Volleyball Falls to UNC in Tar Heel Classic
Asst. Communications Director
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The LSU volleyball team fell for the first time in 2017, dropping a 3-1 decision to North Carolina on Sunday afternoon in Carmichael Arena.
LSU claimed the first set 25-23 but dropped the next three by scores of 25-21, 25-20 and 27-25. The Tigers are now 8-1 on the year which is the best start since the 2010 season.
Flory’s Final Thoughts
“This was a great match. The other matches could have gone either way and I think this match we finally backed ourselves into a corner and couldn’t get it done. I liked our fight and I liked our resiliency. But you have to credit for making the plays at the end and unfortunately we left too many plays out on the court for the taking. When you do that against a balanced team, you are going to pay the price and we did that.”
“We have to get our middles going. Overall on this trip, our middles were not very good. It’s a system thing, not an effort thing by either one of them. Olivia Beyer and Jacqui Armer are two of the hardest workers on the team. We need to create for them a little better. We can’t be three dimensional. We have to have everyone more balanced offensively and certainly today we were not that.”
It was a strong start for the Tigers in set one as they got out to an 8-5 lead. They capitalized on UNC’s errors and put together strong offense. LSU went on a 4-0 run to take a 12-7 lead and force UNC to a timeout. UNC pushed back and came within one but LSU was consistent, leading the Tar Heels 23-21. A kill from Taylor Bannister and a UNC service error gave LSU set one, 25-23.
The Tigers struggled to get offense going in the second set as they hit .188 to UNC’s .355. They fell behind 6-3 and slowly work their way back but UNC went up 15-10 and 20-15. LSU went on a 5-0 run to cut the UNC to 22-20 but the Tar Heels finished off the set with a 3-1 run.
In a set that saw five ties and two lead changes, LSU hit .194. The two teams went back and forth before LSU took the lead at 12-11. Two straight points gave UNC the lead and UNC pushed to a 20-15 lead. LSU fought back, getting three kills from Toni Rodriguez but UNC secured set three by two kills from Taylor Leath.
LSU started the fourth set off strong as they went on a 5-0 run for a 7-3 lead. LSU continued to push forward, leading 10-5 after a Gina Tillis kill. UNC wasn’t going down easy as the Tar Heels worked their way back slowly and tied the game up 17-17. LSU took advantage of a UNC attacking error and a kill from Rodriguez to go up 21-19. The Tar Heels tied up the set at 23-23. The two teams traded points before UNC came up with a big dig and a block to end the game.
Taylor Bannister led the Tigers with 18 kills, her third straight match with 10-plus kills. Rodriguez and Tillis finished with 16 and 11 kills respectively.
Along with her 11 kills, Tillis finished with a team-high 14 digs for her fourth double-double of the season and her 20th career.
Anna Zwiebel finished with 45 assists and 10 digs for her third double-double on the year.
Raigen Cianciulli registered 11 digs in the back row.
The team hit .211 for the match with a total of 57 kills on 166 attacks.
LSU is on the road again next week on Wednesday night, heading to Baylor for a mid-week match. The Tigers are finally home after 10 straight matches on the road. The Tigers take on Houston on Sept. 16 at 1 p.m. in the PMAC.
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