BATON ROUGE - It was a great way to celebrate the seniors as the LSU volleyball team defeated South Carolina in a thrilling five-set match by scores of 25-16, 25-20, 22-25, 19-25, 17-15. The Tigers are now 12-15 on the year and 7-9 in the SEC. South Carolina drops to 19-7 on the year and 10-6 in the league.
Taylor Bannister and Milan Stokes each had 18 kills, while Raigen Cianciulli picked up a match-high 29 digs. Lindsay Flory finished with 60 assists and 14 digs, her seventh double-double on the year.
- The Tigers continue their home stand this week, taking on Missouri at 6 p.m. CT on Wednesday. LSU will face Texas A&M on the road Sunday at 12 p.m. CT and the match will air on SEC Network+. Live stats will be available on LSUStats.com.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- LSU and South Carolina went point-for-point at the start of the match. LSU got out to a 7-6 lead after back-to-back kills from Milan Stokes and Olivia Beyer. The Tigers went into the media timeout with a 15-10 lead.
- Back-to-back kills from Taylor Bannister forced South Carolina to take its first timeout of the set with LSU leading 18-12.
- Kills from Beyer and Stokes forced South Carolina to take its second timeout of the set. Out of the timeout, an ace from Anna Zwiebel pushed the Tigers to a 22-13 lead.
- South Carolina kept fighting, but the Tigers claimed the set after a South Carolina attacking error, 25-16.
- Stokes led the attack with five kills, while the Tigers hit .278.
- South Carolina got out to a 3-1 lead, but after kills from Rodriguez and Bannister the Tigers tied it up at 3-3.
- The two teams went point-for-point, but South Carolina pushed to an 11-8 lead after an error on LSU. The Gamecocks led 15-13 going into the media timeout.
- Out of the timeout, the Tigers fought back to tie it up 15-15 after an ace from Leigh Maher. A back-to-back block and kill from Bannister put the Tigers at a 19-16 lead forcing South Carolina to take a timeout.
- LSU continued to push to a 24-17 lead, but after an attacking error from the Tigers and a South Carolina kill, the Gamecocks come within four forcing LSU to take a timeout.
- LSU came out on top, 25-20, after a South Carolina service error. The Tigers hit .351 to South Carolina's .186, and take a 2-0 lead on the match.
- A Bannister kill pushed the Tigers to a 5-2 lead in the third set. South Carolina trailed close behind and went on a 3-0 run to tie it up 9-9.
- The teams went point-for-point, but Gamecocks pushed ahead to a 15-12 lead going into the media timeout.
- The Tigers went on a 3-0 run and force South Carolina to take a timeout after a kill from Stokes. Out of the timeout, the Gamecocks score two back-to-back after an LSU attacking error and service. LSU took its final timeout of the set.
- LSU comes within two, but South Carolina claimed the third set, 25-22.
- The teams went point-for-point early on in the fourth set. The Gamecocks had a lead on the Tigers, but a South Carolina error tied it up 9-9.
- South Carolina went on a 5-0 run to take a 14-9 lead. The Tigers fought back with a 3-0 run and a Beyer kill, but South Carolina pushed to a 21-16 lead forcing an LSU timeout.
- South Carolina claimed the fourth set, 25-19, to tie the match 2-2.
- The Tigers took a 7-6 lead in the fifth set after back-to-back blocks from Beyer. The teams went point-for-point, but South Carolina pulled away with an 11-9 lead after an LSU error.
- Kills from Toni Rodriguez and Foreman tied it up and a Bannister kill pushed LSU to a 12-11 lead.
- The teams battled back and forth for match point, but after a Katie Kampen ace, LSU came out on top, 17-15, claiming the match.
- Bannister and Stokes finished with 18 kills. This is Bannister's 23rd match in double digit kills and Stokes's ninth match.
- Rodriguez finished with 14 kills making it her 11th match in double digit kills on the year.
- Beyer finished with a double-double of 10 kills and 11 digs. This is her fifth match in double digit kills and her first double-double of the season.
- Flory's 60 assists and 14 digs is her seventh double-double of the season.This is her second 60-plus assists match.
- Cianciulli finished with 29 digs making it her 23rd match in double-digits on the season and her 10th 20-plus digs match. She is now two digs away from 1,000 mark.
- Five Tigers finished with double-digit digs. (Cianciulli 29, Zwiebel 16, Flory 14, Maher 12, Beyer 11)
- The Tigers out-blocked the Gamecocks 10.0-7.0.
FLORY'S FINAL THOUGHTS
On the five-set victory today against South Carolina....
"I just think that we were not going to be denied today and that is a very good South Carolina team. I think we jumped on them and punched them in the mouth in the first two sets and I do not think they were really expecting us to play at the level. When this team is calm and plays and enjoys themselves and play through, they're really good. We got Taylor (Bannister) back. Taylor has struggled with her confidence the last couple of weeks actually but today she got into the flow again and that changes everybody. It changes the defense, it changes the mentality and it changes all of us. I thought the seniors played amazingly well. Lindsay (Flory) set a great match, Katie (Kampen) did a great job, and Toni (Rodriguez) took some huge swings. It did not feel like Olivia (Beyer) had a great match, but she came up with two huge blocks in the fifth set and I am super proud of them."
On the impact that crowd made on senior day....
"It is the legacy that these kids left. There are three Louisiana kids in that (senior) group, so we are losing our Louisiana flare but I am thrilled and thankful that the people in the community and the volleyball community came out to see them and bid them farewell in their journey as they take the next step. Tiger fans are always loyal, always great and it was super special for them for sure."