LSU's Katie Lindelow
Photo by:Steve Franz, LSU Athletics Staff Photographer
Volleyball Stymies Mississippi St., 3-0
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Published: October 13, 2013, 04:49 PM (CT)
Updated: October 14, 2013, 08:16 AM (CT)
by Matt Dunaway, Associate SID

BATON ROUGE – The LSU volleyball team secured its third victory over a five-day span to complete a perfect week with a 3-0 sweep of Mississippi State [25-20, 25-18, 25-18] Sunday at the Maravich Center. 

The Tigers (13-3, 3-1 SEC) collected their 15th straight victory over Mississippi State (9-9, 0-4 SEC) dating back to the 2006 season. The victory also allowed LSU to move into a fourth-place tie with Arkansas in the SEC standings.

“I thought we played well enough to win,” head coach Fran Flory said. “I don’t think we executed on a super high level. We did a nice job of remaining calm, having poise and composure. When they made their runs, we were able to stop them quickly enough to where they never took complete control. We didn’t play from behind. We started the second set a little bit down, but we didn’t panic when were behind. We stayed on course. That is a message we have been trying to send to the team, and it was a good step for us.”

Malorie Pardo conducted LSU’s offense to 52 kills and a .317 hitting percentage. It marked the third plus .300 hitting effort for the Tigers on the season and first since the Arkansas-Little Rock match on Sept. 6. Pardo dished out 44 assists to go along with seven digs, two blocks and two kills. The 44 helpers enabled Pardo to become the third player in program history to eclipse 3,000 career assists.

LSU’s back row defense was solid fueled by Haley Smith’s match-high 22 digs, two shy of a career-best. It marked the third time that Smith has reeled in 20-plus scoops. The Tigers also converted on 41-of-58 sideout attempts to garner a 70 percent ratio and held Mississippi State with an ace.

“I thought Haley was very good,” Flory said. “She wasn’t feeling very well, and I was a little concerned on how she would respond. Sometimes when we are worried about our health or if something is bothering us, we play a little better and forget about thinking too much and just play. She listened to our game plan. Through the middle of the sets, they were executing exactly what the coaching staff was asking them to do. If they will put themselves in positions and allow us to help them, this game will become a little easier for them.”

Briana Holman hammered a team-leading 13 kills on a .458 hitting clip and was involved in four of LSU’s eight blocks. She has knocked double digit kills during 13 of her last 14 matches.

Katie Lindelow crushed 12 kills and corralled 12 digs en route to her fifth double-double of the season. She also was a spotless 21-for-21 on her reception attempts which gave her a perfect passer rating in seven of her last eight outings.

“Katie has been bouncing back and forth,” Flory said. “We tried to balance our outsides and give people rest at different times throughout this three-match series this week. I thought it was her turn in this match. I fully anticipated she would be good, and that is what we got from her. We get that more often than we don’t. Katie is just such a great competitor.”

Cati Leak and Helen Boyle tacked on seven kills and six kills, respectively, over their two sets of action. Boyle turned in a career-best .545 hitting clip on 11 errorless swings.

Desiree Elliott provided six kills, eight digs and three blocks, while Madi Mahaffey totaled four kills and two blocks from the right side. Off the bench, Katarina Raicevic totaled two kills during the third set.

The Bulldogs were led by Kimmy Gardiner’s 13 kills, but she was limited to a .137 attack percentage on 51 swings. Suzanne Horner amassed a double-double with 29 assists and 11 digs whereas Roxanne McVey sprawled out for 17 digs.

“I think we were very eager to get back on the court after the two losses,” Smith said. “We just wanted to keep going within the process and stay disciplined as a team. It felt good to take three sets in a row. I think this team understands that a win is a win no matter how you get it. We’d rather get it sooner or later, but we understand what it takes to win.”

LSU led wire-to-wire during the opening set. Ahead 6-4, the Tigers used 10 of the next 15 points to build a 16-8 advantage. Holman provided three kills to ignite the run. MSU got back to within four points at 24-20, but Leak pounded the set-clincher to tuck away the victory. LSU was in-system for the frame and tallied an 80 percent sideout efficiency going 17-for-21.

Mississippi State made the most of four LSU hitting errors and two service miscues to come away with a 9-5 lead during the opening moments of the second set. The Tigers regrouped to rip off 13 of the next 16 points to turn the tables and snatch an 18-12 edge. The Holman-Leak-Lindelow trio combined to strike for seven kills to spark the flurry. LSU closed out the 25-18 win on a Boyle-Holman stuff of Gardiner to grab a two-set advantage.

LSU raced out to a 12-4 lead to begin set three. The Tigers forced Mississippi State into five attacking errors, and Laura Whalen slapped two aces. LSU would complete the sweep and claim the 25-18 victory on a Holman-Pardo block.   

