More than 200 kids took part in the youth clinic
Photo by:Steve Franz, LSU Athletics Staff Photographer
Volleyball Holds Annual Purple & Gold Scrimmage
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Published: August 24, 2013, 08:46 PM (CT)
by Matt Dunaway, Associate SID

BATON ROUGE – The LSU volleyball team had its dress rehearsal for the 2013 season and played host to its annual Purple & Gold Scrimmage Saturday at the Maravich Center.

Set scores were 25-13, 25-21, 25-20 with the Gold team taking the first and third sets. Head coach Fran Flory mixed and matched the two teams during each set. Prior to the scrimmage, the Tigers welcomed over 200 children for a one-hour Kids Clinic.

“I think this is one of our favorite events of the year,” Flory said. “We get a great chance to get on the court, and let those kids see that our players are bunch of kids themselves at heart. They get to know them. We do some mentoring and teaching that our team doesn’t get to do all the time. Anytime we can get our kids with other kids, that’s a positive. Giving back to our community and growing our sport in this community, those are all great things for our program.”

LSU’s offense turned in a strong effort as eight players produced three or more kills. Leading the way was Briana Holman who blasted 12 kills to go along with nine blocks. Cati Leak added nine kills, while Desiree Elliott chipped in eight kills and five blocks.

Emily Ehrle and Khourtni Fears tacked on six and four kills, respectively. Helen Boyle, Madi Mahaffey and Katarina Raicevic finished with three kills apiece. Mahaffey also recorded four blocks.

One of the things that stood out to Flory was the team’s serving and passing. Katie Lindelow, Haley Smith and Laura Whalen all saw time at the libero spot for the two teams.

“Our serving is much better,” Flory said. “I think that the international trip helped us understand how to be a tough serving team and how to truly be tough servers. I was excited about our serving. I think for the most part our passes handled it pretty well. That was a double positive in that regard tonight.”

LSU has earned 171 victories, an average of 21.4 wins per season, to go along with seven of the last eight SEC Western Division titles since 2005. The Tigers also are one of 34 programs to appear in six NCAA Tournaments during the previous eight-year stretch.

LSU will square off with Texas-San Antonio (Aug. 30 – 7 p.m.), UC Davis (Aug. 31 – 10 a.m.) and San Diego State (Aug. 31 – 7:30 p.m.) for the season-opening Tiger Classic at the Maravich Center. Admission is free courtesy of The Advocate’s “Geaux Free” program.

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.

HEAD COACH FRAN FLORY

On the scrimmage as a whole …
“I think we did a really nice job of playing defense. I thought our offense was OK. It is still a work in process. Our new kids played real well. (Briana) Holman played well. I thought Malorie (Pardo) did a nice job making some set selections and nice choices. The passing tempo wasn’t great. That usually doesn’t lend us to a good rhythm offensively. I though Malorie controlled that. There were too many hitting errors, but it’s early. Overall, I thought it was a pretty good experience.”

On the team’s blocking performance…
“I think we know each other. We are going to line up pretty well against each other in these matches. When the other side didn’t have a setter, it was hard to know how to block that. I think we adjusted, and that is something we haven’t done in the past very well. We didn’t adapt to what the other side was doing. I thought both sides did that. We changed everybody. Everybody was on the starting side for at least one set. I thought everyone stepped into a role and did a nice job.”

On the team’s serving performance…
“Our serving is much better. I think that the international trip helped us understand how to be a tough serving team and how to truly be tough servers. I was excited about our serving. I think for the most part our passes handled it pretty well. That was a double positive in that regard tonight.”

On the kid’s clinic before the match…
“I think this is one of our favorite events of the year. We had close to 200 kids out here with their parents. We get a great chance to get on the court, and let those kids see that our players are bunch of kids themselves at heart. They get to know them. We do some mentoring and teaching that our team doesn’t get to do all the time. Anytime we can get our kids with other kids, that’s a positive. Giving back to our community and growing our sport in this community, those are all great things for our program.”

MIDDLE BLOCKER DESIREE ELLIOTT

On playing well together as a team…
“We were talking about it yesterday after our last two-a-day practice. It has been the best preseason camp since I have been here. We are making sure to keep that energy and keep that bond we have going. We transferred that into the scrimmage today. This team has so much talent. No matter what your situation you are in, you stay a good teammate – positive and hard working.”

On tonight’s blocking and serving performance…
“I think we did really well. I know we were at the bottom of the SEC with blocking and serving last year. This preseason we worked really hard on those skills. Throughout the scrimmage, we wanted to emphasize our technique on serving and making sure we go back there focused. On blocking, we made sure to call out the hitters and talk to our teammates.”

On getting better in the back row…
“I really wanted to focus on improving my defensive game along with my serve and receive game. I knew I could be an option back row. After my freshman and sophomore year, Coach Flory told me we might need you back row. Ever since then, I have been working really hard focusing on the back row option just in case my team needs me.”

MIDDLE BLOCKER BRIANA HOLMAN

On her first scrimmage performance…
“It was absolutely amazing. I’m just living my dream right now. It was pretty awesome to come out here. I was nervous at first but after the first couple of plays I was good to go.”

On showcasing her full game tonight…
“I know last year the team was towards the bottom of the SEC in blocking. This preseason, that is all we have been focusing on. We worked really hard during preseason on it. I think we did a pretty good job. We came out here and blocked a lot of balls.”

On playing together as a team…
“Every team needs chemistry, and I think we have a lot of chemistry on this team. We even have a girl from Serbia (Katarina Raicevic). She clicks with us, and that is pretty awesome.”

 

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