Cianciulli Reaches Milestone in Home Finale
Asst. Communications Director
Baton Rouge - Sophomore Raigen Cianciulli reached the 1,000 career dig milestone in Wednesday night's LSU volleyball match against Missouri. The Tigers fell to Missouri in five sets by scores of 19-25, 20-25, 25-23, 25-21, 11-15. The Tigers are now 12-16 on the year and 7-10 in the SEC.
Cianciulli finished with 26 digs on the night and is the fastest player in program history to reach 1,000 career digs. She goes down as the 16th player to reach the feat. Taylor Bannister led the squad with 19 kills, while Toni Rodriguez and Milan Stokes added 16 and 13 kills, respectively. Lindsay Flory finished with a team-high 49 assists.
- The Tigers will face Texas A&M on the road Sunday at 12 p.m. CT and the match will air on SEC Network+. Live stats will be available on LSUStats.com.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- LSU got out to a 3-1 lead to start the match, but Missouri went on a 3-0 run and took the lead 4-3.
- Missouri continued with a 15-10 lead into the first media timeout. Out of the timeout, kills from Taylor Bannister and Olivia Beyer kept the Tigers close behind Missouri.
- An ace from Bannister brought LSU within one, 16-15. LSU took its first timeout of the set with Missouri leading 19-16.
- Missouri went on a 3-0 run forcing LSU into a timeout. LSU kept fighting out of the timeout, but Missouri came out on top claiming set one, 25-19.
- In the second set, Missouri got out to a 4-1 lead, but LSU rallied off three-straight points to tie it up 4-4.
- The teams went point-for-point, but Missouri went on a 3-0 run taking the lead, 10-6, and forcing LSU into a timeout.
- Kills from Bannister and Toni Rodriguez helped the Tigers stick close behind, but Missouri continued to lead 18-12 into an LSU timeout.
- After a kill from Beyer and service ace from Katie Kampen, the Tigers came within four. Missouri went on a 3-0 run making it a 21-14 lead. LSU gained momentum after back-to-back kills from Whitney Foreman and Rodriguez.
- Missouri took the second set 25-20. LSU hit .344 to Missouri’s .471.
- LSU began the third set with a 4-0 lead after a kill from Stokes and a service ace from Leigh Maher. Missouri rallied off four-straight points to tie it up 4-4, but LSU took back the lead after a Stokes kill.
- The teams went point-for-point, but two Missouri errors and kills from Rodriguez and Foreman put LSU at an 11-8 lead, forcing Missouri to take a timeout.
- Out of the timeout, LSU continued with the lead, but Missouri fought back and tied it up 16-16 with a kill.
- After the teams went point-for-point, back-to-back kills from Foreman put the Tigers ahead by two, 21-19.
- LSU claimed the set 25-23 after a Stokes kill. The Tigers hit .303
- The fourth set began with a block from Foreman, and LSU took a 4-1 lead. Missouri tied it up 4-4, but after a few Missouri errors and a kill from Stokes, LSU took a bigger lead. A kill from Lindsay Flory put the Tigers at a 10-6 lead.
- The Tigers went on a 4-0 run with an ace from Kampen and kill from Rodriguez forcing Missouri into a timeout.
- Missouri rallied off three-straight points to come within two, 15-17, forcing LSU into a timeout. Out of the time out, Missouri tied it up 19-19. A kill from Beyer sealed the deal and LSU took the fourth set, 25-21.
- They went point-for-point to begin the fifth set, but Missouri led 8-6 when the teams switched sides.
- Missouri went on a 3-0 run making it an 11-6 lead forcing the Tigers to take their final timeout of the match.
- LSU came within two, but Missouri came out on top, 15-11, to claim the match.
- Bannister led the Tigers with 19 kills. This is her 24th match leading the team and 25th match in double digits.
- Rodriguez finished with 16 kills making it her 12th match in double digit kills on the year.
- Stokes finished with 13 kills making it her 10th match in double digit kills.
- Cianciulli’s 26 digs is her 24th match in double digits on the season and her 11th 20-plus digs match. She also reached the 1,000 digs mark making her the fastest player in program history to do so.
- LSU out-blocked Missouri 6.0-4.0.
FRAN'S FINAL THOUGHTS
“I think we played really hard. I’m proud of our effort. We stood toe to toe with a team that’s going to advance in the NCAA Tournament. We had a rough start, but for our team to fight back and come back after being down 0-2, to even the match and have a chance, we just didn’t have enough plays in us tonight.”
On coming back to force a fifth after dropping the first two sets…
“The back end of the season we finally found ourselves. That’s the heart and drive led by the seniors because they didn’t want it to end this way. It’s hard for them to walk off the court today after thus type of match. That’s hard. That’s kind of heart breaking, but that doesn’t change what they’ve done for our program and how they brought us back. They’ll reflect and understand, but losing hurts. None of us want to lose. I’m proud of the fight. I’m proud of the heart and they desire. I’m proud and I’m happy that I could get it out of them. I didn’t know if I could get it out of them. After the second set we just we’rent fighting very hard. We were getting out-fought, and I don’t coach teams that get out-fought very often. The fact that they had enough respect to come out and fight, I’m super proud of that effort.
On Raigen Cianciulli becoming the fastest in program history to reach 1,000 career digs…
“Raigen is just a great player. She’s balanced. Her serve receive has really improved this year. Digs have come easily for Raigen. I think that she is just a natural defender. She has a knack for being in the right place at the right time and when those things happen then she’s going to put up big numbers and create for us. I’m thankful she’s a Tiger, number one. I can’t wait to see what the next two years bring because she may be the best of all time.”
THOUGHTS FROM CIANCIULLI
On becoming the fastest in program history to reach 1,000 career digs…
“It’s a really exciting milestone to hit, but all the credit goes to my team. They’re the ones who drive me every day, push me to work hard and they’re the ones who get me to where I am. I’m extremely thankful for them.”
On the heart of this team…
“This team is known for fighting. It just shows all the hard work we put into the gym. It was an exciting time.”