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    SEC Volleyball Today: Friday, October 11

    Friday Volleyball RESULTS
    Florida 3, Kentucky 0
    Georgia 3, South Carolina 0
    Texas A&M 3, Mississippi State 0
    Missouri 3, Tennessee 0
    Alabama 3, Arkansas 1
    LSU 3, Ole Miss 1

     

    No. 2 Florida Volleyball Earns Eighth Straight Sweep with 3-0 Victory over No. 15 Kentucky

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The No. 2 University of Florida volleyball team used four double-digit kill outputs to sweep the No. 15 Kentucky Wildcats, 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-20), on Friday night at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

    Freshman right-side hitter Alex Holston tied a career-high 13 kills to lead the Gators and a match-high .667 hitting percentage. Sophomore outside hitter Gabby Mallette added 12 kills and senior middle blocker Chloe Mann and sophomore outside hitter Živa Recek each tallied 11.

    Quick Hits:

    *         Senior setter Taylor Brauneis dished out a match-high 39 assists, which the Gators used to record a .372 hitting efficiency. Friday was the 14th time the Gators have hit above .300 in 2013.

    *         This was just the second time this season that four or more Gators have registered double-digit kills. Five Florida players notched double-digit kills in the win over Western Michigan on Sept. 14.

    *         As a team, the Gators tallied a new season-high in kills for a three-set match with 54.

    *         Recek nabbed her 13th double-double of her career and fourth of the season, scooping a team-high 14 digs to go along with her 11 kills.

    *         Mann hit above .500 for the 13th time this season and registered her ninth errorless match of the season. Mann has not committed a hitting error since Sept. 20 at Marquette.

    *         The Gators are one of two unbeaten teams in conference action. No. 25 Missouri swept Tennessee on the road Friday night to move to 20-0 on the year and 4-0 in SEC play.






    Georgia Hands South Carolina 3-0 Loss

    COLUMBIA, S.C. – Georgia handed the South Carolina Gamecocks a 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 27-25) loss on Friday, Oct. 11 at the Volleyball Competition Facility in Columbia, S.C. With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 14-3 on the year, which matches last year’s win total, and is now 4-1 in Southeastern Conference action. With the loss, South Carolina drops to 10-7 overall and 2-3 in the SEC.

    “This was a great SEC road win,” Head Coach Lizzy Stemke said. “We were really aggressive in our serve and pass game from the first point, which was a big goal of ours. We also did a really nice job of executing our game plan and keeping the pressure on. I am really proud of how we came back after getting behind in the third set. To be able to do that on the road in the SEC is hard to do and I am proud of this team and how they were able to do that.”

    Tirah Le’au led the team offensively with 13 kills and hit at a .348 clip. Brittany Northcutt added eight kills, followed by Lauren Teknipp with seven. Georgia was effective at the service line, finishing with 11 aces, led by Allison Summers with three. Maggie Baumert, Jasmine Eatmon and Chloe Buckendahl each registered two service aces. Kaylee Kehoe paced the offense with 25 assists. Elena Perri led the team with four blocks, followed by Le’au with three. Stacey Smith and Eatmon finished with two blocks each. Summers led all Bulldogs with 13 digs.

    The teams kept the opening set close over the first several possessions, with the score tying four times before either team reached 10. With Georgia trailing 10-8 a Gamecock service error sparked a 4-0 run that included a pair of blocks by Smith and Perri that gave the Bulldogs a 12-10 lead. With the score tied at 15, Eatmon scored back-to-back points for Georgia on a kill and a service ace that helped the Bulldogs to an 18-15 lead that forced South Carolina to use a timeout. With Georgia holding a 22-20 advantage, Le’au scored the final three Bulldog points, including the last two on solo blocks, to seal Georgia’s 25-21 set one win.

