Volleyball Faces Ole Miss on Sunday
BATON ROUGE - The LSU volleyball team concludes its three-match homestand when the Tigers meet Ole Miss in a SEC Western Division match-up Sunday at the Maravich Center.
First serve is slated for 3 p.m., and fans will have the opportunity to "Geaux Free" to Sunday's match compliments of the Advocate. Gates will open to the public one hour prior to first serve.
Following the match as part of "Dads and Daughters Day" series, all members are invited to attend a special speaking event that features senior libero Meghan Mannari and her father. Fans can visit www.LSUsports.net/DadsAndDaughters on how to join.
LSU (10-13, 6-8 SEC) has compiled a 49-14 all-time series advantage and has won eight of its previous 10 meetings with Ole Miss (10-12, 4-9 SEC) going back to 2007. The two teams played a pair of five-set decisions last season with the road team winning both matches.
Offensively, Kara Morgan paces the Rebels and has provided 3.14 kills per set to rank 13th in the SEC. She also has ripped a team-leading 21 aces, and her 0.27 per set average is seventh among the SEC leaders. Ty Laporte's .309 hitting percentage is 12th in the SEC, and she has buried 60 kills over her last six matches, second-highest on the squad. On the back row, Ashley Veach has corralled 4.40 digs per set to check in at fourth place on the SEC leaderboard.
"Ole Miss is traditionally a difficult matchup, and a fun match to be a part of every time we play them," head coach Fran Flory said. "For the first time in a while, we've had the opportunity to truly train at practice. Our numbers had been light due to a few injuries so we haven't been able to get the number of reps high enough to where they really need for us to be able to maintain that consistency offensively, and have a flow with the tempo of our offense."
LSU has split its last 12 outings after SEC opening weekend and will be looking to post consecutive victories for the fourth time this season. Nine of the 13 losses for the Tigers on the season have come against AVCA Top 25 opponents or teams receiving votes in the poll.
Desiree Elliott and Madie Jones are ranked inside the SEC's Top 10 with 3.58 and 3.56 kills per set, respectively. Elliott ripped a season's best 22 kills versus Texas A&M on Oct. 26, while Jones has provided double digit spikes in all 10 of LSU's victories.
Helen Boyle has chipped in 3.16 kills 2.96 per set during SEC matches and is one of five players in the conference to be ranked among the SEC's Top 20 in both categories. She has tabulated nine double-doubles in SEC action, second-most in the league only behind teammate Malorie Pardo's 10 double dips.
Pardo heads into Sunday's match two assists away from passing former All-American Sam Dabbs (2008-09) for seventh place on LSU's all-time list. She has relied heavily on the Boyle-Elliott-Jones triple threat, who has amassed 76.8 percent of the team's kills in SEC play.
LSU's back row unit continues to be tops in the SEC and has collected 17.14 scoops per set. The Tigers have raised their average to 18.74 per set during SEC matches.
Mannari recently moved into the program's Top 10 in career digs. The Frisco, Texas, native has tallied 10 or more digs in 14 of her 17 outings and her 4.83 per set average is on pace to be third-highest in program history for a single season.
Sam Delahoussaye has started her career with 115 straight appearances and has secured 214 of her 274 digs for the season in SEC matches. She has posted a perfect passer rating in 12 of her last 13 efforts.
Marissa Maas saw her first extended action of the season and returned to the starting lineup for the first time since opening weekend. She powered home five kills and two blocks against Mississippi State.
Khourtni Fears has started in 21 of 23 matches and her team-leading 1.09 blocks per set are sixth in the SEC.
"Marissa has come off of a concussion and has played her way back into shape," Flory said. "When you're out with a concussion, you really can't train. Physically and mentally, it took a toll on her. We fell like she is getting better and better. Last Sunday's match was a good opportunity to get her on the court, and get her some her some experience in this lineup. I feel she is going to be valuable for us at the end of the season."
Sunday's match will be carried live by Cox Sports Television (Cox Cable Channel 1037 in Baton Rouge) with Lyn Rollins and Kent Lowe set to call the action. Live stats also will be available inside the Geaux Zone on LSUsports.net/live.
At every home match, LSU will be collecting pet supplies at the fan zone as part of its "PAWS in the PMAC" campaign to benefit the Capital Area Animal Welfare Society.
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.