept the lead afloat for the Tigers with two late kills and they ultimately won the set 25-21 to force a fifth set.
- Dotson paced the team with five kills and Flickinger was close by with four kills.
- When the teams switched sides, Florida led LSU 8-4.
- Following the media timeout, LSU scored the next point, but two consecutive points from the Gators pushed their lead to 10-5 and the Tigers called a timeout.
- LSU threatened by pulling within three points at 12-9, but Florida closed out the set with a 3-0 run to win the set 15-9.
LSU will have the next week and a half off before taking on Alabama on Wednesday, October 19 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
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