After LSU's unimpressive performance during non-conference play, added emphasis was placed on getting off to a strong start and although 1-1 may not seem like much, it did wonders for LSU's conference rankings.
Where LSU entered SEC play last in the conference, they sit eighth, as of Wednesday. Not great, but better than last.
Keep in mind that although five SEC teams had double-digit wins as of Wednesday, two of them currently ranked lower than LSU in the standings. One of them, Ole Miss, which has the second most totals wins amongst SEC teams at 14, is 0-2 in conference play and sits below the Tigers. In fairness, one of those double-digit win teams ranked lower in the conference is Missouri which is 12-1 is dead last, but they have not played an SEC team.
Back to LSU, the Tigers could have a 2-0 conference record because LSU gave everything it had to conference leading Arkansas to open conference play.
Arkansas and LSU played a five set marathon, in which two sets went featured tie breakers, though a marathon one which the Razorbacks would ultimately win.
In the game the Tigers got a strong performance from Toni Rodriguez who tied with Cati Leak for a team high 15 kills. Katie Lindelow posted 12 kills while tying Haley Smith with 17 digs. Cheyenne Wood facilitated the offense with a team best 30 assists.
LSU's game against South Carolina was a pretty uneventful sweep. The Gamecocks showed some fight in sets two and three, jumping out to early 3-1 leads in both, but the Tigers eventually came back and won both sets by a solid margin to take the game.
The Tigers offense mainly came from Gina Tillis who led the Tigers in kills with 14. Lindsay Flory had a nice game with 11 assists, behind Wood with 19. Smith fell just short of her Arkansas dig totals, posting 16 against South Carolina.
Up next, the Tigers face a struggling Georgia team Friday and then a good Auburn team Sunday.
Even though the 1-1 start gave the Tigers a boost in the standings, they still have an enormous amount of pressure to win out. Last year the Tigers made the tournament with nine losses. This team already has eight.
The good news is that since the SEC standings are a bit jumbled at the moment, the door is open for the Tigers to make up ground, even if they lose a game or two.
Ultimately, this is a solid start for a team which struggled through the non-conference slate and if they can somehow sweep these next two games, they would very much be back in the race for an SEC title, especially considering how the standings look at the moment.