    Using a 4-0 run that was highlighted by a pair of Le’au kills, the Bulldogs stormed out to a 10-4 lead in the second set that forced South Carolina to use a timeout. The Gamecocks came to within four at 11-7 with a service ace, but the Bulldogs answered with back-to-back points that gave them a 13-7. Georgia extended its lead to 18-12, but the Gamecocks fought back to make it a five-point set at 20-15. A 3-0 run by the Gamecocks caused Georgia to use a timeout at the 23-20 mark. Following the break, Georgia scored two-straight points on kills by Northcutt and Le’au that sealed the 25-20 set two win and gave the Bulldogs a 2-0 match lead.

    Georgia opened up to a 4-2 lead in the third set before the Gamecocks tied the set at four. The Bulldogs responded by scoring the next three points to retake the lead at 7-4. Georgia held on to the lead until an error allowed South Carolina to tie the set at 11. The score knotted twice before the Gamecocks took a 16-13 lead. Georgia answered with a kill and an ace to make it a one-point set at 16-15. Trailing 18-15, Eatmon found the court for a kill that sparked a 3-0 run that included back-to-back Baumert aces that tied the set at 18 and forced South Carolina to use a timeout. The Gamecocks retook a two-point lead two plays later and maintained it until a Le’au kill and a Summers ace tied the set at 24 and cause the Gamecocks to call a timeout. With the score tied at 25, an Eatmon kill gave Georgia set point before a solo block by Le’au sealed the 27-25 set three win and gave Georgia a 3-0 win over South Carolina.

    Georgia gets back in action on Sunday, Oct. 13 when it travels to Gainesville, Fla., to take on the No. 2 Florida Gators. The match will begin at 2 p.m., and will be televised on CSS.






    Sawatzky Leads Texas A&M to Sweep Against Mississippi State

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M senior setter Allie Sawatzky added another triple-double to her résumé while leading the Aggies to a 25-19, 25-21, 25-16 victory over Mississippi State tonight at Reed Arena.

    The 6-2 lefty from St. Andrews, Manitoba, Canada, hit a career-high .714 while leading the Aggies with 10 kills and zero errors in 14 attempts. She also added 25 assists and tied for team-high honors with 12 digs to complete her fifth triple-double over the last 11 matches.

    With the win, A&M snaps a three-match losing skid and improves to 10-6 overall and 2-3 in Southeastern Conference matches. Mississippi State drops to 9-8, 0-3 SEC.

    A&M never trailed in the opening set while outhitting the Bulldogs, .324 to .244. Sophomore outside hitter Sierra Patrick had back-to-back kills and Mariah Agre served an ace as the Aggies broke away from a 5-5 tie. Mississippi State twice got within a point, the last coming at 13-12 before A&M reeled off five unanswered points to take an 18-12 lead.

    The Aggies later held a 19-16 advantage when Sawatzky put down two of her six kills in the set, sparking a 4-0 run that put A&M up, 23-16. Mississippi State countered with two kills before sophomore middle blocker Shelby Sullivan got a kill on the slide attack to put A&M at set point, 24-18. A&M committed an error on the next play, but Mississippi State served long to close out the set.

    There were 13 ties and five lead changes in the second set. A block by Sawatzky and Sullivan put the Aggies ahead, 11-8, at which point the Bulldogs called a timeout. Mississippi State outscored the Aggies 6-2 coming out of the timeout to take a 14-13 lead. A&M tied the score three times before Patrick’s serve hit the tape and fell over for an ace to give the Aggies a 17-16 advantage. The Bulldogs regained the lead following a block and a kill, but A&M sophomore outside hitter Angela Lowak connected on consecutive kills to put the Aggies ahead, 19-18. Mississippi State would tie the score at 19- and 20-all but was unable to retake the lead as redshirt freshman middle blocker Jazzmin Babers took control at the net, getting two blocks and two kills during a 4-1 run that put the Aggies at set point, 24-21. Patrick followed with a kill to cap the 25-21 win, giving A&M a 2-0 lead in the match.

