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    SEC Volleyball Today: Friday, Sept. 20

    Friday Volleyball RESULTS
    Missouri 3, Samford 0
    Missouri 3, Towson 0
    LSU 3, North Texas 2
    LSU 3, Baylor 2
    Kansas 3, Georgia 0
    Belmont 3, Mississippi State 0
    South Carolina 3, Western Carolina 0
    Kansas State 3, Arkansas 0
    Georgia Tech 3, Tennessee 0
    Florida 3, Marquette 0
    Alabama 3, Clemson 2
    Ole Miss 3, Southern Miss 0

    Mizzou Opens Weekend with Sweep of Samford

    COLUMBIA, Mo. – Senior All-American outside hitter Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) tallied 13 kills on a career-best .632 hitting as the Mizzou volleyball program improved to 12-0 with a sweep of Samford, 3-0 (25-20, 25-15, 25-18), in its first match of the Mizzou Classic on Friday (Sept. 20) at the Hearnes Center. Now at 12-0, Mizzou has matched its best start under Wayne and Susan Kreklow. The 2005 team also went 12-0. A win tonight against Towson would be the Tigers best start since opening the 1982 season 19-0. 
    “Having the noon match is pretty tough since it is not your normal routine at home, but I thought we did a lot of things pretty well,” head coach Wayne Kreklow said. “We need to clean up some things before we play Towson tonight because I didn’t think we executed as well as we could have in a lot of areas. But with that, we still hit .392 as a team and were very good in a lot of areas.”
    Aside from Henning’s 13 kills, the Tigers were led by a potent middle hitting duo of Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) and Emily Thater (Springfield, Mo.) as they combined for 14 kills with no errors on just 21 attacks while adding eight total blocks. Thater hit .700 with seven kills and Little pitched in seven kills on 11 errorless attacks, raising her national-best hitting percentage to .574. Senior setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) spread 31 assists on 41 Tiger kills as she anchored an attack that hit .392 in the win. Mizzou has now hit better than .300 in 11 of 12 matches this season and better than .390 in seven of those 11 as well. 
    Junior Emily Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) also added five kills and Kreklow had three herself. Sarah Meister (San Diego, Calif.) had a team-best nine digs and Kreklow led the team with five blocks while Little and Thater added four apiece. 
    Mizzou also used a solid defensive effort, holding Samford to .126 hitting as they tallied 12.0 total blocks in the win, forcing 21 total attack errors from the Bulldogs. Mizzou set the tone for the match early in the first, scoring seven kills on its first eight attacks and wound up hitting .458 in the first frame with 14 total kills. The Tigers then hit .385 and .345 in the following two sets as they ran away with the match.

    The Tigers come back and play Towson at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the Hearnes Center in their second match of the Mizzou Classic. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to and follow the team on twitter @MizzouVB.  

    Tigers Top Towson, Out to Best Start in 32 Years

    COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Mizzou volleyball program is off to its best start in 32 years after defeating Towson, 3-0 (25-11, 25-16, 25-15), in its second match of the Mizzou Classic on Friday night (Sept. 20) as it improved to a national-best 13-0. The undefeated mark to open the season is the best start to a campaign since Mizzou began the 1982 season 19-0. Mizzou was anchored by All-American Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.), who posted 11 kills on .500 hitting in the win. In all, the Tigers hit .481, a season-best and the eighth time this season that they have hit above .390 this season.

    “I was pleased with our energy and the pace that we played with tonight – I didn’t think we were as sharp earlier today against Samford, but tonight was a whole different story,” head coach Wayne Kreklow said. “We played well at the net and did a very good job in transition and I thought we did a good job defensively in the back row. Now we have two very good teams to play tomorrow and we just have to continue to take this one match at a time.”

    A lethal as Henning was in the win, the Tigers also got a huge performance from junior All-SEC middle Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) as she tallied six total blocks (one solo, five assists) and posted eight kills on 12 errorless attacks. She improved her national-best hitting percentage to .584 after the win. Classmate Emily Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) posted eight kills on .353 hitting and Emily Thater (Springfield, Mo.), who played in just two sets, posted six kills on just seven attacks. Freshman Carly Kan (Honolulu, Hawaii) bounced back with a big performance on Friday night as she tallied five kills on just 11 attacks with eight digs. Junior libero Sarah Meister (San Diego, Calif.) had a match-high nine digs. Senior setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) assisted on 40 of 43 Tiger kills in the win and pulled in six digs.

