2013 LSU Volleyball
Photo by:RaeLynn Roussel
Volleyball Falls in Five-Setter to Auburn
Text smallerText larger
Published: November 15, 2013, 11:27 PM (CT)
Updated: November 16, 2013, 07:12 AM (CT)
by Matt Dunaway, Associate SID

BATON ROUGE – The LSU volleyball team received double-doubles from Helen Boyle, Briana Holman, Cati Leak and Malorie Pardo, but Auburn was able to emerge with a 3-2 comeback win over the homestanding Tigers [26-24, 18-25, 18-25, 28-26, 15-11] Friday at the Maravich Center.

LSU (15-10, 5-8 SEC) was handed its third straight loss and dropped to 7-4 in five-set decisions this season. Auburn (17-9, 8-6 SEC) has won eight of its last 10 decisions since Oct. 13 and swept the season series over LSU for the first time since 1999. 

“It is the same story, but a different day for our team,” head coach Fran Flory said. “We can’t get out of our own way. It isn’t with bad intentions. We are playing as hard as we can, but we are overplaying at times. We are trying to do too much rather than just make the simple plays to win the game. We have struggled with this, and we really have to solve it quickly.”

The two teams amassed a combined 223 digs. LSU’s 111 scoops were the fifth-most in program history for a five-set match. Katie Lindelow stretched out for a career-best 32 digs and converted on 38-of-39 reception attempts. The 32 digs for Lindelow were tied for ninth-most in program history for a single match. Auburn’s Sarah Wroblicky countered with a career-high 33 digs.

LSU finished with 60 kills on a .172 hitting percentage compared to Auburn’s 67 kills and a .122 hitting ratio. LSU controlled the front row blocking and registered 20 stuffs compared to Auburn’s nine. 

Pardo came away with 50 assists, 20 digs and a career-high eight blocks. She has notched nine of her team-high 16 double-doubles against SEC opponents. 

Boyle powered home a team-leading 16 kills and added 15 digs en route to her third double dip over her last four outings. The 16 kills for Boyle were a season-high and two shy of a career-best.

Holman chipped in 13 kills and 10 blocks for her third double-double of the season. For Holman, she has hammered 10-plus kills in 19 of her last 22 matches.

Desiree Elliott turned in a solid all-around effort with 13 kills, eight blocks and five digs. The 13 kills enabled Elliott to move past Tess Sulatycki [1989-1992] for 14th place on LSU’s all-time list whereas the eight stuffs were one away from equaling a career-high.

Leak provided 11 kills to go along with a career-high 22 digs and five blocks. She also converted on all 18 of her reception attempts.

Auburn’s 6-2 balanced offensive attack was fueled by Chelsea Wintzinger (34 assists, 13 digs) and Alyssa Ivey (25 assists, 13 digs). Camila Jersonsky cranked 19 kills on a .425 hitting clip and tacked on six blocks. Katherine Culwell (15 kills, 22 digs), Kathia Rud (14 kills, 21 digs) and Stephanie Campbell (12 kills) also secured solid efforts for Auburn.

“I think they knew what shots we were going to hit,” Lindelow said. “Their defense was there which forced us to go out of our comfort zone and hit shots we probably wouldn’t have chosen if we had that choice again. They forced us into some errors and forced me into some errors that I shouldn’t have made. Auburn did a good job, but that’s not an excuse.”

After wiping away four match points during the fourth set, Auburn carried that momentum in the winner-take-all fifth stanza. They raced out to a 4-1 advantage capped by a Wintzinger ace and extended their lead to 8-4 on a Campbell. LSU mounted one final flurry with five of the next five points to draw back to 9-8. Elliott popped two kills coupled with a Lindelow spike to ignite the rally.

Auburn regained its bearings with four of the next five points behind three LSU hitting errors to surge back ahead by a 13-9 margin. LSU erased one match point of a Holman-Pardo block, but a Culdwell kill lifted Auburn to the winner’s circle at 15-11.  

“Instead of staying with what we were doing, we were looking at the scoreboard,” Flory said. “When a team tries to start winning, the pressure to win becomes more important than executing the touch, the pass, the set, the block, the serve or whatever it is. That is what we did. We were pointing to it from the bench. We were trying to get them not to look at the scoreboard, but every play they were looking over their shoulder at the scoreboard. They have to trust the process, and that is truly the problem. We do not trust the process right now. If you don’t trust the process, you’re not going to overcome a team who does trust the process.”

