LSU's Meghan Mannari
Photo by:Hilary Scheinuk, LSU Athletics Student Photographer
Volleyball Smothers Mississippi St., 3-0
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Published: October 28, 2012, 04:26 PM (CT)
by Matt Dunaway, Associate SID

BATON ROUGE - The LSU volleyball team turned in an all-around solid defensive effort and limited Mississippi State 23 kills on a paltry .035 hitting percentage en route to a 3-0 sweep [25-12, 25-20, 25-18] Sunday at the Maravich Center.

In the process, LSU (10-13, 6-8 SEC) ended a two-match losing skid and picked up its seventh consecutive season sweep of the Bulldogs (4-18, 0-13 SEC). The Tigers converted on 39-of-52 of their sideout attempts to claim an impressive 75 percent efficiency and had five different players slap an ace.

"I thought we did a nice job, we've been working on certain things," head coach Fran Flory said. "I thought our serving took them out of system more. We were able to get Mississippi State out of system a whole lot more than we've been able to get other teams. When you get teams out of system, the defensive side of the game on your side of the net comes a little bit easier. Overall, it was a very balanced and very solid effort."

Malorie Pardo conducted the LSU offense to 44 kills and a .262 hitting clip. She dished out 29 assists to go along with 13 digs to secure her 10th double-double during SEC action.

Madie Jones bounced back in a big way and pounded home a match-leading 14 kills on a .429 hitting ratio. The 14 kills enabled Jones to move past former All-American Lauren DeGirolamo (2006-09) for 18th place on LSU's all-time list.

Helen Boyle joined Jones in double digit kills. Boyle added 10 kills, 11 digs and three blocks to collect her ninth double dip of the season. Desiree Elliott registered eight kills, seven blocks and an ace. In just her second start of the season, Marissa Maas belted five kills and tallied two blocks.  

LSU's back row was sparked by Sam Delahoussaye's 13 digs and spotless 14 reception attempts. Haley Smith corralled eight of her 11 digs from the libero position during the third set. She returned to double figure scoops for the first time since the Mississippi State match when two teams first met in Starkville on September 28. 

Meghan Mannari tacked on nine digs which allowed her to surpass Lisa Smith (1984-87) for the No. 10 spot in LSU's record book.  

Mississippi State was led by Katie Enright's eight kills, Rachel Williams' 20 assists and Roxanne McVey's 26 digs.

"Haley, hopefully we'll see, is the libero of the future for us," Flory said. "We wanted to give her some experience. We wanted to see what she'd do, and we didn't miss a beat. She did a great job and made nice plays. She controlled the second ball, she did everything we want our libero to do. She's practiced hard, worked her way up and earned the opportunity. Sam [Delahoussaye] has been there and done that. We have a role for Sam, and she's going to complete the season in that role. Giving Haley a chance to see what she could do really gives us a positive glimpse into the future for us."

LSU came out clicking on all cylinders and led wire-to-wire in the first set. The Tigers posted a match-best .344 hitting percentage during the frame. An Elliott ace gave LSU an 11-6 advantage. The Tigers continued to push points and a 7-2 spurt stretched the lead to 10 points. Jones and Elliott teamed for 10 of LSU's 14 kills in the set. Jones' sixth spike on an overpass allowed LSU to tuck away the opening frame by a convincing 25-12 margin.

LSU controlled the momentum in set two and went ahead 16-11 on a Jones spike. Mississippi State pulled back to within three points, the latest at 22-19. A second contact kill from Pardo coupled with an Elliott-Jones stuff vaulted the Tigers to set point. Much like the first set, Jones delivered the final blow to give LSU the 25-20 win.  

"Madie just really wasn't in sync [during Friday night's loss]," Flory said. "Part of it was our first ball and second ball contacts and creating for her. So a nice bounce-back match as you would expect Madie to do. She is a great player, and she doesn't have back-to-back matches where she doesn't perform well. We're really happy for her with a senior-type performance for her in today's match."

LSU completed the sweep behind its defense as the Tigers held Mississippi State to a match-low seven kills and forced the Bulldogs into seven hitting miscues during the third set.  Ahead 18-15, LSU notched a strong finishing kick with seven of the last 10 points to come away with a 25-18 victory. Four different players picked up kills from Jackie Gerig who finished the match at setter for the Tigers. 

