Tigers Defeat Mississippi State, 3-2
BATON ROUGE, La. – In another five-set match in SEC play, LSU came out victorious over Mississippi State in a 20-25, 25-20, 25-13, 21-25, 15-10 result Saturday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center (PMAC).
LSU (13-8, 7-4 SEC) increases its winning streak to three and improves to 6-2 in five-set matches in conference play. Mississippi State (11-10, 4-7 SEC) logged its fifth consecutive loss on the season.
The Tigers outhit the Bulldogs .218-.146 and registered 11 blocks on the night. It is the 13th time this season LSU has held its opponent under a .200 attacking percentage and the eighth time LSU has registered 10 or more blocks, including three times in a four-match span. The Fighting Tigers also had 90 or more digs for the second time this season as they dug 96 balls in the win with five players logging 10 or more digs.
Outside hitter Paige Flickinger turned in her sixth double-double this season after putting up a season-high 17 kills behind a .375 hitting percentage and dug 14 balls. Flickinger also had two aces in the match and her first ace – which was also the first point of the match – was her 50th career ace. Flickinger also finished with two blocks which included one solo block.
A trio of Tigers turned in nine kills including middle blocker Anita Anwusi, outside hitter Sanaa Dotson and setter Josie Vondran. Each of them nearly had a double-double. Anwusi, who hit .412 in the match, tied her career-high with nine blocks, including back-to-back blocks in the fifth set to help seal the win. Dotson collected 11 digs to go along with three blocks. In addition to her season-high in kills, Vondran logged a .368 hitting percentage, had a team-high 24 assists, and tallied six digs and five blocks.
Freshman setter Maddie Waak did achieve her second double-double this season with 21 assists and 12 digs. Waak also had one ace in the win. It is the fourth time this season Vondran and Waak each totaled 20 or more assists in a match.
Defensive specialist Jill Bohnet set a new career-high with 26 digs and had a pair of aces and a kill in the win. Libero Ella Larkin followed with 22 digs and added six assists and one ace. It marks the first time a pair of Tigers had 20 or more digs since the program’s all-time digs leader Raigen Cianciulli (24) and Larkin (20) did it at Arkansas on Sept. 22, 2021.
- Each club pieced together runs that resulted in a few lead changes, but Mississippi State went into the media timeout with a 15-13 lead. LSU took its first timeout trailing 18-14.
- The Tigers cut the deficit to 18-16 after scoring the first two points out of the break, but the Bulldogs responded with a 5-2 run to push their lead to 23-18, forcing LSU into its final timeout of the set.
- MSU went on to win the opening set, 25-20.
- LSU took an early timeout down 9-6 and Mississippi State increased its margin to 15-11. LSU went on a 3-0 run to trim the visiting team’s lead to 15-14 and the Bulldogs signaled for their first timeout in the match.
- The run continued following the break in action as the Tiger took an 18-15 lead thanks to seven unanswered points. Mississippi State took its final timeout down 20-16.
- MSU scored the next two points, but LSU went on another 4-0 run and ultimately won the frame, 25-20.
- Flickinger led the Tigers with four kills on 11 errorless swings (.364) and Vondran followed with three kills, six assists and two blocks.
- After the two teams exchanged points to a 5-5 tie, LSU scored five in-a-row and made MSU burn a timeout down, 10-5.
- The Tigers scored seven of the next 10 points to make the Bulldogs call their final timeout with the home team ahead 17-8.
- LSU stretched its lead to double figures at 22-12 as they ran away with a 25-13 victory to take a 2-1 match lead.
- LSU hit .452 in the set with 15 kills on 31 swings and just one error. Three Tigers in Flickinger, Vondran and middle blocker Alia Williams each had three kills.
- Mississippi State jumped out to a 7-3 lead when LSU used its first timeout of the set. After the pause in play, LSU rallied off five consecutive points to take an 8-7 advantage, but the Bulldogs regained the lead quickly and was up 16-12 when LSU called its final timeout.
- The Tigers began to pick up steam and forced a Bulldogs’ timeout still trailing 19-15. LSU was able to pull within two points as 23-21 thanks to a 4-1 run, however, MSU forced a fifth set after taking the fourth, 25-21.
- LSU took its first lead of the set at 6-5, but Mississippi State held an 8-6 edge when the teams switched sides.
- After Flickinger landed a kill, Anwusi picked up a solo block to tie the set at eight. Anwusi and Vondran then combined for another block to put the Tigers ahead 9-8 and pressured Mississippi State into a timeout.
- An overall 7-1 run gave LSU a 13-9 advantage when MSU called its final timeout. The Tigers closed out the set with a kill from Anwusi and after a MSU point, a service error by the visitors gave LSU a 15-10 win.
- Flickinger led the way with a .500 hitting percentage behind four kills on eight swings and no errors. As a unit, the Tigers held MSU to a .034 hitting percentage and logged three blocks in the set.
LSU and Mississippi State will play the series finale at 1 p.m. Sunday at the PMAC.
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