AUSTIN, Texas - The LSU volleyball team posted 11 blocks, but No. 19 San Diego emerged with a 25-19, 25-14, 25-22 sweep to open day two of the 26 West Longhorns Classic Saturday at Gregory Gym on the University of Texas campus.
The Tigers (0-2) dropped back-to-back decisions to start a season for the first time since the 1986 SEC championship team fell to No. 9 Arizona State and No. 13 Arizona.
Desiree Elliott recorded a team-high eight kills to go along with three blocks, while Madie Jones and Cati Leak chipped in an identical seven kills and three blocks. Khourti Fears garnered six stuffs of her own as LSU tallied an 11-3 blocking advantage.
On the back row, Meghan Mannari sprawled out for a match-best 16 digs. LSU converted 51 percent of its sideout opportunities, while San Diego (2-0) registered a 69 percent ratio.
USD received a strong effort from its middle blockers as Alaysia Brown cranked a career-high 10 kills on 17 swings with two errors to compile a .471 hitting percentage. Katie Hoekman added nine kills for the Toreros.
Rachel Alvey and Jianna Bonomi distributed 22 and 14 assists, respectively, to steer the USD offense to a .231 to .075 hitting percentage edge.
The Toreros charged out to a 15-6 lead in the first set behind three Hoekman kills and five LSU hitting miscues. The Tigers drew back within four points on two occasions, the latest at 23-19 on a Leak kill. However, USD received consecutive kills from Brown to close out the frame by a 25-19 margin.
After splitting the first eight points of set two, San Diego reeled off a 14-5 spurt to seize control of the stanza. Chloe Ferrari and Shelby Staab combined for five kills to fuel the run as the Toreros didn't look back en route to a 25-14 triumph.
The third set featured nine ties and four lead changes. A Jones kill put LSU ahead by a 15-13 margin, but San Diego surged ahead for good with three straight points capped by a Bonomi ace. Trailing 23-19, the Tigers strung together three quick points via an Elliott-Jones block, an Elliott ace and a Jones kill to move back within a point. After a Torero timeout, USD responded with back-to-back kills for the 25-22 win.
LSU returns to action later this afternoon against Cal Poly. First serve is slated for 4 p.m. with live audio and live stats available for free inside the Geaux Zone at LSUsports.net.
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.
Admission to all 2012 home matches at the Maravich Center are free compliments of the Advocate's "Geaux Free" program.