    Although the theme of the night was the Tiger offense, it was hard to overlook the Tiger defense that limited Towson to .022 hitting, the second-worst clip by a Tiger opponent this season. The Tigers tallied 10 total blocks with 40 digs in the win and forced 22 Towson attack errors. Little led the Tigers with six blocks.

    In the third set, Wayne Kreklow got a lot of players some valuable playing time as the team hit .609 in the third as several players came off the bench to make huge contributions. Regan Peltier (Nixa, Mo.) tallied a pair of kills in the third on .400 hitting, freshman Julia Towler (Blue Springs, Mo.) added two kills on just two attacks with three blocks and Lydia Ely (St. Louis, Mo.) converted her only attempt into a kill. Also, freshman defensive specialists Courtney Meek (St. Louis, Mo.) and Linda Steinhardt (Austin, Texas) saw plenty of playing time, each recording a dig, while teaming for one of the best hustle plays of the night as Steinhardt ran down and saved a ball before Meek sent it back over to Towson. The Tigers eventually won that point – all thanks to the hustle of Meek and Steinhardt.

    The Tigers, in addition to their .609 clip in the third, hit very well all night. Mizzou had 12 kills on.478 hitting in the first and added 16 on .387 hitting in the second set. They committed just six attack errors all night, including just one attack error in both the first and third sets.

    The Tigers will look to win the Mizzou Classic tomorrow as it faced SEMO at 2 p.m. and Middle Tennessee at 6:30 p.m. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to and follow the team on twitter @MizzouVB.  


