LSU volleyball avenges loss, splits series at Ole Miss with 5-set victory

Published 9:49 am Monday, November 15, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The LSU volleyball team (11-13, 7-8 SEC) pulled off another reverse sweep as they knocked off Ole Miss (18-7, 7-7 SEC) in five sets Friday night at the Gillom Athletics Performance Center.

After dropping the first two sets 23-25 and 16-25, the Tigers won the remaining sets 27-25, 29-27, and 15-11 to avenge the previous night’s loss and split the season series.

The Tigers recorded 62 kills and hit .206, turned in eight aces and had 16 total blocks to hold the Rebels to a .165 hitting percentage. LSU also registered 62 digs and had four total players finish with 10 or more digs.

“I thought it was a gutsy performance by us tonight,” said head coach Fran Flory. “We played hard. We did not play great, but we played hard, and we played with great heart. That is what happens sometimes when teams get out of rhythm. You must fight your way back. We were really out of rhythm this weekend, but I am super proud of the grit that we showed.”

Three Tigers finished with double doubles, beginning with outside hitter Taylor Bannister who nearly finished with a triple double after recording 20 kills, 11 digs and eight blocks. Bannister also finished with two aces. The Missouri City, Texas native had a season-high in kills, a career best in blocks and had her third multiple-ace match in four contests.

Middle blocker Anita Anwusi turned in a career-high herself with 16 kills and hit .417 in the match. She also added seven blocks. Outside hitter Kylie DeBerg registered 13 kills and 10 digs, while contributing three blocks and an ace.

Setter Ella Larkin concluded with 49 assists and a match-high 18 digs to go along with four blocks and two aces. Libero Raigen Cianciulli had 12 digs and defensive specialist Emmaline Walters also added two aces.

“We had a number of great individual performances tonight. Taylor [Bannister] played and led the team well tonight and Anita [Anwusi] was fantastic,” Flory said. “It was really fun to watch her [Anwusi] tonight and she was a major force for us in the middle.”

Anna Bair led Ole Miss with 17 kills followed by Lauren Thompson’s 16 kills, four blocks and three aces. Kylee McLaughlin rounded out their top hitters with 10 kills and had a match-high nine blocks.

Set 1

  • Ole Miss scored the first three points of the set, but LSU used a 5-1 run capped by an ace from Bannister to go ahead 5-4.
  • The Rebels responded with a 5-1 run of their own to regain the lead and went into the media timeout with a 15-11 advantage.
  • The Tigers scored eight of the next 10 points highlighted by a 3-0 run to force an Ole Miss timeout.
  • LSU separated themselves with an overall 5-0 run making the score 21-17, but Ole Miss stormed back and took a 23-22 lead that burned through both LSU timeouts.
  • Overall, Ole Miss scored six of the final seven points to win the opening frame, 25-23.

Set 2

  • The Rebels jumped out to another early lead at 10-5 and was ahead 15-11 at the media timeout.
  • LSU called a quick timeout after Ole Miss matched its largest lead of the set at that time with the score reading 17-12, but the Rebels ballooned their lead 21-13 as the Tigers burn their final timeout.
  • After fighting off two set points, Ole Miss went on take a 25-16 set win for a commanding 2-0 match lead.

Set 3

  • The Tigers fought and used a 5-2 run to pull within two points at the media timeout, 15-13.
  • Out of the break, the Tigers go on a 5-1 run highlighted by a kill from outside hitter Sanaa Dotson that gave the Tigers the lead. After a Tiger block, Ole Miss used its first timeout trailing 18-16.
  • Consecutive aces by Larkin stretched the Tigers lead to 21-17 but a 3-0 run by the Rebels trimmed the lead to one point and LSU called for time.
  • Following the timeout, both teams traded points, but a Rebel kill and a Tiger attacking error put the home team back on top, 23-22 and LSU used its final timeout.
  • LSU fought off three match points to tie the set at 25. After an Ole Miss attacking error, Anwusi and DeBerg turned in a huge block to win the set 27-25 and force a fourth set.

Set 4

  • The Tigers opened the set with a 4-2 lead behind three unanswered points, but the Rebels stayed close by and used their own 3-0 run to tie the score at 8. Ole Miss took the lead at 9-8 and led at the media timeout, 15-12.
  • Ole Miss used an overall 5-1 run to take a 17-12 advantage, forcing an LSU timeout. LSU scored the next four points out of the break, bringing the score to 17-16 and Ole Miss used its first timeout.
  • LSU continued to put the pressure on the home team and led 22-20 after another Dotson kill and block assist from Bannister and middle blocker Allee Morris who finished the match with eight blocks.
  • Ole Miss scored three of the next four points to knot the set at 23 and LSU signaled for a timeout. The clubs traded points to a 27-27 tie but a kill from Morris gave the Tigers the advantage and a Rebel error gave the visiting team the set win, 29-27.

Set 5

  • After Ole Miss scored the first point, LSU went on a 5-1 run to take the lead and momentum. The Tigers held an 8-5 lead at the halfway point of the deciding set.
  • The Rebels pulled within two points a couple of times, but a kill from Bannister and a solo block from DeBerg made the count 11-7.
  • Both teams traded points to the end and the Tigers outlasted the Rebels, 15-11.

Directly support LSU Volleyball by contributing to the Volleyball Excellence Fund today!

For the latest news and information on Tiger volleyball, visit Fans can also follow the team on its social media outlets at and @lsuvolleyball on Instagram and Twitter.