LSU's Marissa Maas
Photo by:Chris Parent, LSU Athletics Student Photographer
Jones Vaults Volleyball to 3-1 Victory over Ole Miss
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Published: November 04, 2012, 07:22 PM (CT)
by Matt Dunaway, Associate SID

BATON ROUGE - Madie Jones powered home 15 of her match-high 25 kills during the final two sets of the match to lift the LSU volleyball team to a hard-fought 3-1 victory over Ole Miss (25-21, 21-25, 25-22, 264) Sunday at the Maravich Center.

The Tigers (11-13, 7-8 SEC) have won eight of their last 11 meetings over Ole Miss (10-13, 4-10 SEC) dating back to the 2007 season and posted back-to-back victories for the fourth time in 2012.

The 25 kills for Jones were a career-high for a four-set match. She ripped a .339 hitting percentage and added three blocks on the defensive end. The Plano, Texas, native has provided double digit kills in all 11 of LSU's victories.

"What a great load Madie carried, a senior as it should be, playing on her home court with only a few matches left in her career," head coach Fran Flory said. "You have to have that player if you're going to win any matches. Madie thrives in situations when it has to be her. They were releasing both blockers out her before we even served the ball. The fact that she was still able to score shows her versatility and shows the range she has offensively. You have to have those types of players who can execute at that level to win, and certainly Madie has proven for the last four years that she can be that for us. We're really proud of her performance."

"It took me a while to feel out the court, see what was open and just get the flow going with my teammates," Jones said. "At the end, it's mostly just determination to win. I feed off of my teammates, and I think they feed off of me too. When you're in that clutch situation and someone needs to step up and put that ball away, I'll answer out and be that person."

Malorie Pardo dished out 44 assists and led the Tigers to a .230 to.198 hitting percentage edge. The 44 helpers enabled Pardo to eclipse former All-American Sam Dabbs for seventh place on LSU's all-time list.

Desiree Elliott belted 15 kills on a .406 hitting clip. She also tacked on four digs and three blocks. Helen Boyle chipped in seven kills and 17 digs whereas Cati Leak came away with four kills, nine digs and three blocks.

LSU's back row converted on 64 percent of its sideout attempts and held the Rebels without an ace. Meghan Mannari collected 20 digs for the fifth time on the season.

"We know that's (siding out) a key," Flory said. "The bottom line is we did a really good job of just maintaining our poise and staying the course. We talked about having short-term memory loss. We just needed to get past our errors behind us and get on with the next play. There were times we got frustrated, but I thought we managed that and handled that better than we have all season. It's another positive step for this team."

Ole Miss had a quartet of players reach double figure spikes fueled by Amanda Philpot's 52 assists. Ty Laporte connected for 16 kills and a .357 hitting ratio. Nakeyta Clair and Kara Morgan popped 14 kills each. Clair recorded a match-best seven blocks, while Ashley Veach scooped up a match-high 21 digs for the Rebels.

The first set featured seven ties and three lead changes during the early moments. Down 12-11, LSU used Leak and Elliott kills coupled with an Ole Miss hitting error to grab a 14-12 edge. The Rebels trimmed the deficit down to one point on six times, the latest at 22-21. Elliott buried back-to-back kills and added a solo block to vault the Tigers to the 25-21 triumph.

Ole Miss used a similar formula in set two to even the match at 1-1. All square at 12-12, Morgan smacked a kill sandwiched between Laporte spikes to give the Rebels a three-point lead. Ole Miss maintained the advantage behind Laporte, who banged home eight kills in the frame. The Rebels finished the stanza with 22 kills on a .302 hitting percentage and totaled an impressive 76 percent sideout ratio for the 25-21 win.

Out of the intermission, Elliott crushed five quick kills as LSU jumped out to a 9-3 advantage to start the third set. Ole Miss chipped away and caught the Tigers at 21-21 after picking up three straight blocks, two of the stuffs involving Laporte. After trading sideouts, Maas put LSU back ahead 23-22 followed by a Morgan attacking error. Elliott buried a kill through the middle to clinch the 25-22 victory. 

Ole Miss was poised to send the match to a winner-take-all fifth stanza. Tied at 16-16, the Rebels pieced together three straight points ignited by consecutive Clair spikes. After a timeout, LSU fired back with five quick points aided by a trio of Jones kills to snatch a 21-19 lead. Ole Miss regained the momentum and a 23-22 edge after back-to-back kills from Morgan and Laporte. The Tigers fended off a set point at 24-23 via an Elliott kill. LSU continued its charge as Pardo snuck the ball over the net on the second contact, and Leak cranked a back row kill off hands to secure the 26-24 comeback win.   