    LSU Emerges with Five-Set Win Over North Texas

    HOUSTON, Texas – Briana Holman, the reigning two-time SEC Freshman of the Week, connected for a career-high 17 kills on a .452 hitting percentage to enable the LSU volleyball team to fend off North Texas [25-27, 25-11, 25-13, 22-25, 16-14] during the opening match of the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup Friday at the Athletics/Alumni Center on the University of Houston campus. 
    The Tigers (8-1) have won three of their four five-set decisions to start the 2013 season, while North Texas (6-7) was dealt its third consecutive loss. The last time LSU played three consecutive five setters was versus Alabama, Florida and South Carolina on Oct. 19-24-26, 2008. 
    “I think we escaped with this win, and I’m not very happy with how our team played,” head coach Fran Flory said. “I thought we played safe – we played not to lose instead of to win and create opportunities. This isn’t a team that can play that way. It’s another good lesson for our young team on how to manage matches and how to respond to teams that are fighting for their lives to get that significant win. It could have been a bad point for us, but I have credit our players for coming through to make some big plays when it counted the most in the fifth set.” 
    For Holman, it was her seventh straight match with double digit kills. The SEC’s leader in blocks per set also added a match-leading seven stuffs. 
    “Briana was really good for us, and we probably could have given her a few more swings,” Flory said. “She is going to be a terminating force for our offense. If we can pass well enough to get her the ball, there are not a lot of teams that can stop her unless we stop ourselves. I thought we stopped ourselves which would have allowed us to get out of this match in four sets.” 
    Malorie Pardo paced LSU’s offense to a .247 hitting ratio which included a pair of plus .400 efforts during sets two and three. She came away with 48 assists and 10 digs to claim her third double-double of the season. The Texas native also totaled a career-high five blocks. 
    Cati Leak smacked 12 kills and registered 10 digs en route to her team-leading sixth double dip of the season whereas Katie Lindelow notched nine kills, six digs, a career-high five aces and two blocks. She also was a perfect 26-for-26 in her reception attempts. 
    Making her first career start, Katarina Raicevic ripped a career-best seven kills on a .417 hitting clip to go along with five digs and two blocks. 
    Haley Smith corralled 14 digs to spark LSU’ back row defense. She has tallied 10-plus scoops in all five of her starts at the libero position and was a spotless 20-for-20 in her reception attempts.    
    UNT’s attack was led by Carnae Dillard’s 21 kills and 17 digs. Amy Henard distributed a match-high 52 assists and reeled in 11 digs to produce a double-double for the Mean Green. Shelby Tamura sprawled out for a match-leading 18 scoops as North Texas secured a 69-56 edge in the digs department.   
    “Offensively, Katarina played extremely well for us,” Flory said. “She did a great job of managing plays and having a nice calm demeanor for our team. It was a little glimpse of what she can do for us in the future. Katarina worked extra hard in practice this week. When our players are compelled and play with that desire in practice, every single time that next weekend they are the ones to make the big difference. Certainly, I’m proud of Katarina’s efforts.” 
    After splitting the first four sets, LSU used a 7-2 run to turn a 5-3 deficit into a 10-7 advantage in the fifth stanza. The Tigers forced North Texas into five hitting errors during that pivotal stretch fueled by a Khournti Fears solo block. After a timeout, the Mean Green fought back to even the ledger at 11-11 after consecutive hitting miscues from Holman and Leak. Holman provided a powerful sideout spike to vault LSU back ahead 13-12, and the Tigers wrapped up the 16-14 triumph on its second match point attempt via a Pardo solo block. 
    North Texas came out clicking on all cylinders and knocked 20 kills on a .349 hitting percentage during the opening set. The Mean Green also produced a healthy 72 sideout efficiency. The frame featured 12 ties and five lead changes. North Texas took its biggest lead at 18-15 after a block on Raicevic. Following a timeout, the Tigers ran off three straight points of their own capped by a Lindelow ace to knot the scoreboard at 18-18. LSU had a set-point opportunity at 25-24, but Dillard banged home two kills sandwiched between a block to hand the Mean Green a 27-25 victory. 
    LSU bounced back in a big way in set two as the Tigers buried 11 kills on 22 swings with only one error to compile a match-best .455 hitting clip. Ahead 12-8, the Tigers busted the stanza open and ripped off 10 straight points on a long Lindelow serving run aided by three aces. Holman popped two kills and teamed with Leak for a block during the run. LSU closed out the impressive 25-11 win on a Fears-Raicevic block. 
    Out of the locker room, the Tigers raced out to an 8-2 edge capped by a Raicevic ace to start the third set. LSU led wire-to-wire and cruised to the 25-13 victory. Holman and Leak teamed for eight of 12 kills, while the Tigers put together a stout 78 percent sideout efficiency.    
    North Texas was poised to force a winner-take-all fifth set. After 11 ties and three lead changes, the Mean Green crept out to an 18-15 lead in set four. The Tigers trimmed the deficit down to one point on three separate occasions, the latest at 23-22 on a Leak kill. North Texas responded with a sideout kill and forced Leak into a hitting error to take the 25-22 decision.   
    LSU continues day one action of the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup and takes on Baylor in a SEC-Big 12 matchup. Friday’s first serve is on-tap for 4:30 p.m. from the Athletics/Alumni Center on the University of Houston campus. Live audio and live stats will be available for free inside the Geaux Zone at
    “Baylor is a completely different team than the one we faced this morning,” Flory said. “They are bigger, more physical and play above the net. I would like to see a higher level of discipline in our blocking and a little more patience on offense. We didn’t really manage our side with the mentality we needed to. Those are all things that are within our control. There’s nothing that affects us at all to manage those three things. Baylor will have a nice game plan put together, and we’ll have to be ready to execute at a high level to be successful.”   

    For all of the latest news and information on Tiger volleyball, visit Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at along with @lsuvolleyball and @lsucoachfran on Twitter and @lsuvb on Instagram.

    LSU Volleyball Rallies for Five-Set Comeback over Baylor

    HOUSTON, Texas – The LSU volleyball team turned away a two-set deficit for the second time in a week as the Tigers charged back for a five-set comeback victory over Baylor [26-28, 18-25, 25-16, 25-18, 15-8] during the second match of the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup  Friday at the Athletics/Alumni Center on the University of Houston campus.

    The Tigers (9-1) erased a two-set hole to end Miami’s 18-match home winning streak last Friday. The last time Baylor (5-8) gave up a 2-0 lead came against Kansas State on October 25, 2008 which ended a run of 53 straight two-set conversions by the Bears.  

    “I can’t say enough about the resiliency that our team showed,” head coach Fran Flory said. “With that being said, we can’t continue to keep falling behind by two sets. We’re going to have to figure out the starting gate problem, and we’re going to have to learn how to start faster. The positive is that our group has been able to gain a lot confidence going late into matches and how to respond with our backs against the wall. Certainly, a great comeback win over a quality Baylor program.”

    Briana Holman cranked a career-high kills output for the second straight match. The reigning two-time SEC Freshman of the Week powered home 19 kills and added seven blocks to pace LSU. It was Holman’s eight consecutive outing with 10 or more kills.  

