LSU volleyball falls to Arkansas in conference opener, 3-1

Published 9:03 am Thursday, September 23, 2021

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The LSU Volleyball team (4-6, 0-1) was defeated by Arkansas (10-2, 1-0) in the first conference match of the season on Wednesday night. The Tigers won the first set, 25-18, before dropping the final three sets 27-25, 25-19, 25-20, to lose three sets to one. 

“We did not accomplish what we knew we needed to do to win this match,” said head coach Fran Flory. “We needed more kills and fewer errors. We did have less hitting errors and we blocked them really well, but we had more true errors. It was a combination of us not being efficient enough killing balls and us giving away points.”  

LSU was led by outside hitter Kylie Deberg, who tallied fifteen kills. Setter Ella Larkin recorded another double-double, posting 40 assists and a season-high 20 digs, and middle blocker Anita Anwusi contributed eight kills, eight blocks, and a hitting percentage of .412. Libero Raigen Cianciulli recorded a game-high 24 digs. 

“I thought our kids fought hard and you have to credit Arkansas who played hard after a tough start,” said Flory. “In the end though they were more balance than us.” 

 Arkansas was led by outside hitter Jillian Gillen, who had a game-high 25 kills, including nine in the final set. Outside hitter Taylor Head also posted a double-double with 11 kills and 13 digs. 

Set 1 

·         Deberg came out of the gate well, recording two early kills and two block assists as LSU jumped out to a 6-3 lead. 

·         The Tigers extended their lead to 11-7 before Jillian Gillen fired off two kills for the Razorbacks to cut the lead in half. 

·         The teams fought evenly early to a score of 14-12 before LSU went on an 11-5 run to close out the first set, 25-17. 

·         Sanaa Dotson and Kylie Deberg led the way with four kills each. The Tigers recorded five blocks and held Arkansas to a .061 hitting percentage. 

Set 2 

·         Arkansas came out strong, leading 8-5 early thanks to a kill and an ace by Taylor Head. 

·         LSU responded with an 8-1 run, spearheaded by four more Deberg kills, to force an Arkansas timeout. 

·         The Tigers continued to apply pressure after the timeout, and three more Deberg kills extended their lead to 18-11. 

·         Arkansas went on an impressive run of their own to tie the game at 20. The teams battled fiercely, with ties at 21, 22, 23, 24, and 25, before Arkansas squeaked by with a 27-25 win. 

Set 3 

·         Arkansas began the set well again, leading 4-1, but LSU won six of the next seven points to lead. 

·         Block assists by Foreman,  Anwusi, and Hannah Brister helped extend the Tiger lead to 10-6, but a pair of Jillian Gillen kills helped cut the lead. 

·         After LSU attained a 17-14 lead, Arkansas won 11 of the next 13 points to take the set by a score of 25-19. 

Set 4 

·         Both teams went on scoring streaks early in the fourth set; LSU started off with a 4-0 lead thanks to two kills by Ellie Echter, but Arkansas responded with four points of their own. 

·         Three aces and a kill by Jillian Gillen gave Arkansas an 8-5 advantage, but kills by Deberg and Anwusi helped tie the game at 10. 

·         LSU put in a steadfast effort, and freshman Ellie Echter’s fifth kill of the set made it 20-18, but Arkansas was able to pull away and win the final set, 25-20. 

Up Next 

LSU will return to the Pete Maravich Assembly Center to take on Alabama on Saturday, Sept. 25, at 5 p.m. It is the Tiger’s first game back in the PMAC since Aug. 28. 

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