After a rough two weeks away from Baton Rouge, there was perhaps some hope that returning to campus would result in some improvement for the LSU Volleyball team. Things did get better in the PMAC, but not enough to secure any wins.
The Tigers were swept in their own "LSU Tournament" dropping to #20 Purdue and Miami. In the opener against Purdue on Friday, the Tigers got swept three sets to none. LSU got off to a really bad start dropping the first set 25-10 to the Boilermakers, while having a -.135 hitting percentage. The Tigers showed more promise in the second set, and bounced to take a 9-7 lead after trailing 7-2. The teams would exchange points until, with the game tied at 12, Purdue would go on a 7-1 to regain control the set, en route to the win. Purdue got another big run, 8-0, in the third set when the score was 7-6, to take the lead and secure the win. A lack of net defense was once problem, getting out blocked 10-4 over the three sets.
24-hours later, the Tigers probably had their best showing of the season, but still picked up another loss. LSU jumped out to a solid 15-13 lead midway through the first set, before an 8-5 Miami run put the ‘Canes up by one at 21-20 and shortly after, 23-20. LSU would get within a point at 24-23 , but Miami landed the final kill to win the set 25-20. In the second set, the teams exchanged points through the first half and Miami found themselves up 18-17. The Tigers would then take over, outscoring the Hurricanes 8-2, to even the match at one, winning the second set 25-20. Miami had two noticeable runs which secured the win in the third set. First, with LSU up 9-5, Miami would score nine of the next ten points to gain a comfortable 14-11 lead. With the Tigers trailing 18-15, the ‘Canes would take the set on a 7-5 run.
The final set would feature 10 ties and five lead changes. LSU looked to be on the road to forcing a final set, up 14-8. Miami would mount a comeback and the teams would be tied at 17. As the two teams traded points, LSU would hold a 21-20 lead before Miami surged ahead with three straight points. The Tigers would tie the set at 23, but Miami would score the next two points to take the set and the match.
LSU did get some decent performances over the weekend. Cheyenne Wood was named to the All-Tournament team leading LSU in assists in both games, while also finishing with double-digit Digs over the two games. Cati Leak led the Tigers in kills for both games. Katie Lindelow and Haley Smith played well against Miami.
The Tigers have one more out of conference slate this weekend, at the Lobo Invitational. Winning these games is important, but the Tigers focus should turn to conference play. The mix up in the standings hasn’t corrected itself yet, so while LSU isn’t out of it, they have a lot of work to do.