"The mature teams are able to handle those types of situations," Elliott said. "We're a real rollercoaster team at times. The more mature we are on the court and the more calm we are on the court, the better we're able to put away very important plays. We just kept calm, we kept mature, and that's how we came out on top today."

LSU will play its next four matches away from the friendly confines of the Maravich Center starting with a Friday match-up at Georgia. First serve is on-tap for 6 p.m. CT from the Ramsey Center.

At every home match, LSU will be collecting pet supplies at the fan zone as part of its "PAWS in the PMAC" campaign to benefit the Capital Area Animal Welfare Society.

For all of the latest news and information on Tiger volleyball, visit www.lsusports.net/volleyball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsuvolleyball along with @lsuvolleyball and @lsucoachfran on Twitter.


Volleyball Postmatch Quotes
LSU vs. Ole Miss - November 4, 2012

HEAD COACH FRAN FLORY

On senior Madie Jones ...
"Everybody in the gym knew we were setting Madie because we couldn't get the ball to (Marissa) Maas. What a great load she carried, a senior as it should be, playing on her home court with only a few matches left in her career. You have to have that player if you're going to win any matches. Madie thrives in situations when it has to be her. They were releasing both blockers out her before we even served the ball. The fact that she was still able to score shows her versatility and shows the range she has offensively. You have to have those types of players who can execute at that level to win, and certainly Madie has proven for the last four years that she can be that for us. We're really proud of her performance."

On team maturity and side out percentage ...
"We know that's a key, and I think the team that sides side outs at the highest percentage is probably going to win the match unless there's a blowout one way or another in the middle of a set. The bottom line is we did a really good job of just maintaining our poise and staying the course. We talked about having short-term memory loss. We just needed to get past our errors behind us and get on with the next play. There were times we got frustrated, but I thought we managed that and handled that better than we have all season. It's another positive step for this team."

On Marissa Maas ...
"Maas made a huge difference because she touched so many balls. She got in front of their hitters better than (Khourtni) Fears was and better than (Madi) Mahaffey was. (Ole Miss) offense is hard to block. You have to be disciplined, you have to have great vision, and Maas does that every day in practice against us. We thought, all right let's see if Maas can get it done during a match. She's still battling back still from injury, and she's been sick the last week. We weren't sure she could keep going. What a great performance and certainly the difference maker in the match it turned out to be."

On Desiree Elliott ...
"Desiree was very good. The nice thing about Desi is Desi didn't score the way Desi always scores. She had a few physical kills, but she really scored with her finesse game. She scored easy points by playing intelligent volleyball and seizing the opportunity that was in front of her. That's not something we've been able to do so we're really proud of that performance as well."

On achieving goals ...
"That's what we talked about in the locker room. We can still have a special ending to this season, and we can still accomplish some of the things that we set out to accomplish if we'll control the things that are within our control. I think this team has that in them. I think we can make a nice little run. We're getting better and better. We're getting more comfortable in our offense. I don't think we had enough kills today. The bottom line is when we really get flowing and we have three hitters that are putting the ball away, we're difficult to defend. We weren't really on our game that way. It's nice to see us win without having that third attacker scoring."

MB Desiree Elliott

On the roller coaster match ...
"Coach Flory talks about that a lot. The mature teams are able to handle those types of situations. We're a real rollercoaster team at times. The more mature we are on the court and the more calm we are on the court, the better we're able to put away very important plays. We just kept calm, we kept mature, and that's how we came out on top today."

On teammate Madie Jones ...
"Being a senior, Madie comes in clutch every single match. She played so well today. No matter where she was on the court, we relied on her to make the next ball more positive and put the ball away in the end. She did a great job."

OH/RS Madie Jones

On competing in a roller coaster match ...
"The main thing in this match was just not getting frustrated in ourselves and in each other. Ole Miss is a team that's going to dig every ball and send back the ball to you exactly the way you're giving to them. It was just a matter of not getting frustrated with other, not getting down on ourselves and just really being resilient. I was proud we kept fighting through until the end."

On starting off slow ...
"It took me a while to feel out the court, see what was open and just get the flow going with my teammates. At the end, it's mostly just determination to win. I feed off of my teammates, and I think they feed off of me too. When you're in that clutch situation and someone needs to step up and put that ball away, I'll answer out and be that person."

On achieving goals ...
"That's something Coach Flory talked to us today about. This was our sixth to last match. The doors are still open for us if we'll take advantage and just fight through. The opportunities for us are not over at the end. We still have a chance to reach most of our goals."

 

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