2013 LSU Volleyball at the Maravich Center
Photo by:Steve Franz, LSU Athletics Staff Photographer
Volleyball Dismisses Ole Miss in Four Sets
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Published: October 11, 2013, 09:59 PM (CT)
Updated: October 12, 2013, 07:34 AM (CT)
by Matt Dunaway, Associate SID

BATON ROUGE – Briana Holman and Cati Leak slapped 15 kills each as the LSU volleyball team used a balanced offensive attack to notch a 3-1 victory over Ole Miss [25-19, 25-9, 23-25, 27-25] Friday at the Maravich Center.

With the victory, LSU (12-3, 2-1 SEC) has won 10 of its last 12 meetings against Ole Miss (10-8, 0-5 SEC) going back to the 2007 season. The 12 victories for the Tigers also equal their season total from 2012.

“I think our confidence grows each time we step out on the court,” head coach Fran Flory said. “You can see it, you can feel it. There was a little break in it. We are still a young team. They will have to grow up some, but it was another good step forward for our kids.”

LSU tallied 59 kills on a .287 hitting percentage, its highest offensive output since the Houston match on Sept. 21. The Tigers also continued their strong defensive play and forced Ole Miss into 30 hitting errors en route to a .117 hitting clip. The 30 attack errors were the second-highest season total for the Rebels.

Malorie Pardo had her run of seven consecutive double-doubles come to a close. She registered a solid all-around effort with 41 assists, eight digs, four kills and two blocks.

Holman’s 15 kills came on a team-leading .414 hitting percentage. She has turned in 10-plus kills during 12 of her last 13 outings. The Texas native also was involved in seven of LSU’s eight blocks for the match.

“I thought their middles were awfully good. They caused us a lot of trouble, but Briana Holman brought a different level to the court tonight,” Flory said. “She is going to carry us. If she plays that good, we are going to be hard to beat. She can create so many scoring opportunities. She opens up so many other things. You have to credit Malorie for finding her and giving her those opportunities. I liked how Malorie set this match. In the end, I thought her maturity and the way she managed the tempo sets were the keys in those last couple points during the fourth set.”

“It felt great,” Holman said. “At some point, every player has to carry the torch to help lead their team along the way. That is what I tried to do. I tried to pick my team up because I felt at certain points someone needed to step up.”

The 15 kills for Leak was her highest mark since the Rice match on Sept. 7. She also turned in a solid passing performance and converted on 20-of-21 reception attempts.

Desiree Elliott belted 12 kills on a.333 hitting ratio to go along with four digs and two aces. The 12 kills enabled Elliott to move past Meagan Davis (1998-2001) for 18th place on LSU’s all-time list.

Helen Boyle tacked on seven kills and nine digs over her three sets of action whereas Katie Lindelow and Madi Mafaffey added three kills apiece.

On the back row, Haley Smith corralled 15 digs to extend her run to 11 consecutive matches with double digit scoops. LSU was 48-of-79 and tallied a 60 percent sideout efficiency for the match.

Ole Miss was sparked by Ty Laporte’s 13 kills on a match-best .478 hitting percentage, Skylar Johnson’s 19 assists and Cara Fisher’s 13 digs. The Rebels held a 12-8 blocking advantage.

The two teams garnered four ties and a lead change during the early moments of the first set. With LSU ahead 12-11, the Tigers picked up six of the next nine points to surge ahead by an 18-14 margin. Elliott ignited the charge with back-to-back kills, while a Holman-Leak block followed by a Holman kill capped the spurt. Ole Miss trimmed the margin down to 20-19, but LSU finished with a five-point flurry to tuck away the 25-19 win. Holman, Mahaffey and Pardo provided kills sandwiched between two Ole Miss hitting miscues.

LSU carried that momentum into the second set and built a 10-1 advantage sparked by four Leak kills. The Tigers continued to rip off points at a staggering rate and made it 23-5 after another six-point run highlighted by three Elliott kills and an Elliott solo stuff. In total, LSU blasted 18 kills on 26 swings with only one error en route to a blistering .654 hitting clip and the 25-9 triumph.  

“We did very well at playing how we are supposed to play,” Pardo said. “We started how we ended at Texas A&M. We played fast, came together and that really helped us this game. Team unity and coming together, even on the negative points, really helped our mentality for each play.”

Ole Miss regrouped out of the locker room and went up by a 17-9 score to start the third set. The Tigers would rally and get back to within 24-23 after a Lindelow kill. However, the Rebels countered with a sideout of their own from Laporte to finish off the 25-23 victory.

