Rebecca Warren

Volleyball Falls to No. 15 Kentucky

Chelsey Chamberlain
Chelsey Chamberlain
Asst. Communications Director

BATON ROUGE - The LSU volleyball team fell to No. 15 Kentucky Friday evening in straight sets by scores of 14-25, 16-25, 21-25. The Tigers are now 7-12 on the year and 2-6 in the SEC. Kentucky improves to 13-4 on the season and 7-0 in the SEC.

Taylor Bannister led the Tigers with nine kills, while Raigen Cianciulli anchored the back row with 16 digs. Anna Zwiebel dished out 24 assists. Lindsay Flory added 13 digs. 

UP NEXT

  • The Tigers finish up their four-match home stand Sunday, facing Tennessee in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center at 1 p.m. CT. The match will stream live on SEC Network+.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • The Tigers came within one after a Kentucky service error, 4-3. But Kentucky went on a 6-0 run to take a 10-3 lead.
  • LSU went on a 3-0 run, but Kentucky continued to push, taking a 19-10 lead and forcing the Tigers to a timeout.
  • The Tigers only scored four more points on the set, falling to the Wildcats 25-14 in the first set. The Tigers hit .118 for the first set with Anna Zwiebel, Milan Stokes and Sydney Mukes lead with two kills apiece.
  • In the second set, LSU got out to a 3-0 lead after a service ace and a kill by Taylor Bannister. Kentucky went on a couple of runs to take a 5-4 lead but a big kill from Bannister tied the set up 5-5.
  • The Wildcats went on a 4-0 run to take a 9-5 lead and pushed to an 11-6 lead on the Tigers. The Wildcats took a 15-9 lead into the media timeout.
  • LSU trailed Kentucky 22-15 and used its second timeout of the set. The Tigers only got one more point on the set on a kill from Beyer, dropping the second set 25-16.
  • LSU hit .030 in the second set to the Wildcats .440 clip. Bannister led the Tigers with four kills.
  • The Tigers got out to a 2-0 lead in the third set after back-to-back kills by Taylor Bannister and Toni Rodriguez. The Wildcats worked their way back and took a 5-4 lead and pushed to a 10-6 lead, forcing the Tigers to a timeout.
  • Another back-to-back kill session for the Tigers from Rodriguez and Bannister brought the Tigers within two, 10-8. The Wildcats went on a 3-0 run to take a 13-8 lead and force the Tigers to use their second timeout of the set.
  • Kentucky went on 5-0 run to take a 20-12 lead, but the Tigers answered with four straight points to come within four, 20-16. Three more points brought the Tigers within two, 21-19, forcing Kentucky to take a timeout.
  • The Tigers held off Kentucky for a few points, the Wildcats took the set, 25-21, and the match in straight sets.

FRAN'S FINAL THOUGHTS

On Tonight’s loss against Kentucky….
“We knew this was a bad match-up if it turned into a ball control game because of their ball control.  You know, they were a great team last year, but one of their achilles heels was that they did not have enough ball control. This year they have the ball control so that they are that much better and if it came down to ball control I knew that we would be in trouble because that is what we have struggled with all fall.  That is what it came down to and we could not get the ball into our setter’s hands very well but when we did you saw what happened.  We won almost every long rally and I credit my team for playing super hard and maintaining a fight, they never quit.  Up until the end we are fighting for every point so I am proud of that.  I am sad that we could not have enough ball control and get into our offense.”

On moving forward into SEC play….
“We have to control the ball better.  We have to get Leigh Maher into the line-up more because I think she is a good addition.  Kentucky is a little more physical than the other teams in the SEC, in fact I think they are the most physical team in the league and they showed that.  As hard as we trained and prepared them this week, we did not get them ready for that type of physicality and even though we made great effort, they were not ready for whatever reason.  Those are the things we have to and we have to mix up our line-up and be more efficient.  We did not control our side well.  Even offensively, shot selection and the other things we do well, it kind of fell apart.  When (Milan) Stokes had a terrible start and we are trying to get her going, we are trying to fix something the whole match, so we were playing behind the whole night.”

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