LSU led for a majority of the opening stanza and took its largest advantage at 16-12 on a Holman kill. Auburn fired back with six of the next points sparked by two Rud kills coupled with three LSU hitting errors to knot the score at 18-18. After a timeout, LSU used kills from Boyle, Elliott and Lindelow along with Elliott and Pardo solo blocks to arrive at set point at 24-21. Auburn reeled off the final five points capped by consecutive Culwell kills to snatch the 26-24 win.

LSU bounced back and rode nine blocks in set two to claim a 25-18 victory to even the match at a frame apiece. Elliott was involved in six of the nine stuffs. LSU ripped off an 11-2 finishing kick to erase a 16-14 deficit. At one point, Elliott was involved in four straight points, two involving Boyle and two involving Pardo to extend LSU’s 17-16 edge to a 21-16 advantage. The trio of Elliott, Holman and Leak combined for nine of LSU’s 11 kills in the stanza.

LSU continued to put pressure on Auburn and forced the visiting Tigers into 10 more attacking errors in addition to a negative hitting clip during the third set. After 10 ties and three early lead changes, LSU went ahead for good at 16-15 on an Elliott kill. At 19-17, Boyle pieced together a three-kill spurt sandwiched between a Leak spike to make it 23-17. Holman delivered the final blow in the 25-18 win as LSU grabbed a 2-1 set advantage.   

“I think the bottom line is that our serving disappeared on us,” Flory said. “Our serving in the second and third sets was pretty aggressive. We got them out of system and created blocking opportunities. We became tentative rather than aggressive with our serving down the stretch – important runs after 20 and the entire fifth set. We just didn’t do a very good job of keeping pressure and trusting ourselves to keep pressure on them.”

In set four, LSU turned to three consecutive Boyle kills which made a 19-17 hole into a 20-19 lead. With LSU up 21-20, Boyle ripped two more kills paired with a Pardo ace to bring LSU to match point at 24-20. Auburn fought back to 24-22 on a Jersonsky kill and block. LSU appeared to complete the 25-22 victory on a Holman kill off an Auburn overdig, but up official Michael Hertz ruled that Holman didn’t allow the ball to cross over to the LSU side of the net. Auburn used three more Jersonsky kills and a block to tuck away the 28-26 decision.   

“We still have five matches to go,” Pardo said. “The season is not over.  We needed this win, didn’t get it.  We have to brush it to the side just like we did Texas A&M and fight when we play Tennessee this Sunday.  We let up a little bit at the end of sets. We didn’t really finish.  I think we fought hard, but I don’t think we executed to the best of our ability tonight. The will and desire was there, we wanted it. Maybe we wanted it a little too much and maybe that’s why we were a little hesitant and tense. We weren’t able to move as fast. We just have to get back in the gym and work.”

LSU wraps us its stretch of five matches over a 10-day span and travels to Tennessee for a Sunday matinee. First serve is on-tap for 12 p.m. CT from Thompson-Boling Arena, and it will be the lone meeting between the two teams in 2013. Live audio and live stats will be available for free inside the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net/live.

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. Auburn – November 15, 2013

HEAD COACH FRAN FLORY
On tonight’s loss…
“It is the same story, but a different day for our team. We can’t get out of our own way. It isn’t with bad intentions. We are playing as hard as we can, but we are overplaying at times. We are trying to do too much rather than just make the simple plays to win the game. We have struggled with this, and we really have to solve it quickly.”

On what Auburn did in the fourth and fifth set…
“I think the bottom line is that our serving disappeared on us. Our serving in the second and third sets was pretty aggressive. We got them out of system and created blocking opportunities. We became tentative rather than aggressive with our serving down the stretch – important runs after 20 and the entire fifth set. We just didn’t do a very good job of keeping pressure and trusting ourselves to keep pressure on them. They were able to get in system, and (Camila) Jersonsky is too good. She is an All-SEC middle blocker. If they pass well enough to get the ball to her, she is going to terminate. We just had to side out in those rotations, but we got frustrated. We didn’t allow ourselves to understand if she gets one, we get one. That is zero, and we are still tied. We could not maintain that mentality.”