    Katie Lindelow and Khourtni Fears also came away career performances for the Tigers. Lindelow hammered 18 kills on a .304 hitting percentage to go along with 13 digs for her second career double-double whereas Fears popped 12 kills and five blocks. It marked the first time that Fears amassed double digit kills in her career.  

    Helen Boyle and Katarina Raicevic provided LSU with critical sparks off the bench. Boyle smacked 14 kills and reeled in 14 digs in her first extended action of the season, while Raicevic tacked on five kills on a .444 hitting clip and three blocks.

    “Helen had been struggling a little bit to find her rhythm,” Flory said. “We talked to her in between matches and told her that she’s a veteran that’s been there and done that. She’s won a lot of matches for our program. We told her to trust herself, and it was key that we figured out how to get her into a rhythm. The depth of our team won this match for us. I have a lot of trust and a lot of confidence in everybody on the team.”

    Malorie Pardo dished out 62 assists and sprawled out for a season’s best 18 digs to secure her fourth double dip of the season. She led LSU’s offense to 45 kills and .344 hitting ratio over the final three sets which included a match-leading .429 hitting efficiency during the winner-take-all fifth set.

    Haley Smith reeled in 24 digs to equal a career-high. She has registered double figure scoops over all six of her starts at the libero spot. The Meraux native also compiled a perfect-passer rating in her 19 reception attempts. Lauren Whalen checked in with eight digs for the Tigers.   

    Baylor’s team leaders were Thea Much-Soegaard (14 kills), Amy Rosenbaum (40 assists), Mackenzie Mayo (19 digs) and Tola Itiola (8 blocks).

    LSU concluded its comeback in-style and ripped off the first eight points of the fifth set. Pardo’s tough serving was coupled with two Lindelow kills, two Holman-Raicevic blocks, a Holman kill and a Raicevic spike. The Bears got as close as six points three times, the latest at 14-8. However, Lindelow brought LSU to the finish line with a sideout spike to finish off the 15-8 triumph.

    “Malorie was having problems with her serve for the most of the match,” Flory said. “Thanfully, she was able to get going to start that fifth set and has been a strong server for us the entire server. Malorie continues to mature and continues to understand the game on a different level. She helped set the tone for our defense by talking to our blockers about what she saw from Baylor’s offense. I thought this match was another positive step for her.”   

    Baylor sprinted out to a 15-10 edge in set one behind four blocks all involving Itiola. Behind 23-18, LSU made a late charge behind Lindelow’s serve. The Tigers forced Baylor into two hitting errors followed by Leak and Holman kills sandwiched between a Holman-Madi Mahaffey stuff to draw even at 23-23. LSU turned away a set point after a Holman sideout spike and had a set point chance at 25-24 after a Lindelow kill. The Bears responded with three of the final four points to take a 28-26 decision.

    Baylor carried that momentum into the second set and raced out to a 13-6 advantage. The Tigers attempted a comeback and pulled back to 16-13 after consecutive kills courtesy of Fears and Holman. Baylor responded with nine of the next 14 points to complete the 25-18 win.

    Down 11-10 in set three, LSU began its rally behind eight straight points to turn the tables and take an 18-11 lead capped by a Smith ace. The run was fueled by two blocks involving Fears and two Boyle kills. In total, the Boyle-Fears-Lindelow trio accounted for 13 of LSU’s 16 kills as the Tigers collected a 25-16 victory.   

    The fourth set featured nine ties and four lead changes as the two teams split the first 22 points. Ahead 18-16, the Tigers used a strong finishing kick and picked up seven of the final nine points en route to a 25-18 win. Lindelow notched two aces and Holman crushed two kills to ignite the spurt. A key to the win was LSU’s ability to convert on 15-of-18 sideout attempts.

    “Katie is a workhorse who just finds a way to win no matter what the circumstances are,” Flory said. “You give her a chance, she’s going to go running through that door and come home with the victory. I’m really proud of her effort front row and back row. She’s the type of player that never going to give up and never going to say die.”

    LSU wraps up its eight-match, three-weekend road swing Saturday against tournament host Houston. First serve is slated for 11 a.m. from the Athletics/Alumni Center.


    Georgia Falls to Kansas 3-0

    LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Georgia volleyball team dropped a 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-18) decision to the Kansas Jayhawks on Friday, Sept. 20 in the Kansas Invitational in Lawrence, Kan. The loss was just the second for the Bulldogs this season as they move to 8-2 on the year. Kansas improved to 9-3 with the win.