    A&M led the entire third set, outhitting the Bulldogs, .200 to -.025. The Aggies used an 8-1 run to build a comfortable 14-5 lead, but Mississippi State fought back and cut the deficit to 17-13. A kill by freshman outside hitter Emily Hardesty began a 4-1 rally by the Aggies that gave A&M a 21-14 cushion. Taylor Scott posted her 11th kill of the match to put the Bulldogs within 21-15, but Aggie freshman opposite hitter Kaysie Shebeneck got a kill, senior setter/defensive specialist Mariah Agre served an ace and Sawatzky and Sullivan teamed for a block to put A&M at match point, 24-15. Kimmy Gardiner registered her team-leading 12th kill for the Bulldogs, before Sullivan followed with her seventh kill of the match to close out the victory for the Aggies.

    A&M outhit the Bulldogs, .291 to .148 for the match, leading in kills, 42-39. Agre finished with three aces to help the Aggies to a 6-1 advantage in aces, and Sullivan had a career-high seven blocks to pace the Aggies to an 11-3 lead in team blocks.

    Agre tied Sawatzky for the team lead in digs with 12, and senior libero Kelsey Kinley pitched in 11 digs.

    Mississippi State’s Roxanne McVey led all players with 18 digs.

    A&M returns to the road next week, taking on Alabama on Friday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. in Tuscaloosa and then facing Auburn Sunday, Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. in a match that will be televised by SportSouth.






    No. 25 Missouri Volleyball Wins School Record 20th Straight

    COLUMBIA, Mo. – History was made on Friday night at Thompson-Boling Arena as the Mizzou volleyball team defeated Tennessee, 3-0 (27-25, 25-10, 25-16), for its 20th consecutive win to open the season, a new school record. The Tigers, now 20-0 and 4-0 in SEC play, are off to the best start in program history and have eclipsed the 20-win mark for the eighth time under Wayne and Susan Kreklow. The 1982 team had held the record for wins to open a season with 19. Also, with North Carolina’s loss to Duke on Friday night, the Tigers are one of just two remaining unbeaten teams nationally.

    “Any time you can go on the road and get a win it’s a big deal,” head coach Wayne Kreklow said. “We weren’t very sharp in the first set but I was happy with how we came back and really played our game in the second and we really had a lot of people contribute all night. Our offense was very balanced and we had a lot of people make big plays in the back row. It’s great for us to break the record as well, but we have bigger goals that we want to accomplish. We’ll enjoy this one tonight, but we have a good Alabama team coming into our place Sunday.”

    The Tigers were led by a balanced offensive attack on Friday as three players finished with double-digit kill totals while seven different Tigers finished with at least two kills. Senior All-American Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) led the way with 15 kills on .270 hitting with a team-high six blocks. Freshman Carly Kan (Honolulu, Hawaii) added 10 kills on .345 hitting and junior Emily Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) also had 10. Freshman Julia Towler (Blue Springs, Mo.) came off the bench and gave Mizzou a huge boost with five kills and five blocks while Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) added eight kills and two blocks. Senior setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) was sensational as well with 43 assists in the three sets while adding two kills and eight digs.

    Mizzou was great in the back row all night as well, pulling in 61 digs in the three-sets, out-digging the nation’s second-best digging team by five. The 61 digs are the second-most by the Tigers this season and the most in a three-set match. Junior libero Sarah Meister (San Diego, Calif.) pulled in a season-best 20 digs. Kan was sensational as well with 10 digs, good for her first career double-double. Freshman Loxley Keala (Honolulu, Hawaii) added eight digs as well and Henning pitched in seven.

    Mizzou opened an 8-3 lead early in the first set after back-to-back aces by Thater, but Tennessee hung tough with the Tigers, trailing by just one after the media timeout at 15-14. But the Tigers ran off four consecutive points following the timeout as they opened a 19-14 lead. But just like earlier in the set, the Lady Vols used great defensive play to get back in the set and pulled within one at 21-20 after a kill from Whitney Heeres. The Lady Vols wound up taking a 24-23 lead, but the Tigers fended off a pair of set points as Kan and Little came up with huge kills to tie the set at 25-all. Henning then tooled a right-side block for a kill and an attack error from Ashley Mariani clinched the set for Mizzou, 27-25.

    The Tigers had an uncharacteristic seven attack errors in the first set, but did tally 17 kills. Kan led the way with five on 11 errorless attacks and Henning also had five in the opening frame. Tennessee libero Ellen Mullins finished the first set with nine digs while Meister led Mizzou with seven.

