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Volleyball Journeys to No. 21 Florida, South Carolina

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Volleyball Journeys to No. 21 Florida, South Carolina

BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU volleyball team has its most extended SEC weekend trip ahead when they play at No. 21 Florida and South Carolina this weekend.

LSU (10-12, 5-7 SEC) opens its weekend slate against No. 21 Florida (14-7, 6-6 SEC) at 6 p.m. CT on Friday, Nov. 10, at Exactech Arena in Gainesville, Fla. Tom Collett and Missy Whittemore will call the match on SEC Network+. The Tigers then head to Columbia, S.C., to challenge South Carolina (10-13, 4-10 SEC) for the second time this season at 1 p.m. CT on Sunday, Nov. 10, at the Carolina Volleyball Center. Sunday’s match will be streamed on SEC Network+ with Dave Weinstein doing play-by-play and Paul MacDonald as the analyst.

The Tigers are coming off a four-set victory against Alabama to complete its first regular season sweep of an SEC opponent this season. LSU ranks No. 8 in the SEC with a .236 hitting percentage, 12.68 kills and 1.49 aces per set. The Tigers also averages 11.89 assists, 1.94 blocks and 13.01 digs per set.

Outside hitter Jurnee Robinson leads the team and ranks No. 6 in the SEC with 3.96 kills and 4.59 points per set. Robinson has totaled four matches with 20 or more kills this season in addition to 50 blocks and 18 aces. Robinson has five double-doubles this season, with her most recent coming in the win over Alabama last weekend (14 kills, 11 digs), and has recorded three blocks in six of the previous seven matches.

Middle blocker Anita Anwusi ranks No. 2 in the league with a .368 hitting percentage behind 164 kills and leads the team with 67 blocks (0.83/set). Anwusi entered the program’s top 10 all-time in career blocks after registering a team-high four blocks versus Alabama (Nov. 5). She is tied at 413 career blocks with LSU All-American Wendy Stammer (1983-86). 

Right side Ellie Echter has been dominant over the last five matches, where she has logged 44 kills (2.44/set) and a career-high 13 kills in the last two matches. Outside hitter Paige Flickinger has also been a critical factor in the last five matches, with 39 kills and a team-high nine aces.

Setter Maddie Waak ranks No. 10 in the SEC with 8.46 assists per set and has a team-high 2.26 digs per set. Waak also has 22 aces this season. Libero Erin Carmichael paces LSU with 24 aces and averages 2.16 digs per set.

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at No. 21 Florida

Although Florida is on a three-match losing streak, it is coming off a tough stretch of its schedule with three consecutive top 15 programs visiting Exactech Arena in No. 10 Arkansas, No. 11 Tennessee and No. 13 Kentucky. The Gators are 6-6 at home this season while boasting an 8-1 mark when playing away from Gainesville. Florida enters the weekend ranked No. 4 in the SEC with a .266 hitting percentage, No. 5 with 13.12 kills and 12.26 assists per set, and has the league’s second-best block averaging 2.53 per set. 

Freshman outside hitter Kennedy Martin leads the SEC with 4.21 kills per set and ranks No. 2 with 5.01 points per set (No. 18 in the NCAA). Martin has totaled 354 kills on a .299 hitting percentage and team-highs 82 blocks and 25 aces this season. Setter Kennedy Muff ranks No. 6 in the SEC with 9.78 assists per set (54 sets played), and middle blockers Gabbi Essix and Nnedi Okammor lead the team with 1.17 blocks per set (T-No. 7 in SEC). This season, libero Elli McKissock averages 3.74 digs per set (No. 8 in SEC).

LSU trails Florida 16-51 in the all-time series and is currently on a two-match losing streak. The Tigers’ last win in Gainesville dates back to November 2009 when they knocked off a then No. 10 ranked Gators team.

at South Carolina

Since dropping a three-set match to LSU this season on Oct. 29, South Carolina has gone 2-1 in its last three matches, with both wins being sweeps versus Ole Miss (Nov. 5) and at Mississippi State (Nov. 8). South Carolina ranks No. 3 in the SEC with 2.49 blocks per set and No. 6 with 13.78 digs per set. Offensively, the Gamecocks hit .201 and average 12.60 kills, 11.97 assists and 1.17 aces per set.

Middle blocker Oby Anadi is a leader for the Gamecock defense, averaging 1.30 blocks per set, ranking No. 3 in the SEC. Anadi also has 122 total kills, hitting .222. Libero Morgan Carter anchors the defense with 3.84 digs per set and has 13 aces this season. Outside hitter Riley Whitesides leads South Carolina with 2.88 kills per set and 18 aces, and setter Claire Wilson hands out 5.56 assists per set and has 118 total digs.

LSU holds a 31-18 record over South Carolina and is currently on a five-match winning streak. The Tigers have also won six of the last seven matches and 19 of the previous 26 matches versus the Gamecocks. 

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