LSU's Lilly Kessler
Emily Brauner

Beach Volleyball Sweeps Houston Baptist Invitational

Fraser McAlpine
Fraser McAlpine
Communications Student Assistant

HOUSTON, Texas- The No. 7 ranked LSU beach volleyball team (18-5) extended its winning streak to a whopping 16 matches, picking up two more wins over Tulane and Central Arkansas to secure its fourth-consecutive weekend sweep on the final day of the Houston Baptist Invitational at the Third Coast Volleyball courts.

The team will return to action next weekend for its final slate of home matches in the Battle on the Bayou at Mango’s Beach Volleyball Club on Friday and Saturday.

“This was a hard-earned weekend in really windy conditions. All day, we had battles on every court, and I’m really proud that we finished up on the winning side of these duals,” said head coach Russell Brock.

In the opening match of the day, No. 4 pair Cati Leak and Maddie Ligon worked a straight-set victory by a score of 21-14, 21-19 to put the first point on the board for the Tigers. Tulane tied the match at one apiece as Megan Davenport and Callan Molle fell at the five in two sets, 17-21, 22-24.

No. 1 duo Claire Coppola and Kristen Nuss gave LSU the 2-1 lead after notching a tight, two-set win by a score of 21-17, 21-19. At the three, Katie Lindelow and Olivia Powers grabbed the match-clinching point in three sets by a score of 21-9, 20-22, 15-11, lifting LSU to the dual win.

The Green Wave added the final point of the match on court two as Emmy Allen and Lilly Kessler fell in three sets at 18-21, 21-18, 7-15, as LSU took the 3-2 win.

“Tulane always plays us really tough. We know that they are going to play well and make us earn everything we get,” said Brock. “Any time we end up on the winning side against them, we know that we won in a battle.”

In the second match against Central Arkansas, the Tigers jumped out to an early 2-0 advantage. Leak and Ligon took their match in straights at the four by a score of 21-11, 21-19. At the five, Davenport and Molle followed suit, garnering the second point of the match in two sets at 21-14, 21-14.

Despite being down a set on courts two and three, LSU rallied to secure the dual win over the Beach Bears at the spots. No. 2 pair Allen and Kessler lifted LSU to victory after battling back in three sets to tally the third point of the match for the Tigers at 18-21, 21-18, 15-11. On court three, Lindelow and Powers also came back after dropping the first set, putting LSU up 4-0 after a three-set victory by a score of 17-21, 21-14, 15-9.

Freshman pair Coppola and Nuss closed out the weekend for the Tigers, giving LSU the 5-0 sweep with a straight-set victory by a score of 21-16, 21-14.

Since starting the season at 1-4, LSU has been absolutely stellar, compiling a record of 17-1 dating back to the East vs. West Invitational. In the last eight matches, LSU has outscored its opponents 25-5, winning five of the matches in 5-0 sweeps.

With the wins, Coppola and Nuss improved their record to 20-3 on the season and have won 11-straight matches. The duo have also compiled a 12-1 record at the one and have earned 16 of their 20 victories in straight sets this season.

At the three, Powers and Lindelow collected their 15th win of the season, while Leak and Ligon also grabbed their 14th win as a pair. All three pairs finished the weekend undefeated with Coppola and Nuss going 4-for-4.

“Another undefeated weekend is a great way to start our spring break,” added Brock. “The team has earned a couple of days off, and then we have a good week planned to get ready for our last home event of the year.”

LSU 3, Tulane 2
1. Claire Coppola/Kristen Nuss (LSU) def. Maddy Mertz/Lan Nguyen (TULANE), 21-17, 21-19
2. Tea Juric /Kaylie McHugh (TULANE) def. Emmy Allen/Lilly Kessler (LSU), 21-18, 18-21, 15-7
3. Katie Lindelow/Olivia Powers (LSU) def. Hannah Holmes/Bri Correa (TULANE), 21-9, 20-22, 15-11
4. Cati Leak/Maddie Ligon (LSU) def. Annie Shurtz/Tarin Mergener (TULANE), 21-14, 21-19
5. Sarah Strasner/Anna Chin (TULANE) def. Megan Davenport/Callen Molle (LSU), 21-17, 24-22
Ex. Emma Hiller/Jeni Clark (LSU) def. Abbie Henry/Kimmy Schnars (UCA), 16-21, 21-10, 15-5

LSU 5, UCA 0
1. Claire Coppola/Kristen Nuss (LSU) def. Kris Hjembo/Steph Pollnow (UCA), 21-15, 21-14
2. Emmy Allen/Lilly Kessler (LSU) def. Haley Tippet/Megan Nash (UCA), 18-21, 21-18, 15-11
3. Olivia Powers/Katie Lindelow (LSU) def. Heather Schnars/Kate Elman (UCA), 17-21, 21-14, 15-9
4. Cati Leak/Maddie Ligon (LSU) def. Mackenzie Dear/Amy South (UCA), 21-11, 21-19
5. Megan Davenport/Callan Molle (LSU) def. Kellen Dunn/MC Rogers (UCA), 21-14, 21-14
Exh. Taylor Bradley/Emma Hiller (LSU) def. Abbie Harry/Kim Schnars (UCA), 21-12, 21-16




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