LSU claims first NCAA tourney win since 2014
STANFORD, Calif. - LSU got back in the win column on the national stage after knocking off No. 8 seed Hawai'i 3-1 (21-25, 25-19, 25-20, 25-22) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday evening at Maples Pavilion.
The tournament win for LSU (16-13) is the first since sweeping Oklahoma on December 4, 2014. It is also LSU's first win over Hawai'i (22-7) in the all-time series history.
The Tigers held the Rainbow Wahine to a .158 hitting percentage behind a season-high 14 blocks. It marks the 16th time this season an LSU opponent failed to reach a .200 or better attacking percentage. The Tigers logged a .215 hitting percentage with 51 kills, 49 assists and two aces.
Outside hitter Sanaa Dotson turned in double-double No. 9 this season after landing 16 kills and a career-high 18 digs to lead the team. Dotson also added four blocks to her stat line. Outside hitter Paige Flickinger followed with a double-double of her own - an 11-kill 10-dig performance to notch her 10th double-double this season. Middle blocker Anita Anwusi finished with 10 kills with a .300 hitting percentage and six blocks. Middle blocker Alia Williams led the LSU Tigers front row attack with a career-high seven blocks and chipped in five kills, four digs and one ace.
Setters Maddie Waak and Josie Vondran concluded the match with 22 and 21 assists, respectively. Vondran added five digs, three blocks and two kills, while Waak contributed a pair of digs and an ace. It is the sixth time this season that the duo had 20 assists each.
Libero Ella Larkin entered the LSU record books with her fourth dig of the night as she broke into the top 10 for most digs in a single season. Larkin finished the match with 13 digs, jumping to No. 8 with 507 digs this season and counting. Defensive specialist Jill Bohnet also finished with double-digit digs at 11.
- LSU took its first lead of the match at 11-10 behind a 6-1 run and held the 15-14 advantage at the media timeout.
- Hawai'i scored five of the next seven points out of the timeout for a 19-17 lead and forced the Tigers to use their first timeout.
- The Rainbow Wahine's run stretched to five unanswered when LSU called its final timeout trailing 21-17. Hawai'i ultimately took the opening frame 25-21.
- LSU led 15-14 again at the media timeout and Hawai'i burned its first timeout trailing 18-15 after a 3-0 scoring run for the Tigers.
- An overall 6-1 run by the Tigers put them ahead 21-16 and LSU would go on to even the match with a 25-19 victory.
- Although LSU hit just .167 in the set, the Tigers held the Rainbow Wahine to a -.040 clip thanks to five blocks in the set.
- Flickinger led the club with three kills in the set and added two blocks, while Anwusi and outside hitter Samarah Hill each tallied three blocks. Hill eventually finished the match with seven kills and matched a season-high four blocks.
- For the third consecutive set, LSU was ahead on the scoreboard 15-14 at the media timeout.
- LSU held the momentum after the break by scoring five out of seven points to take a 20-16 lead.
- Hawai'i went through both of its timeouts quickly once the Tigers led 23-17 and LSU took the 2-1 lead after winning the third set 25-20.
- The Tigers turned in a .306 hitting percentage in the stanza led by Dotson's five kills on 12 errorless swings for a .417 hitting percentage. Dotson also had three blocks.
- The Fighting Tigers had more cushion at the media timeout as they built a 15-11 lead, but LSU took its first timeout when Hawai'i pulled within one point at 16-15.
- LSU responded by scoring the next three points out of the timeout to keep a 19-15 edge to pressure Hawai'i into a timeout.
- The Rainbow Wahine called their final timeout down 21-17. They pulled within two points at 21-19, but the Tigers held on for the 25-22 win.
- Dotson led the way with another five kills and Anwusi followed with four kills on six swings with one error (.500). Anwusi also had two blocks.
LSU will face the winner between No. 5 Stanford and Pepperdine at 8 p.m. CT on Saturday, December 3 at Maples Pavilion.