Tigers Rally for Five-Set Victory at Alabama
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – For the seventh time in nine Southeastern Conference matches (SEC) LSU played five sets which resulted in a win versus Alabama (25-19, 17-25, 26-28, 27-25, 15-7) Wednesday night inside Foster Auditorium.
LSU’s (11-8, 5-4 SEC) win over Alabama (7-13, 1-7 SEC) increases its win streak to three in head-to-head meetings and the Tigers have won six of the last seven against the Crimson Tide.
After winning the opening set 25-19, LSU dropped the second and third sets 25-17 and 28-26, respectively. The Fighting Tigers outlasted the Tide in the fourth 27-25 before running away with the fifth set 15-7.
Overall, this season the Tigers are 5-3 in five setters, including a 5-2 mark in SEC play. LSU hit .135 in the match but held Alabama to a .099 attacking percentage, making it the third opponent the Tigers have held their opponent under .100 this season. The Purple and Gold logged season-highs of 15 blocks and 99 digs on the night.
Outside hitter Sanaa Dotson put up another double-double to mark her fourth in a five-match span and sixth of the season. Dotson finished with 18 kills and 14 digs while adding four blocks and one ace. Outside hitter Paige Flickinger also logged a double-double with 16 kills and 13 digs and contributed four blocks and one ace as well. It is Flickinger’s third double-double in four matches and second in-a-row. Middle blocker Anita Anwusi had 10 kills and matched a career-high nine blocks, including one solo block.
Setter Maddie Waak turned in her first career double-double with season-highs of 39 assists and 10 digs. She also had three blocks and two kills. Libero Ella Larkin recorded her third 30-plus dig performance of the season after tallying a match-high 31 digs. Larkin led a group of five players with 10 or more digs, including Dotson, Flickinger, Waak and defensive specialist Jill Bohnet who had 18 digs. The last time five Tigers had 10 or more digs dates back to Oct. 21, 2020 against Mississippi State, including Raigen Cianciulli (19), Taylor Bannister (14), Samarah Hill (12), Karli Rose (10) and Bohnet (10).
- After seven ties and four lead changes, LSU went into the media time out with a 15-13 lead. The Tigers increased their lead to 18-15 when Alabama called its first timeout.
- The Tigers began to pull away, forcing the Crimson Tide used their final timeout trailing 23-18. Flickinger came out of the break and recorded an ace, and moments later a kill from Dotson ended the set with LSU winning 25-19.
- Flickinger led the team with four kills and an ace and Larkin led the way with 10 digs in the set.
- Bama jumped out to an 8-4 lead and later went ahead 14-8 to burn through both of LSU’s timeouts.
- LSU used a 5-1 run to cut the deficit to three points at 16-13, but Alabama pushed the lead back to as many as eight points and eventually evened the match with a 25-15 victory.
- LSU used aa 4-2 run for a 15-13 edge at the media timeout that featured eight ties at the point.
- Out of the media timeout, Alabama scored five of the next six points highlighted by four unanswered points to grab an 18-16 lead when LSU signaled for time.
- The Tigers tied the set at 18, but the Tide held its lead and used a timeout with a slight 21-20 advantage after a kill from Waak. Waak’s kill sparked a 4-0 run to put LSU ahead 23-21.
- Both teams battled to four more ties at 26-26 but a couple of attacking errors gave Alabama the 27-25 win. In total, there were 15 ties and five lead changes in the set.
- The clubs continued to trade points and LSU was ahead 15-14 at the media timeout, but Alabama went on a 4-1 run to grab an 18-16 lead and LSU called a timeout.
- LSU responded with a 6-2 run of its own to take back the lead, 22-20 and Alabama used its first timeout of the set.
- Kills from Anwusi and Hill gave the Tigers set point at 24-21, but the Tide fought off three set points to tie the match at 24 and forced LSU to take its final timeout.
- After the break in action, each team recorded a point, but back-to-back kills from Flickinger forced a fifth set after a 27-25 win for LSU. Flickinger exploded for seven kills in the set to lead the Tigers.
- The Fighting Tigers scored the first three points in the frame and led 8-4 when the teams switched sides.
- LSU ran away with the set by scoring five of the next six points and won the set, 15-7.
LSU returns to the Pete Maravich Assembly Center for a 1 p.m. match against South Carolina Sunday, Oct. 23 on SEC Network.
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