September 16, 2017
Asst. Communications Director
BATON ROUGE – The LSU volleyball team [9-2] used a balanced attack to claim a 3-0 sweep of the Houston Cougars [4-4] in its home opener on Saturday afternoon in the Maravich Center.
The Tigers claimed the three-set match by scores of 26-24, 25-13 and 25-19. The nine wins on the season matches the win total from 2016.
Fran’s Final Thoughts
“Quite honestly the pressure was on us because we did not have a great year on this floor last year. A few of those demons came back in this match and the anxiety of ‘I am not comfortable here,’ came in. We have not gotten to practice on the Maravich floor a whole lot so I was a little concerned with how we started then we kind of backed off. With the pressure situation of a home opener and a good Houston team, I thought we did a good job. I am super proud of our kids.”
The Tigers started off strong with a 6-1 lead which turned into a 10-6 lead. The Tigers pushed to a strong 16-10 lead. Houston put together four straight points to bring the LSU lead to 16-14. That run for the Cougars turned into an 8-1 run, giving them an 18-17 lead but the Tigers rallied with a 4-1 run to take a 23-20 lead, forcing Houston to a timeout. The Tigers had set point at 24-22 but Houston tied it up 24-24. The Tigers put together two straight points, a kill from Olivia Beyer and an attacking error by Houston, for a 26-24 win.
Another strong start for the Tigers gave them a 8-2 lead, which included a four-point run. The team pushed to an 11-3 lead and Houston took its first timeout of the set. The Tigers kept their rally going, taking their lead to 15-5. Kills from Jacqui Armer and Toni Rodriguez gave LSU a 19-10 advantage. The Tigers went on a 6-3 run to close out the set with a 25-13 win and 2-0 lead.
For the third straight set, the Tigers used an early rally to get ahead with a 10-5 lead after a Rodriguez kill. LSU followed with a 6-1 run to take a 16-8 lead. Houston went on a 6-2 run to come within five, 19-14. LSU stayed consistent to finish off the match with kills from Milan Stokes, Armer and Gina Tillis for a third-set score of 25-19.
In the balanced attack, Taylor Bannister, Olivia Beyer and Gina Tillis each finished the match with eight kills each. Toni Rodriguez registered seven kills.
Anna Zwiebel finished with 23 assists and 11 digs for her fourth double-double on the season and the 11th in her career.
Raigen Cianciulli registered 16 digs in three sets, her seventh straight match with 10-plus digs.
The Tigers 9-2 record is the best start to a season since 2013 and the nine wins match the win total from the last two seasons.
LSU will open up SEC action next Friday, playing host to Texas A&M at 7 p.m. in the Maravich Center.
Volleyball Social Center
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