    Stacey Smith and Lauren Teknipp led the Bulldogs with 10 kills each, while Jasmine Eatmon registered seven. Kaylee Kehoe paced the offense with 16 assists, while Maggie Baumert added 15. Allison Summers led Georgia with 16 digs. Defensively, it was Elena Perri, Brittany Northcutt and Smith who led Georgia, finishing with two blocks each.

    Kansas worked its way to an early 8-3 lead in the first set before a kill by Teknipp ended the run. Georgia cut the lead to three at 10-7 on a pair of Teknipp kills. The Jayhawks went on a 7-0 run that made it a 19-9 set before Eatmon ended the run with a kill from Baumert. Georgia strung together three points to make it a 21-15 game, but Kansas scored four of the final six points to take the set 25-17.

    Georgia opened the second set strong, taking an early 6-3 lead. The Bulldogs held the lead until four-straight points by Kansas tied the set at 10. The teams tied five more times before a service ace and a kill gave the Jayhawks a 17-15 lead. A kill by Smith tied the set at 17 and sparked a 3-0 run that allowed Georgia to retake the lead at 19-17. After three more ties, Kansas had set point but a service error made it a one-point set at 24-23. A Jayhawk kill sealed the 25-23 set two win and gave Kansas a 2-0 lead in the match.

    The third set remained close over the opening points, as the teams tied two times before Kansas took an 8-4 lead by scoring four-straight points, forcing the Bulldogs to use an early timeout. After another Jayhawk point, Smith ended the run with a kill from Kehoe that cut the lead to 9-5. Two errors and a Northcutt block put the Bulldogs within two at 10-8. Teknipp registered back-to-back kills that made it an 11-10 set before a Jayhawk tied the set at 11. Kansas went on an 8-0 run before Desiree McCray tallied a kill that ended the run with Kansas holding a 19-12 lead. Georgia fought back to within five at 19-14 with a Smith kill and a Kansas error but the Jayhawks went on to win the set 25-18 and the match 3-0.

    The Bulldogs return to action tomorrow, Sept. 21 at 3:30 p.m., when they take on North Dakota State (0-11) in the Kansas Invitational. Georgia will also face Notre Dame in the nightcap at 8:30 p.m.

    Bulldogs Fall To Belmont In Opening Match Of Bruin Classic

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With storms rolling in outside the Curb Event Center, the Mississippi State volleyball team (7-5) struggled to gain any momentum inside as the home-standing Belmont Bruins (5-9) claimed a sweep against the Bulldogs in the opening match of the Bruin Classic.

    “Belmont is a talented team that knows how to win,” MSU coach Jenny Hazelwood said. “We knew we would have to play our style of volleyball to win and we simply did not do that tonight. With a week before conference play begins, we need to come out tomorrow, correct our mistakes and get things rolling again.”

    Belmont jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first set and never looked back. State only had five kills in the frame as it hit -.095. Senior Dani McCree and freshman Kimmy Gardiner each had a pair of kills but the Bruins claimed the opening stanza 25-15.

    The second set provided much more excitement but the results proved to be identical. BU again took a 2-0 lead but MSU managed to regain the lead at 6-5 and tie it five other times. The Bruins would go onto take the set 25-23. Sophomore Taylor Scott got going with six of her nine kills in the set, while freshman Suzanne Horner added 10 assists.

    Set number three was no different for the Bulldogs as Scott, McCree and Chelsea Duhs all recorded two kills but it was not enough. MSU pulled with in one at 20-19, but the Bruins finished on a 5-2 run to win 25-21.

    The Bruins are the second opponent MSU has faced that participated in the 2012 NCAA Tournament with Baylor being the first.

    Scott finished with a team-high nine kills, while McCree tacked on seven. Horner tallied 22 assists. Duhs and Alex Warren each tallied three blocks.

    The Bulldogs wrap up nonconference action Saturday as they cap off the Bruin Classic with UAB (11-3) at 10 a.m. and Arkansas State (4-8) at 3:30 p.m.

    Gamecocks Open Carolina Classic with Sweep of Western Carolina

    COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina volleyball team opened the Carolina Classic in strong fashion on Friday night with a sweep of Western Carolina by the scores of 25-18, 25-18 and 25-19 in front of a crowd of 903 at the Volleyball Competition Facility.

    The Gamecocks (6-4) were in control for most of the match and kept the Catamounts (8-4) off balance with a stellar attack as they outhit the visitors .316-.142, recording 53 kills to Western Carolina’s 30. South Carolina also held the advantage in assists (50-23), digs (62-43) and blocks (6-3).