“I think we did a good job of focusing on our side and made sure we knew we were going to either win or lose that match on our own,” Lindelow said. “I think we came back from their runs well and made a few runs of our own. Coming back from back-to-back losses was tough because we never really got a chance to redeem ourselves. This was really good week to get our confidence back.”

LSU travels to Auburn Friday for the first of two meetings with the Tigers this season. First serve is slated for 7:30 p.m., and the match will televised by Fox Sports Network. Free live audio and live stats also will be provided inside the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net/live.

Desiree Elliott will continue LSU’s legacy of serving the community. She is teaming up with St. Vincent de Paul and Bishop Ott Shelter Program for her season-long senior class philanthropy project. The Tigers will be collecting items ranging from children’s clothes and shoes along with baby supplies and toys at every home match as part of the “Geaux Kids” initiative. Fans will be able to donate items inside the “Geaux Kids” boxes located at the Tiger Fan Zone.

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 and @lsuvb on Instagram.

 

Volleyball Postmatch Quotes
LSU vs. Mississippi State – October 13, 2013

HEAD COACH FRAN FLORY

On today’s three set victory over Mississippi State…
“I thought we played well enough to win. I don’t think we executed on a super high level. We did a nice job of remaining calm, having poise and composure. When they made their runs, we were able to stop them quickly enough to where they never took complete control. We didn’t play from behind. We started the second set a little bit down, but we didn’t panic when were behind. We stayed on course. That is a message we have been trying to send to the team, and it was a good step for us.”

On Haley Smith’s performance… 
“I thought Haley was very good. She wasn’t feeling very well, and I was a little concerned on how she would respond. Sometimes when we are worried about our health or if something is bothering us, we play a little better and forget about thinking too much and just play. She listened to our game plan. Through the middle of the sets, they were executing exactly what the coaching staff was asking them to do. If they will put themselves in positions and allow us to help them, this game will become a little easier for them.”

On Katie Lindelow’s all-around effort…
“Katie has been bouncing back and forth. We tried to balance our outsides and give people rest at different times throughout this three-match series this week. I thought it was her turn in this match. I fully anticipated she would be good, and that is what we got from her. We get that more often than we don’t. Katie is just such a great competitor.”

On keeping Mississippi State’s Kimmy Gardiner under a .150 hitting percentage…
“Our goal was to keep her (Kimmy Gardiner) under .100 so I am little disappointed we couldn’t do that. Our team being able to keep her under that ratio means that they aren’t going to be very successful. They set her so many balls. She is very good right side. I thought we could have got under her blocking a little better through different portions of the match. We did a nice job of adjusting and changing where we were. That was a part of the game plan. Adapting in the game plan when other teams are doing things is something we haven’t done very well this season. That was another positive for the weekend.”

On Malorie Pardo’s leadership on the court…
“Malorie is absolutely blooming into a great leader for the team. In key situations for the past couple years and the early portions of this season, she would look to me for help. Now, she is taking charge on the court. She is making really solid and decisive choices. She is running people in the right situations and creating opportunities for her hitters. That is a huge step. As her confidence continues to grow, she will continue to improve. We just need to be careful that she doesn’t try to do too much. Friday night, she tried to be a little too creative. Today, she was simple and did what we needed her to do. She created the right opportunities.”

On preparing for Auburn next Friday…
“They have some really good players. I know they have been struggling here lately. However, the LSU-Auburn match is always a war. The sets always seem to be 25-23 or 26-24. It usually comes down to passing and serving. We have to prepare for a tough match at Auburn.”

LIBERO Haley Smith

On regrouping this week with three wins after back-to-back losses…
“I think we were very eager to get back on the court after the two losses. We just wanted to keep going within the process and stay disciplined as a team. It felt good to take three sets in a row. I think this team understands that a win is a win no matter how you get it. We’d rather get it sooner or later, but we understand what it takes to win.”

On feeling comfortable defensively…
“We’re definitely getting more comfortable, and it just takes time to come together. I think it’s coming together quite well.”

On the win…
“It always increases a team’s confidence whether on the road or at home. We, of course, would like to win at home though. It will definitely help boost our confidence with two road games coming up.”

On going back on the road…
“I think we are going to have a game plan and really focus on Auburn. I think we will really need the hard work and a little more reps this week in practice will help us be ready to take on a team that good.”

OUTSIDE HITTER Katie Lindelow

On the win…
“I think we did a good job of focusing on our side and made sure we knew we were going to either win or lose that match on our own. I think we came back from their runs well and made a few runs of our own. Coming back from back-to-back losses was tough because we never really got a chance to redeem ourselves. This was really good week to get our confidence back.”

On feeling comfortable on the back row passing…
“It’s something where we all worked together and stayed late after practice; things like that. We are comfortable with each other, and we know who is getting each ball.”

On facing Auburn and Alabama next weekend…
“This is going to be our first normal SEC weekend where we play on just Friday and Sunday. Our focus will be on our side of the net. Auburn has a lot of momentum right now so we will have to improve a lot.”

 

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