COLUMBIA, S.C.- The No. 11 LSU beach volleyball team defeated Carson Newman and SEC foe South Carolina on day one of the Palmetto Invitational. The Tigers never lost a point in either match, tallying 10 consecutive points to sweep their opponents.
With the win, LSU improves to 13-6 on the year. The Tigers will go for the sweep tomorrow against Coastal Carolina and UNC-Wilmington.
In the opening match of the tournament, Cheyenne Wood and Megan Davenport won in straight sets 21-9, 21-8 to give LSU a 1-0 lead on court five. The Tigers earned their second point of the match at the four spot as Mandi Orellana and Riley Young garnered a point in two sets 21-9, 21-10.
No. 3 tandem Callan Molle and Cati Leak gave LSU a 3-0 lead after battling to claim a win in straight sets 21-19, 21-16. On court two, Helen Boyle and Lilly Kessler gave the Tigers their fourth point with a 21-17, 21-19 victory. Katie Lindelow and Ashley Allmer finished off Carson Newman at the one spot, knocking off their opponent in straights 21-12, 21-11 to help secure the 5-0 win for LSU.
“Those can always be trap matches," said associate head coach Russell Brock. "You don’t really know your opponent, and you have a tough match ahead. We had business to finish against Carson Newman, and I was really proud of the girls for finishing that match. It was a big win and another statement win. We were able to finish and that said a lot about where our players were mentally.”
In the second match against South Carolina, Davenport and Wood put the Tigers on the board first with a win in straight sets 21-19, 23-21 at the five. No. 4 pair Orellana and Young followed suit, winning in three sets 23-21, 8-21, 15-7 to give LSU a 2-0 lead.
Leak and Molle collected a point on court three, tallying a 21-13, 21-23, 18-16 three-setter. At the two spot, Boyle and Kessler won a tightly-contested match in three sets 21-15, 17-21, 15-11 for the Tigers' fourth point of the match.
No. 1 duo Allmer and Lindelow capped off the match and day one with an impressive victory in three sets 21-15 18-21, 15-13, lifting LSU to another 5-0 victory.
“We’ve had the opportunity to be in a lot of three set matches (this year),” said Brock. "Several times we’ve come out just a little bit short. I think that experience helped us finish those third sets. You never want to lose those at the beginning of the year, but I think that maybe helped prepare us (for matches like this one)."
“We jumped out in the one two three and four, and we won the first sets convincingly. We played really well, but they battled back in a match that was going to be tough. That forced us to get in recovery mode and play well in the third sets, and I was proud of how they fought back and finished.”
LSU returns to action tomorrow against Coastal Carolina at 8 a.m. CT.
Columbia, S.C. – Wheeler Beach
April 16, 2016
LSU def. Carson-Newman, 5-0
1. Katie Lindelow/Ashley Allmer (LSU) def. Ally King/Katie Will (CNU) 21-12, 21-11
2. Helen Boyle/Lilly Kessler (LSU) def. Molly Locke/Maddie Zyburt (CNU) 21-7, 21-19
3. Cati Leak/Callan Molle (LSU) def. Taylor Lowe/Sara Fairley (CNU) 21-19, 21-16
4. Mandi Orellana/Riley Young (LSU) def. Kristina Hill/Natalie Harris (CNU) 21-9, 21-10
5. Cheyenne Wood/Megan Davenport (LSU) def. Eileen Anderson/Megan Morris (CNU) 21-9, 21-8
LSU 5, South Carolina 0
1. Katie Lindelow/Ashley Allmer (LSU) def. Julia Mannisto/Shannon Williams (SC) 21-15, 18-21, 15-13
2. Helen Boyle/Lilly Kessler (LSU) def. Macie Tendrich/Katie Reilly (SC) 21-15, 17-21, 15-11
3. Cati Leak/Callan Molle (LSU) def. Sarah Blomgren/Aubrey Ezell (SC) 21-13, 21-23, 16-18
4. Mandi Orellana/Riley Young (LSU) def. Jade Vitt/Delaney Wood (SC) 23-21, 8-21, 15-7
5. Cheyenne Wood/Megan Davenport (LSU) def. Erin Neuenfeldt/Litsa Darby (SC) 21-19, 23-21