    “I thought overall we played really, really well,” South Carolina head coach Scott Swanson said. “We played good defense and out-dug them by almost 20 balls. We were very efficient on offense, hitting over .300. Our middles were very involved in transition. They got a lot of kills. We had some kids have some stellar nights. I thought we could have passed a little bit better and served a little bit tougher, but there is always stuff to work on. We are going to keep doing that, but tonight was pretty dominant.”

    Senior Juliette Thévenin, freshman Jacqy Angermiller and sophomore Darian Dozier carried the load offensively for South Carolina, combining for 42 kills. Thévenin, who hit .395 for the match, led the way with 20 kills as she moved to fourth on the South Carolina career kills list with 1,306. Angermiller tallied a career-high 12 kills with a hitting percentage of .409 and added four block assists, while Dozier hit a career-best .625 to finish with 10 kills.

    Sophomore setter Kellie McNeil had another solid outing for the Gamecocks, coming up just shy of a double-double with 44 assists and nine digs. McNeil was also South Carolina’s second-leading blocker with three. Junior libero Michaela Christiansen anchored the back line with a match-high 17 digs, while freshman Gabrielle Rubeis (11) and senior Lindsey Craft (10) also reached double figures in digs.

    Junior middle Addy George paced Western Carolina’s attack with nine kills, while junior outside hitter Jordan Timmerman finished with eight. Senior setter Cristina Nazario distributed 20 assists, and junior Caitlin Piechota finished with 11 digs in the loss.

    The Gamecocks and Catamounts traded points early in the first set as the teams played to a 10-10 tie. An Angermiller kill off a set by McNeil sparked a 7-2 run that gave South Carolina a 17-12 lead. The Catamounts pulled to within three at 17-14 on a Gamecock attack error but that was as close as they were able to get the rest of the way. McNeil finished off the set with an ace to give South Carolina a 25-18 win.

    South Carolina came out on fire in the second set, scoring the first six points behind four kills from Thévenin. However, Western Carolina made things interesting later in the set, as a kill by Brandi Anderson trimmed the Gamecocks’ lead to 16-14. South Carolina ended any hope of a Catamount comeback by scoring the next five points to build a 21-14 cushion on its way to a 25-18 win. The Gamecocks hit .359 for the set, with Thévenin producing eight kills and Dozier and Angermiller recording four apiece.

    Western Carolina hung around late in the third set as well, as a Gamecock attack error shrunk South Carolina’s lead to 21-19. But the Gamecocks closed strong, scoring four straight points to win the set and complete the sweep.

    South Carolina will look to keep its momentum going on Saturday with two more matches in the Carolina Classic. The Gamecocks will face Robert Morris at 1 p.m. and Presbyterian at 7 p.m. at the Volleyball Competition Facility.

    Arkansas Suffers Loss to Kansas State at Barnhill

    FAYETTEVILLE – In her college debut Friday night against Kansas State, freshman Breana Jones led all players with a match-high 10 kills but the University of Arkansas volleyball team dropped a straight-set decision (23-25, 18-25, 17-25) to the Wildcats at Barnhill Arena. Arkansas is now 6-4 on the season and returns to action Saturday at 7 p.m. (CT) to face Saint Louis in the finale of the Razorback Invitational.

    “I thought we had a good first set,” head coach Robert Pulliza said. “The ball just didn’t bounce our way there at the end. We had too many errors in that first set which definitely led to us not being able to close it out but I thought we played really hard.”

    Jones committed just one attack error in 16 attempts to register a .562 hitting percentage in Friday’s match. She also had two total blocks and a dig. The Razorbacks’ middle blockers combined for 18 kills—sophomore Summer Morgan added eight kills—and a .452 hitting percentage against the Wildcats. Junior Meredith Hays also had eight kills and was one of three Razorbacks along with seniors Emily Helm and Raymariely Santos to collect nine digs.

    Arkansas won six of the first seven points in the match but Kansas State (10-1) recovered to pull even at 13-all in the opening set. The score was tied as late as 19-19 when the visitors began to distance. The Razorbacks saved three set points before K-State clinched the opener and went on for the match win. The Wildcats will face Saint Louis in Saturday’s first match at noon.

    “After that first set, I don’t think we were fighting at 100 percent,” Pulliza said. “I don’t think we dogged it, either, but against good teams and against the type of schedule we have, you have to be going at 100 percent. We had our high moments but we also dipped at times which leads to the kind of match we had.”

