Tigers Fall in SEC Opener to Auburn, 3-2
Assistant Communications Director
AUBURN, Ala. – After falling into a hole and dropping the first two sets, the LSU volleyball team (5-7, 0-1 SEC) fought back to push the match to a fifth set but ultimately lost its Southeastern Conference opener to Auburn (7-7, 1-0 SEC) 22-25, 22-25, 25-23, 25-23, 9-15 Friday evening at the Auburn Arena.
LSU out-blocked Auburn 12-3, but the Tigers weren’t able to take advantage of the home team’s 27 attacking errors and 15 service errors. LSU as a team hit .187 to Auburn’s .231 and finished with 24 attacking errors.
“We showed great fight and heart to come back from two sets down. I am proud of the fight they showed in that regard.”
“Overall though, we just have to be a more disciplined team. When we are able to put that effort with discipline to do the little things consistently then our results will change.”
LSU returns to the Maravich Center for its first home conference match at 1 p.m. Sunday against Arkansas at the Maravich Center. The matchup between Tigers and Razorbacks will be aired live on SECNetwork+ through watchespn.com and the Watch ESPN app with Lyn Rollins and Yvette Girouard on the call. Fans are reminded that admission to all home matches is FREE and of the new Geaux Clear policy.
LSU was behind by as many as eight points in the opening set but fought back to close the match to one point at 21-22. Auburn went on to win three of the final four points to take the opening set. LSU and Auburn were even with four errors each as well as a .355 hitting percentage for both sides. The home team had three service aces in the frame.
In the second frame, LSU couldn’t get over the hump and take a lead as the set featured 10 tie scores and zero lead changes. The teams were tied five times after the media timeout. After the Tigers were tied at 21, Auburn won four of the final five points on three LSU errors and just one kill of their own. The visiting Tigers hit .146 in the second set and committed seven errors.
Both teams hit poor with LSU finishing with a .146 hitting percentage and Auburn at .182. LSU showed grit after halftime in a set that featured 12 tie scores and eight lead changes. After the teams tied at 12, neither squad could garner more than a two-point advantage. LSU took advantage of a pair of attacking errors by Auburn to get on the board.
LSU out-hit Auburn .310-.158 but neither team could take advantage at the service line with each team committing six errors. Tiara Gibson returned to the court and fired off five kills on as many attempts. LSU led by as many as five points in the frame after the media timeout but Auburn slowly chipped away. After Flory took a timeout with the lead at 22-21, LSU held control and pushed the match to five.
The home team was unfazed by the five-set match and got out to a 5-0 lead for control of the match. LSU was able to get it to as close as three points at 9-6 but the Tigers closed the match on a 6-3 run. Auburn put away 11 balls away in the final frame and LSU had four kills and four errors.
>> Sydney Mukes hit a career-high13 kills to finish second on the team in the category.
>> Gina Tillis led the way for LSU with 15 kills and 21 digs. It marked Tillis’ sixth double-double of the season.
>> Khourtni Fears reached double-digit kills for the fifth time this season and consecutive match with 10. Fears added a season-best eight blocks for the Tigers in the five-set match.
>> Zwiebel finished her first conference match 34 assists as well to capture her fourth double-double.
>> LSU finished with a season-high 12 blocks on the night. It was the most blocks for the Tigers in a match since October 2015.
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.