LSU head coach Fran Flory
Photo by:Chris Parent, LSU Athletics Student Photographer
Volleyball Swept by Texas A&M
Text smallerText larger
Published: November 13, 2013, 09:26 PM (CT)
Updated: November 14, 2013, 06:01 PM (CT)
by Matt Dunaway, Associate SID

BATON ROUGE – Briana Holman powered home 11 kills, but the LSU volleyball team was handed a 3-0 setback by Texas A&M [21-25, 22-25, 22-25] Wednesday evening at the Maravich Center.

The Tigers (15-9, 5-7 SEC) were swept for only the second time during the 2013 season. With the victory, the Aggies (14-10, 6-7 SEC) moved past LSU for eighth place in the SEC standings.

LSU totaled 42 kills and .178 hitting percentage, while Texas A&M connected for 45 kills and a .274 hitting clip. The Tigers have dropped seven of nine matches when being held to under a .200 hitting efficiency.

“I said before the match that this was going to be won on our side or on their side,” head coach Fran Flory said. “The team that managed themselves the best was going to be the team that won. They managed themselves a whole lot better than we did. We didn’t execute one thing of the game plan that we implemented in practice yesterday, not one thing. We weren’t mentally focused. Maybe we were tired, but truly everyone is tired at this time of the season. That can’t be an excuse.”

Malorie Pardo had her run of five straight double-doubles come to a close. The junior setter distributed 35 assists to go along with six digs.

Holman, the reigning SEC Freshmen of the Week, notched double digit kills for the fifth straight outing. She also added three blocks for the Tigers.

Helen Boyle nearly amassed her third straight double-double. She provided nine kills on a .250 hitting ratio and registered a team-leading 14 digs. Cati Leak and Desiree Elliott chipped in eight and seven kills, respectively.

“Helen did a pretty good job offensively,” Flory said. “We weren’t passing well so she wasn’t getting very good opportunities in terms of set location. I don’t think she had a very well-rounded match. I thought she put a few balls away. I don’t think we did a very good job blocking, and I don’t think we handled the first ball very well. I can say Briana was decent offensively. I can’t find any other bright spots in this match.”

Haley Smith secured 13 digs and converted on all 11 of her reception attempts. She has garnered 10-plus scoops during 19 of her 20 starts at the libero position.

Texas A&M was fueled by Shelby Sullivan’s 15 kills on 23 swings with only error for a crisp .609 hitting percentage. The Aggies also received solid efforts from Emily Hardesty (nine kills), Angela Lowak (eight kills) and Allie Sawatzky (seven kills, 32 assists, 10 digs). Heather Reynolds reeled in a match-high 15 digs for the A&M back line.

“They were digging more balls than us,” Boyle said. “They were fighting harder through plays and rallies. When we had a long rally, they usually ended up winning them. That is usually not what we do. If we would’ve fought through the rallies, we would have had a better outcome.”

LSU raced out to a 3-1 edge in set one behind two Holman kills before the Aggies ripped off 13 of the next 19 points to go ahead by a 14-9 margin. The run was sparked by Hardesty, Lowak and Sullivan who combined for seven kills. The Tigers pulled back to within three points on three occasions, the latest at 22-20. However, A&M sided out each time aided by two more Sullivan kills. The Aggies tucked away the 25-21 decision on a block of Boyle.

The two teams traded eight early ties and three lead changes to begin the second set. Knotted at 14-14, the Aggies used two Lowak kills coupled with two Elliott hitting errors to go up 18-14. LSU could only get as close as two points six times. At 24-22, Hardesty belted a sideout spike to vault A&M to the winner’s circle and give the Aggies a two-set edge.

Both squads cranked up the offenses in set three and notched over .400 hitting percentages. Neither team went up by more than two points until the Aggies broke the 18-18 deadlock with four quick points. Sullivan popped back-to-back kills followed by two LSU hitting miscues to make it 22-18. The Tigers wiped away one match point via a Leak kill to draw back to 24-22, but Lowak responded for A&M out of a timeout to complete the sweep.