    For Saturday’s match, Arkansas faculty and staff will receive a voucher redeemable for two free tickets and two free popcorns. Additionally, students who have purchased an Access Pass for the 2013-14 season can pick up their Trough t-shirt at the match against the Billikens.

    Single-match tickets are $4 and are available for purchase one hour prior to the match at the South ticket window at Barnhill Arena. Fans 17 years and younger get in to all Arkansas volleyball matches for free. University of Arkansas students are also admitted free with a valid student ID and are asked to use the street-level entrance on Stadium Drive to enter the arena.

    UT Falls to Georgia Tech, 3-0

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn -- UT fell to Georgia Tech, 3-0 (18-25, 21-25, 22-25) on Friday evening at Thompson-Boling Arena on the opening night of the Tennessee Invitational.

    Ellen Mullins led the Lady Vols with 20 digs and two assists. The senior has scooped up 20 or more digs in nine of UT's 12 games this season.

    Freshmen duo of Jamie Lea and Ashley Mariani chimed in with eight kills apiece. Sophomore setter Lexi Dempsey dished out 14 assists for the Lady Vols, while freshman Abby Brewer handed out 10 helpers.

    "I'm disappointed in our play today and that our practices this week didn't carry over to this match," head coach Rob Patrick said. "We just made too many errors."

    Tennessee took an early lead in the first set before Georgia Tech tied it 7-7. The Ramblin' Wreck overtook the lead, but the Lady Vols tied it back up 9-9 with a service ace from Lea, followed by a kill from senior Whitney Heeres and another from freshman Raina Hembry. Georgia Tech overtook the lead and went on to win the opening game, 25-18.

    Errors plagued the Lady Vols in the second and third set as the Yellowjackets went on to win the sets, 25-21 and 25-22, respectively.

    The Orange & White will take on Jacksonville State Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. followed by a nightcap with Coastal Carolina at 7:00 p.m.

    In the first game of the tournament, Coastal Carolina defeated Jacksonville State, 3-0.

    Gator Trio Leads No. 4 Florida Volleyball to 3-0 Sweep of Marquette

    MILWAUKEE, Wisc. - The No. 4 University of Florida volleyball team earned its seventh sweep of the season with a 3-0 victory over Marquette (25-21, 25-21, 25-13) in the opening match of the Marquette Invitational.

    Senior Chloe Mann hit .579 against the Golden Eagles with 13 kills on 19 swings, adding four blocks for 15 points. Sophomore Živa Recek tallied 12 kills on the night, while freshman right-side hitter Alex Holston hit .421 with nine kills Friday.

    Quick Hits:

    *         Junior libero Taylor Unroe scooped 15 digs against Marquette, her 21st straight match with double-digit digs. The tally dates back to her 20-dig match against Tennessee on Nov. 4, 2012.

    *         Senior setter Taylor Brauneis led the Gators to their seventh match of the season above .300, dishing out 37 assists and leading Florida to a .317 hitting percentage. In the third set alone, the Orange and Blue hit an errorless .630 (17-0-27).

    *         Florida is undefeated (10-0) when capturing the first set in 2013.

    Alabama Volleyball Wins Five-Set Thriller over Clemson

    CLEMSON, S.C. – The Alabama volleyball team won a thrilling five-set match, 3-2 (25-19, 25-15, 20-25, 36-38, 15-13) over the Clemson Tigers in the Clemson Classic on Friday night from Jervey Gym. Krystal Rivers paced the Crimson Tide with a season-high 25 kills and Brittany Thomas added 22.

    With the win, Alabama (9-2) has won seven straight matches and returns to the court on Saturday, Sept. 21, when it plays Delaware at 9 a.m. CT. Later on Saturday, the Tide will close the Clemson Classic with a 3:30 p.m. CT match against Troy from the Jervey Gym.

    After dropping the fourth set 36-38, the Tide overcame an 11-9 deficit in the fifth set to defeat the Tigers (5-4) in front of rowdy crowd of 1,204 fans at Jervey Gym.  After a service error by Clemson made the score 11-10, Alabama got a kill by Rivers to even the set at 11-11. An error by Bama followed then back-to-back kills by Rivers and Thomas gave the Tide a 13-12 advantage. After another hitting error by the Tide, kills by Thomas and Rivers, respectively, secured the final points in a great team win for the Tide.