Set four was a defensive battle as neither team cranked over a .200 hitting percentage. Ole Miss came away with an early 12-9 edge, but LSU answered with 10 of the next 12 points to take a 19-14 lead. Holman and Leak popped two kills each coupled with three Ole Miss hitting miscues. The Rebels didn’t go away and fired back with a 10-4 flurry to arrive at set point. Out of a timeout, Leak buried a crosscourt kill and teamed with Holman for a block on Laporte to swing LSU ahead 25-24. After a Rebel sideout, Leak and Holman struck for consecutive kills to vault the Tigers to the winner’s circle at 27-25.

“Day-by-day, I am building my relationship with the hitters,” Pardo said. “I tell them that I trust them, that you are doing great and that you are going to put the ball away. I have been a little more demanding which has helped me, but I think the hitters are also taking that and running with it. Some of the hitters have even told me they like it. They are doing everything really well. If I demand something, they come through with it. I think that is the relationship we did not have at the beginning. It has really made a positive difference.”

LSU wraps up its stretch of three matches over a five-day span and meets Mississippi State for a Sunday matinee 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.

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.

LSU Volleyball Postmatch Quotes

LSU vs. Ole Miss – October 11, 2013
Head Coach Frany Flory

On starting strong against Ole Miss…
“That is the most encouraging thing about this match. I don’t think we played particularly well, but we played well enough to win the match. The start was a nice change from where we’ve been recently. I am proud of their preparation and the way they came out. Unfortunately, we didn’t sustain it, and that is disappointing. Partially, I made some changes in the lineup [to start the third set] and created a little adversity for them. Partially on purpose and partially to give some people the chance to get on the court. That really changed the complexion of the match.”

On Briana Holman and Malorie Pardo’s performance tonight…
“I thought their middles were awfully good. They caused us a lot of trouble, but Briana Holman brought a different level to the court tonight. She is going to carry us. If she plays that good, we are going to be hard to beat. She can create so many scoring opportunities. She opens up so many other things. You have to credit Malorie for finding her and giving her those opportunities. I liked how Malorie set this match. In the end, I thought her maturity and the way she managed the tempo sets were the keys in those last couple points during the fourth set.”

On Malorie Pardo setting the tempo of the game...
“The only thing we needed her to do a little better is she was having so much fun creating scoring opportunities that she forgot about the tempo that each hitter needed. The few errors we had on the pin from Cati Leak were pretty much errors that Malorie created a great opportunity but not the right tempo set for Cati. We talked about it at the end of the match. You have to credit her for deciding what to do and getting it done.”

On winning back to back matches…
“I think our confidence grows each time we step out on the court. You can see it, you can feel it. There was a little break in it. We are still a young team. They will have to grow up some, but it was another good step forward for our kids.”

On preparing for Mississippi State…
“They are going to come in with a point to prove. 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 that match.”

Middle Blocker Briana Holman

On getting a strong start…
“We came back from Wednesday’s match, and we recovered very well. We worked to get our bodies healthy again. We picked up from where we left off after the Texas A&M match. I feel every good team should be able to do that.”

On being able to close out the match…
“It felt great. At some point every player has to carry the torch to help lead their team along they way. That is what I tried to do. I tried to pick my team up because I felt at certain points someone needed to step up. I tried the best I could to do that.”

On her poise as a freshman…
“I just did the best that I could. My adrenaline was pumping. If I felt I could do something, I just went for it. I said my prayers, I always say my prayers on the net, and then I just do the best I can.”

Setter Malorie Pardo

On taking Coach Flory’s prematch words to heart…
“We did very well at playing how we are supposed to play. We started how we ended at Texas A&M. We played fast, came together and that really helped us this game. Team unity and coming together, even on the negative points, really helped our mentality for each play.”

On the adversity in the third and fourth sets…
“We have a lot of clutch players. I do not think they think that at times, but every single player is so clutch. Anybody could have gotten the last ball. Ending with that momentum is really going to help us on Sunday to get out to a fast start.”

On the change in momentum…
“The momentum is definitely switching. Hopefully, it stays on our side. I think we have realized how to handle certain situations. We have been in about every situation possible except for winning in three. Hopefully that will carry over on Sunday, and we can make that happen. We know how to handle every thing, and that is definitely going to help.”

On her relationship with her hitters…
“Day-by-day, I am building my relationship with the hitters. I tell them that I trust them, that you are doing great, and that you are going to put the ball away. I have been a little more demanding which has helped me, but I think the hitters are also taking that and running with it. Some of the hitters have even told me they like it. They are doing everything really well. If I demand something, they come through with it. I think that is the relationship we did not have at the beginning. It has really made a positive difference.”

 

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