BATON ROUGE – The LSU volleyball team will cap a busy week and play its third match over a five-day span when the Tigers meet Mississippi State Sunday at the Maravich Center.
First serve is scheduled for 1 p.m. with live video and live stats available for Geaux Zone subscribers at www.LSUsports.net/live.
Admission to all 2013 home matches is free compliments of the Advocate's “Geaux Free” program. It’s “Teacher Appreciation Day” as LSU volleyball will recognize their professors and staff members.
Earlier this week, LSU (12-3, 2-1 SEC) has come away with a five-set comeback win over Texas A&M followed by a four-set victory over Ole Miss. The Tigers have already matched their win total and have accounted for 70.9 percent of their block total from the 2012 season.
Mississippi State (9-8, 0-3 SEC) is being led by Kimmy Gardiner and Taylor Scott. As a six-rotation option, Gardiner’s 3.98 kills per set are fourth on the SEC leaderboard. She also has chipped in 2.56 digs per set. Scott has provided a balanced 2.74 kills and 3.31 digs per set. Anchoring the back row, Roxanne McVey has collected 5.62 digs per set to rank second in the SEC.
“They are going to come in with a point to prove,” head coach Fran Flory said. “There is no question about it. They are an outside oriented team. They have some nice dynamic outsides that hit some shots that we are really going to have to prepare for. I think they are a dangerous team in our league. They might not have the record walking in the door, but that team is going to get on fire some point. We are going to have to start well and finish well to win this match.”
Malorie Pardo had her streak of seven straight double-doubles end during the Ole Miss match. The junior setter still was able to fuel the Tigers to 59 kills and a .287 hitting percentage. She enters the Mississippi State match 31 helpers away from becoming the fifth player in program history to reach 3,000 career assists.
Desiree Elliott has blossomed in her return to the middle blocker position and averaged 2.77 kills per set over her last two outings. She belted 12 kills during the Ole Miss match which enabled her to surpass Meagan Davis (1998-2001) for 18th place on the program’s all-time list. She also has provided 1.73 digs and 0.50 blocks per set.
Briana Holman continues to be impressive in all facets of the game. She hammered home 15 kills versus Ole Miss and has reached double digit kills in 12 of her last 13 appearances. Her .356 hitting percentage is ninth-best in the SEC. The Texas native also has registered a SEC-leading and is among the NCAA’s elite with 1.54 blocks per set. She is six stuffs away from the century mark for the season.
Cati Leak has turned in 3.38 kills per set, good enough for 11th place in the SEC rankings. She slapped 15 kills against Ole Miss, her highest output since the Rice match on Sept. 7.
Madi Mahaffey has garnered 10 starts on the right side and chipped in 1.08 blocks per set which is eighth among the SEC leaders.
The Tigers have received over a kill per set from Helen Boyle (1.93), Emily Ehrle (1.91), Khourtni Fears (1.83), Katie Lindelow (1.52) and Katarina Raicevic (1.32). Boyle tacked on seven kills and 10 digs during the Ole Miss match.
Haley Smith has shined in the libero role and posted 11 consecutive efforts of 10-plus digs. She has corralled a team-leading 3.68 digs per set for the Tigers.
LSU has earned 183 victories sparked by five 20-win seasons 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.
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.