    Rivers, a redshirt freshman, and Thomas, a true freshman, combined for 47 of Alabama’s 81 kills and 117 of the Tide’s 200 attempts in the match, as both set new season highs with 25 and 22 kills respectively. Thomas also recorded her third double-double with a career-high 16 digs.

    Andrea McQuaid had a good hitting night from the right side, connecting for a .471 hitting percentage with 10 kills and one error on 17 attempts. McQuaid also had three of the Tide’s five aces in the match. Laura Steiner added 13 kills and Katherine White chipped in with nine kills and a .500 hitting percentage.

    Sierra Wilson dished out a career-high 73 assists for the sixth most assists in a match in Alabama history. The 73 assists also gives her 1,738 for her career to move ahead of Kenna Milner (1,728) for sixth all-time at the Capstone.

    Kryssi Daniels led the team with a career-high 20 digs, Bria Green had a career-high 10 digs and Caitlin Bernardin reached double figures with 10 digs as well.

    Clemson’s Moneshia Simmons had a double-double with 23 kills and 10 digs, Leah Perri had 12 kills and Karis Watson added 11. Kristin Faust had a match-high 28 digs.

    Alabama jumped out to an early lead in the match, winning the first set 25-19, behind five kills by Rivers and four each from McQuaid and Thomas. UA controlled the second set from wire-to-wire, and took a 2-0 lead in the match following a 25-15 victory.

    After the break, Alabama held a 5-2 lead to start the third set, only to see Clemson rally back for a 12-10 lead. After Alabama evened the score at 14-14, the Tigers went on a 3-0 run to take a 17-14 lead. The Tide got within one (18-17) before the Tigers stretched its lead to 22-17 with four straight points, before taking the set 25-20.

    In the epic fourth set, Clemson eventually won set 38-36. The fourth set saw the score tied 28 times and the lead change hands seven times. Alabama served for the match three times in the set, while the Tigers held set point 10 times before winning the set on the 11th opportunity with an ace by Beta Dumancic.

    In the fifth set, the lead changed three times and the score was tied sixth times. Alabama led 8-5 when the teams switched sides, then Clemson ran off five straight points for a 10-8 advantage. With the Tigers leading 11-9 in the set, Alabama rallied for six of the final eight points to close out the win.

    Ole Miss Opens Rebel Classic With Sweep

    OXFORD, Miss. – Played in front of an energetic crowd at the Gillom Sports Center on Friday night, the Ole Miss volleyball team (8-3) used a balanced attack to defeat Southern Miss 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-15). It was the first match of the Rebel Classic for Ole Miss.

    Sophomore middle blocker Nakeyta Clair had a dozen kills, while freshman setter Aubrey Edie passed out 36 assists. Of the seven Rebels who recorded a kill Friday night, six had at least five kills and five Rebels had at least two block assists.

    “We had a good night,” Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin said. “We took care of business on our side of the net, and a good week of practice leads into that.”

    With 606 fans in attendance, an electric atmosphere helped fuel the Rebels to the win over the Golden Eagles (9-5). After 10 ties in the first set and a pair of lead changes, Ole Miss gave up the lead again just one time for the remainder of the match.

    “We keep talking about how great it is to play at Gillom and what the crowd does,” Getzin said. “It’s always great to play in front of your fans.”

    Tied 13-13 in the opening set, Ole Miss found its groove and closed out the set on a 12-6 run to win 25-19 and take a 1-0 lead in the match. Sophomore middle blocker Ty Laporte led the Rebels in the first set with five kills on five attempts and a solo block. Clair added four kills and three block assists of her own, and Edie passed out 13 assists in the opening frame.

    After opening the second set on a 5-1 run, Ole Miss led by at least three points for the remainder of the set and won 25-19. Clair had an impressive six kills on six attempts in the second set, followed by freshman right side hitter Melanie Crow, who had five kills. Edie passed out another 15 assists in the second set and the Rebels hit at a .417 clip.

    Ole Miss closed out the match with a 25-15 victory in the third set, thanks in part to a 5-1 run midway through the set, and a 6-1 run to end the set.

    The Rebels will play a doubleheader Saturday against Chattanooga (11 a.m. CT) and Louisiana-Lafayette (7 p.m. CT) to close out play at the Rebel Classic.

    “We just have to keep improving on our side as we get ready for SEC play,” Getzin said. “They’re two scrappy teams and two different styles of teams. It’ll be a challenge for us.”