LSU volleyball defeated by No. 5 Kentucky

Published 9:17 am Monday, October 18, 2021

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LSU Volleyball (7-11, 3-6 SEC) fell to No. 5 Kentucky (13-3, 6-0 SEC) Friday night in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, 3-0 (17-25, 23-25, 20-25).

Kentucky posted a .241 hitting percentage, while the Tigers hit .147. LSU had more digs (45-38), and had seven blocks to the Wildcats’ nine. 

“Defensively I thought we played well enough to have a shot,” said head coach Fran Flory. “Defense doesn’t win matches though. Offense does, and our offense did not match theirs [Kentucky] tonight in terms of efficiency. We had too many errors and we could not find our rhythm.” 

Outside hitter Kylie DeBerg led the Tigers with 12 kills and a block. Right side Taylor Bannister contributed nine kills, five digs, and two total blocks.  

Libero Raigen Cianciulli had a match-high 20 digs, while setter Ella Larkin posted 30 assists and 7 digs.

“I thought Raigen [Cianciulli] had another outstanding effort and made some incredible plays, but our offense has to mature and get a little bit better,” Flory said. “We are still a work in progress. We have a couple days in the gym to get ready for South Carolina Wednesday night.” 

Kentucky was led by outside hitter Alli Stumler, who had 16 kills. Middle blocker Azhani Tealer had nine kills and four blocks, and libero Eleanor Beavin had a team-high 10 digs. 

Set 1 

·         Kentucky took six of the first seven points to lead 6-1. DeBerg had two early kills, but another Kentucky run made it 11-4 and forced an LSU timeout. 

·         After outside hitter Sanaa Dotson’s kill, and a service ace from outside hitter Paige Flickinger made it 14-8, Kentucky went on a 5-3 run to stretch its lead to 19-11. 

·         The Wildcats were able to maintain a comfortable advantage despite a strong fight from the Tigers. Another kill from Dotson trimmed the deficit to 22-16 before Kentucky pulled away, 25-17. 

Set 2 

·         Three early kills from DeBerg gave LSU a 6-2 advantage. After Kentucky tied the score 8-8, Flickinger’s second ace followed by a kill from Bannister re-established the Tigers’ lead. 

·         After a block assist from Larkin and middle blocker Allee Morris gave LSU a 15-14 lead, Kentucky went on a 6-2 run to lead, 20-17. 

·         Bannister added two more kills, but Kentucky was able to get to set point leading 24-20. 

·         LSU won three consecutive points, but the Wildcats took the crucial point to take the second set, 25-23. 

 Set 3 

·         After trading early punches with both teams going on impressive runs, the Wildcats scored four unanswered points to take a 10-6 lead. 

·         The Tigers responded with a 5-0 run to grab a 11-10 edge, Kentucky struck back with a 4-0 run before a Bannister kill cut the Wildcat lead to 14-12. 

·         Two more Bannister kills and a DeBerg kill helped give LSU a 18-17 before Kentucky won five straight points to lead 22-18. 

·         The Wildcats kept their foot on the gas, taking three of the final five points to close out the set, 25-20. 


The Tigers travel to Columbia, S.C. to take on South Carolina on Wednesday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. The match will be broadcast on the SEC Network. 

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