"It was an important game," Jones said. "We went to five sets with them the first time we played them. We were missing Meghan [Mannari], and they had their other setter. It definitely felt like we had the opportunity, and we should come out here in three sets. It was kind of a slow match, and it kind of took us a while to get into it. We kept challenging each other the whole time to move faster, and I'm glad we pulled out a win."

LSU embarks on the November portion of its schedule next Sunday versus Ole Miss. First serve is scheduled for 3 p.m., and the match will be carried live on Cox Sports Television with Lyn Rollins and Kent Lowe calling the action. Live stats also will be available inside the Geaux Zone at LSUsports.net/live.

Admission to all 2012 home matches at the Maravich Center is free compliments of the Advocate's "Geaux Free" program. 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.


Volleyball Postmatch Quotes
LSU vs. Mississippi State - October 28, 2012

Head Coach Fran Flory

On the win today...
"I thought we did a nice job, we've been working on certain things. I thought our serving took them out of system more. We were able to get Mississippi State out of system a whole lot more than we've been able to get other teams. When you get teams out of system, the defensive side of the game on your side of the net comes a little bit easier. We were able to defend. I thought our backcourt did a really nice job, a very balanced effort for them. A couple things that we didn't do a good job of in terms of getting in front of hitters from a blocking perspective. Overall, it was a very balanced and very solid effort."

On putting Haley Smith in the libero spot in the third set...
"Haley, hopefully we'll see, is the libero of the future for us. We wanted to give her some experience. We wanted to see what she'd do, and we didn't miss a beat. She did a great job and made nice plays. She controlled the second ball, she did everything we want our libero to do. She's practiced hard, worked her way up and earned the opportunity. Sam [Delahoussaye] has been there and done that. We have a role for Sam, and she's going to complete the season in that role. Giving Haley a chance to see what she could do really gives us a positive glimpse into the future for us."

On Madie Jones' bounce back effort...
"Madie just really wasn't in sync [during Friday night's loss]. Part of it was our first ball and second ball contacts and creating for her. So a nice bounce-back match as you would expect Madie to do. She is a great player, and she doesn't have back-to-back matches where she doesn't perform well. We're really happy for her with a senior-type performance for her in today's match."

On Desiree Elliott's performance ...
"I thought she was really tuned in at the beginning of the match. We didn't create very well for her offensively. She didn't do a great job of picking her spots or where she was going to attack. She ran into two blockers and made it a little easier for them to defend her. Overall, a great weekend for her. She's such a complete player - she always adds in some way. You know you're a great player when you can't have your offense but add with your defense - a great team player."

On having a great side-out performance from the team today...
"We thrive on that. If you sideout at over 60 percent, then you have a pretty good chance of winning that match. That statistic is very telltale - if you have those type of stats, the other team really has to make plays to beat you. I thought we put the pressure on them to beat us. Fortunately for us, they weren't able to do that."

On having a few extra days to prepare for the upcoming match with Ole Miss..
"Ole Miss is doing the same thing they were doing last year - they struggled during the first half and first 10 SEC matches. Then, they really turned it on for the last 10 matches. We always seem to get them in the back side of that. They're a physical team, and they're an athletic team. As the season goes on, they're going to continue to get better and better. It's always a battle, always a tightly contested match either at their place or here. It should be a fun match. We're fortunate to get the rest before, and I think we'll be prepared."

Outside Hitter Madie Jones

On getting the win today...
"It was an important game. We went to five sets with them the first time we played them. We were missing Meghan [Mannari], and they had their other setter. It definitely felt like we had the opportunity, and we should come out here in three sets. It was kind of a slow match, and it kind of took us a while to get into it. We kept challenging each other the whole time to move faster, and I'm glad we pulled out a win."

On the team's defensive performance today...
"I definitely want to highlight Haley [Smith] and her subbing in as libero there in the third set. She worked so hard in practice. I really think that the difference in today's game was our practice in defense and blocking. A great job for Haley, she really stepped up in playing the libero role."

On having a few extra days to practice before their next match...
"Our strength coach was just joking about how we get to lift heavy tomorrow. We're excited to get back in the weight room, have a tough week of practice and be ready for another tough match. Ole Miss is always a very physical, competitive game."

 

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