Volleyball Falls to No. 7 Purdue

LSU head coach Fran Flory
LSU head coach Fran Flory
Hilary Scheinuk
Matt Dunaway
Matt Dunaway

HOUSTON -- No. 7 Purdue recorded 11 blocks and limited the LSU volleyball team to season-low .061 hitting percentage to claim a 3-0 decision [25-20, 25-19, 25-20] over the Tigers Saturday to conclude the relocated Tiger Classic at Fox Gym on the Rice campus.

All four of LSU's (2-4) setbacks have come against Top 20 opponents. The Tigers committed 26 attack errors and were held to under a .100 hitting clip in all three sets.

Desiree Elliott and Madie Jones cranked eight kills apiece to pace LSU. Helen Boyle ripped a season-best seven kills, while Khourtni Fears notched four kills and three blocks.

Defensively, Meghan Mannari corralled 11 digs. Cati Leak also picked up eight scoops.

"Again, I thought we gave another great effort against a quality opponent," head coach Fran Flory said. "We fought extremely hard, and there were a few points that made the difference during each set. Give credit to Purdue for making those big plays in key situations. Playing against four Top 20 programs over the first two weekends have made us a battle-tested group and shown us what we need to work on."

Purdue (5-1) rode reigning AVCA All-America First-Team pick Ariel Turner to a match-high 12 kills. She also added 10 digs and four blocks. Kierra Jones tacked on six kills and a match-best seven blocks.

The Boilermaker dueling setters, Rachel Davis and Val Nichol, passed out 17 and 15 assists, respectively. Nichol also tacked on four digs, three kills, three aces and two blocks. On the back row, Carly Cramer sprawled out for a match-best 21 digs for Purdue. 

Down 14-12 in set one, LSU ripped off seven of the next nine points to secure a 19-16 edge. Jones powered home a pair of kills and LSU's defense forced Purdue into three hitting miscues. The Boilermakers charged back with a 9-1 finishing kick to secure the 25-20 win. Turner knocked three kills, and Purdue picked up a pair of blocks involving Jones.

The Boilermakers fired out to a 6-1 advantage to start the second set and led wire-to-wire in the 25-19 triumph. Elliott provided five of her eight kills during the middle stanza. Purdue posted its match-best .276 hitting percentage and converted on 14-of-20 sideout attempts.

LSU regained its bearings early in set three and went ahead 13-11 on a Boyle kill. The Boilermakers responded with 13 of the next 16 points aided by six LSU hitting mistakes. LSU erased four potential match points before Purdue clinched the sweep with the 25-20 victory.

"We're very close to finding our consistent offensive rhythm and tempo," Flory said. "I'm proud of the progress our team made from last week to this week. We'll get back into the practice gym and make the necessary adjustments to continue to get better."

LSU wraps up non-conference action and travels to the Carolina Classic to face host North Carolina, Middle Tennessee and Western Michigan. All three matches will have free live audio and live stats available 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 is free compliments of the Advocate's "Geaux Free" program.  

2012 Tiger Classic All-Tournament Team
MVP: Krista Vansant - Washington
Carly Cramer - Purdue
Meghan Mannari - LSU
Kylin Munoz - Washington
Megan Murphy - Rice
Kaleigh Nelson - Washington
Ariel Turner - Purdue




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