“It wasn’t just passing, my sets were really low too,” Pardo said. “I think it is just the little things, and that everyone could do their job a little bit better. We can pass to a little bit better location, set to a little bit better location as in height, hit and put the ball away. We need everyone doing a little bit better. I think we will get it. Things like this happen. We just have to forget about it and move on.”

LSU will look to regroup Friday as Auburn visits the Maravich Center for the second meeting of 2013 between the two teams. First serve is on-tap for 7 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. The Auburn match marks the final of six “Attend & Win” matches where one fan will take home a marquee prize. To be eligible for the “Attend & Win” prizes, fans must stay through the entire match.

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. Texas A&M – November 13, 2013

HEAD COACH FRAN FLORY

On tonight’s performance…
“I thought it was truly a battle not quality volleyball during the first two sets. The third set turned into decent efficiency. That is our style, and that is what we needed to get into. We couldn’t quite grab control of it. We could seize the momentum and really feel like we could control the outcome. It is a disappointing effort from our performance on the road last weekend. We took a couple great steps forward, but this is certainly a step backwards.”

On tonight’s game plan against Texas A&M
“I said before the match that this was going to be won on our side or on their side. The team that managed themselves the best was going to be the team that won. They managed themselves a whole lot better than we did. We didn’t execute one thing of the game plan that we implemented in practice yesterday, not one thing. We weren’t mentally focused. Maybe we were tired, but truly everyone is tired at this time of the season. That can’t be an excuse.”

On Helen Boyle’s performance…
“Helen did a pretty good job offensively. We weren’t passing well so she wasn’t getting very good opportunities in terms of set location. I don’t think she had a very well-rounded match. I thought she put a few balls away. I don’t think we did a very good job blocking, and I don’t think we handled the first ball very well. I can say Briana (Holman) was decent offensively. I can’t find any other bright spots in this match.”

On preparing for Auburn…
“I feel like we have to move forward. We have to figure out how to recover. We thought we got them taken care of, but we’re not. I am going to have to do some talking to the players and decide how to mentally and physically recover from the weekend and tonight’s loss. We have to find some tenacity and that fire in our belly. This is important, and we have to fight through. I didn’t think we had that tonight.”

SETTER MALORIE PARDO

On tonight’s match …
“It happens. This is our first game where we didn’t really have it together. We have another game Friday, and that’s where we need to bring it.”

On what the time can work on for Friday…
“It wasn’t just passing, my sets were really low too. I think it is just the little things, and that everyone could do their job a little bit better. We can pass to a little bit better location, set to a little bit better location as in height, hit and put the ball away. We need everyone doing a little bit better. I think we will get it. Things like this happen. We just have to forget about it and move on.”

On how difficult it is to move forward from a match like this …
“It’s difficult. You can take the night to think about it. Once the night is over, it just has to go away. It was one game, and we have six more to go. We just got to keep rolling.”

On what the biggest adjustment is going to be for Friday…
“We need to focus on our side a little bit more.  That’s about it. We just have to refocus, and I know we will do that.”

OUTSIDE HITTER HELEN BOYLE

On tonight’s match …
“We just need to forget about this one because that was not our best effort obviously with balls hitting the floor. If we work on the effort side of it, we will be able to come back a lot easier than what we just did.”

On what A&M was doing to make the difference …
“They were digging more balls than us. They were fighting harder through plays and rallies. When we had a long rally, they usually ended up winning them. That is usually not what we do. If we would’ve fought through the rallies, we would have had a better outcome.

On their adjustments they will have to make for Friday…
“We need to work on getting over this. I know a lot of people on our team like to dwell on what didn’t happen. If we focus on going forward, we can flush this and do better next time.”

On what she feels can be learned from this game…
“We can learn to not get so tense. We were only down by two points, and people on our team started freaking out. If we all come together and be less tense, we could have had a better game there.”

 

Visit Baton Rouge
Flores MBA Program
Kraft - JELL-O Dessert Mold Kit
ABC Insurance