BATON ROUGE – The LSU volleyball team heads into the heart of a three-match SEC homestand and welcomes Arkansas to the Maravich Center for a Sunday matinee to wrap up the October portion of its schedule. It will be the only matchup between the two teams in 2013.
First serve is on-tap for 1 p.m. with live video and live stats available for Geaux Zone subscribers at www.LSUsports.net/live. Admission to all 2013 home matches is free compliments of the Advocate's “Geaux Free” program.
Prior to Sunday’s match, LSU Athletics will play host to its annual Halloween BOOzar which provides a safe and fun trick-or-treating environment for children beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the Maravich Center Plaza. Members of LSU’s athletic teams, coaching staff, training staff, cheerleaders, Tiger Girls and Mike the Tiger will be on-hand. Attendees are asked to bring canned goods that will be donated to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.
LSU (13-6, 3-4 SEC) has dropped three consecutive four-set decisions most recently to undefeated SEC leader and No. 11 Missouri on Friday. LSU was able to take the first set and hold Missouri’s potent offense to a season-low .227 hitting percentage. However, LSU’s offense was only able to muster 32 kills on a .092 hitting percentage after the opening set.
Arkansas (13-8, 6-4 SEC) holds a 25-15 series advantage and has won three of the last four meetings with the Tigers. Meredith Hays has provided a balanced 4.05 kills, 2.43 digs and 0.44 blocks per set as a six-rotation player. Her 4.05 kills per set are good enough for third place in the SEC rankings. She is coming off a 21-kill effort during the Razorbacks four-set loss at Texas A&M on Friday. On the back row, Emily Helm has amassed 4.54 digs per set, third-highest on the SEC leaderboard.
“I am not concerned about how our team is going to respond,” head coach Fran Flory said. “I think our team has found their rhythm, and the way they need to play. Arkansas is a very good team. They are a different team from Missouri. If we have the type of effort we had last night, we will have a better opportunity to be successful on Sunday. Our defense was very good, and our serving was good through stretches. Our offense was better than it has been, and we weren’t as predictable. I thought that is who we need to be.”
LSU’s offense has posted 13.83 kills per set and a .262 hitting percentage during its 13 wins versus 11.12 kills per set and a .149 hitting clip in the team’s six losses.
Malorie Pardo has secured a team-leading 11 double-doubles which is third in the SEC. Her 10.63 assists per set are fourth among SEC setters.
Katie Lindelow has picked up four double-doubles in her last six matches for the Tigers. She registered a team-leading 12 kills and 11 digs during the Missouri match. The Mandeville native also was a perfect 30-for-30 on her reception attempts and tallied a perfect passer rating in seven of her last nine outings.
Khourtni Fears provided a spark in her return to the lineup after missing LSU’s last three matches. She came away with 10 kills on a .435 hitting percentage to go along with season-high nine blocks nearly turning in her first career double-double.
LSU will look to get its top two offensive options in Briana Holman and Cati Leak back on track. Holman notched nine kills but was held to a season-low .037 hitting ratio whereas Leak popped six kills with six errors on 35 swings versus Missouri. Both players are averaging over three per set for the season and are ranking among the SEC’s Top 20.
Desiree Elliott has chipped in 2.40 kills and 0.75 blocks per set over her last five outings at the middle blocker position. She didn’t see any action against Missouri and is six kills away from moving past former teammate Michele Williams (2008-11) for 17th place on LSU’s all-time list.
Haley Smith has come away with 10-plus digs in 14 of her 15 starts at the libero spot. Her 20 digs during the Missouri match marked the fourth time in her career that she has reached the 20-scoops plateau. For the season, Smith has reeled in 3.80 digs per set which is 10th in the SEC.
LSU has earned 184 victories sparked by five 20-win seasons to go along with seven of the last eight SEC Western Division titles since 2005. The Tigers also are one of 34 programs to appear in six NCAA Tournaments during the previous eight-year stretch.
Desiree Elliott will continue LSU’s legacy of serving the community. She is teaming up with St. Vincent de Paul and Bishop Ott Shelter Program for her season-long senior class philanthropy project. The Tigers will be collecting items ranging from children’s clothes and shoes along with baby supplies and toys at every home match as part of the “Geaux Kids” initiative. Fans will be able to donate items inside the “Geaux Kids” boxes located at the Tiger Fan Zone.
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 and @lsuvb on Instagram.