Volleyball Sweeps Houston in Home Opener
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.
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.
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