On multiple rallies throughout tonight’s match…
“Rallies got extended because there was a great defensive play, but rallies got extended because there wasn’t great offensive play. We didn’t have the pop on the ball we needed to have. We didn’t have great shot selection. We were tipping and rolling too many balls – not being aggressive enough. I thought Helen (Boyle) through a stretch was really good. She snapped some balls off and hit some different shots. Later in the match, we couldn’t get her in those same situations to be able to execute at that same level. Unfortunately, we are on the wrong end of this. This is another learning opportunity for our team. It’s another chance for us to understand how these things affect us. We need to learn how to fight together and not think that it is one person is carrying the team. I think we are playing with too much pressure on ourselves.”

On what LSU did during the match…
“Instead of staying with what we were doing, we were looking at the scoreboard. When a team tries to start winning, the pressure to win becomes more important than executing the touch, the pass, the set, the block, the serve or whatever it is. That is what we did. We were pointing to it from the bench. We were trying to get them not to look at the scoreboard, but every play they were looking over their shoulder at the scoreboard. They have to trust the process, and that is truly the problem. We do not trust the process right now. If you don’t trust the process, you’re not going to overcome a team who does trust the process.”

On preparing for Tennessee…
“Our confidence is not going to be there. We are really going to have to prepare well. We will have to jumpstart our mentality. Honestly, our team plays better on the road than we do at home. I don’t know why that is. We are a more confident and a more connected team on the road. It is very unusual. We have discussed it. They are the ones that tell me that. I’m not making that up. I have never had a team that wants to be on the road more than they want to be at home. Maybe that is a good thing for the last part of this season. We are on the road most of the time. We only have one more at home. Hopefully, we can pick some off here and maybe finish on our home court with a win.”

 

OUTSIDE HITTER KATIE LINDELOW

On what she felt went wrong in the fourth set …
“It was the same thing that happened at the end of the first, we just couldn’t find a way to finish.  We let them come back, and we know we should have finished that set on set point. That’s something we definitely need to work on. We can’t just win the sets that we are up for some reason. We need to find ways to win the tight ones too. We didn’t do a good job of that tonight.”

On how the team’s block leading to digs …
“The block channeled the ball great tonight. They got awesome touches and really helped us out. We knew exactly where they were going to be. Malorie (Pardo) got to some great balls that we dug, we just couldn’t put as many away as we wanted to.”

On what Auburn did…
“I think they knew what shots we were going to hit. Their defense was there which forced us to go out of our comfort zone and hit shots we probably wouldn’t have chosen if we had that choice again. They forced us into some errors and forced me into some errors that I shouldn’t have made. Auburn did a good job, but that’s not an excuse.”

On how they are going to be ready for Sunday…
“On the road at Tennessee is going to be tough. That gym is hard to play in. If we can get on a roll, who knows what can happen as far as getting to postseason. I think we still have a chance. It is going to be up to us. We need to do our job first, and that’s the plan.”

On how to avoid getting stuck in a rut…
“We need to pass the ball to target in clutch situations.  We were up 24-21 and we just couldn’t get it past the target to set our middles that were putting the ball away phenomenally tonight. It was just bad timing to decide not to pass the ball to target.”

On what Auburn was doing that made it difficult to close the match…
“They were serving tough, and they didn’t miss a whole lot when they did get on runs. They didn’t end their own runs. We just didn’t do a good job of handling it.”

SETTER MALORIE PARDO

On what the team can do to improve…
“We still have five matches to go. The season is not over.  We needed this win, didn’t get it.  We have to brush it to the side just like we did Texas A&M and fight when we play Tennessee this Sunday.  We let up a little bit at the end of sets. We didn’t really finish.  I think we fought hard, but I don’t think we executed to the best of our ability tonight. The will and desire was there, we wanted it. Maybe we wanted it a little too much and maybe that’s why we were a little hesitant and tense. We weren’t able to move as fast. We just have to get back in the gym and work.”

On her ability to block this match…
“I didn’t feel like my setting game was here tonight maybe because I haven’t had enough reps this week. I decided if that wasn’t there, I was going to try to help in some other aspect of the match. With digging out of the back row, I was trying my hardest to touch every single ball and get it up to just to help the team with some capacity. “

On what she can do to get her outsides more involved…
“I think I need to be a little more consistent on where I am placing the ball. I don’t know why I am drifting away from what I have done all season. That’s what I need to work on. I need to focus more. I don’t think I had enough touches on the ball this week. I think I just need to get in there, touch a few more balls and give them better opportunities.  Same for the middles and right sides, I just need to find that flow again. I’m going to have it on Sunday, there’s no doubt about it.”

 

Visit Baton Rouge
ABC Insurance
Flores MBA Program
Kraft - JELL-O Dessert Mold Kit
Kean Miller