    After a sloppy first set, Mizzou played the volleyball that they had all season in the second set. Mizzou opened an 8-5 lead and then ran off 12 consecutive points to take a 20-5 lead. It was a dominating offensive performance for the Tigers, who hit .469 with 17 kills in the frame as they were in system the entire time with Kreklow assisting on 16 of the 17 kills. Also, the Tigers had four blocks in the second set after not getting one on the first. Six different Tigers had kills on the second set led by four from Henning, Kan and Wilson.

    After the intermission, Mizzou got kills from Towler and Wilson to open the frame as the offense continued to fire on all cylinders until three straight hitting errors by the Tigers gave UT a 5-3 lead. The Tigers continued to struggle as they fell behind 9-6 after committing a bevy of errors, forcing Wayne Kreklow to use a timeout. The Tigers then battled back and Towler then announced her presence with back-to-back kills in the middle and then she teamed with Henning for a block to give Mizzou a 12-11 lead. That was all Mizzou needed as it ran away with the set, 25-16.

    Mizzou will play Alabama Sunday in its Dig Pink match at 1:30 p.m. at the Hearnes Center.
     




    Alabama Volleyball Gets a Big Road Win at Arkansas

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Brittany Thomas had a match-high 21 kills to lead the Alabama volleyball team to a 3-1 (28-30, 25-23, 25-18, 26-24) Southeastern Conference win over the Arkansas Razorbacks on Friday night from the Barnhill Arena.

    With the win, the Crimson Tide snapped a seven-match losing streak to the Razorbacks. Alabama (14-4, 2-2 SEC) defeated Arkansas for the first time since November of 2008, when the Tide defeated the Razorbacks (11-6, 4-2 SEC), 3-1 in Tuscaloosa.

    Thomas posted her second 20-kill performance of the season, ending the night with a match-high 21 kills on 56 attempts. Thomas posted her seventh double-double of the season by adding 10 digs. Krystal Rivers had another big night as the redshirt freshman had 17 kills with a .615 hitting percentage. Rivers also added three total blocks, posting two solos and one assisted.

    Andrea McQuaid added nine kills, had nine digs and a career-high tying five total blocks, with one solo and four assisted blocks. Sierra Wilson had a match-high 56 assists and Kryssi Daniels led the Tide with 13 digs.

    For Arkansas, Hayley Koop had 15 kills and Meredith Hays chipped in with 11. Emily Helm had a match-high 14 digs.

    Alabama finished the match with a .209 hitting percentage, as the Razorbacks recorded 13 blocks in the match against the Tide attack. Arkansas had a .215 percentage with the Tide blocking 10.5 attempts.

    The Tide trailed 22-19 in the first set, before rallying to hold set-point at 24-23, following a kill by Thomas. The Tide would serve set-point five times, before the Razorbacks benefitted from back-to-back hitting errors by Alabama to win the first set 30-28.

    Bama trailed again late in the second set, 20-17, before running off four of the next five points to get even at 21-21, following an Arkansas hitting error. A kill by Rivers made the score 23-23, then back-to-back errors by Arkansas' Hays gave Bama a 25-23 win, evening the match at 1-1.

    Alabama controlled the flow of the third set, opening a 9-4 lead when Arkansas called a timeout. Out of the break, the Hogs scored a pair of points, before the Tide went on a 6-1 run to open a 15-8 lead. Bama's lead reached nine at 20-11 following a kill by Thomas, before the Tide closed the set with a 25-18 win.

    Like the first and second sets, Bama had to rally from a late 3-point deficit to win the fourth set. Trailing 16-19 in the fourth, a kill by Mattie Weldy made the score 19-17 then back-to-back errors by Arkansas evened the score at 19-19. The Tide led 22-20 before Arkansas scored three straight points for a 23-22 lead. Bama got a kill from Rivers to even the score at 23-23, and after an error by Thomas, the Tide got kills from Thomas and Weldy for match point. Thomas ended the match with an ace for a 26-24 fourth set win.

    The Crimson Tide returns to the court on Sunday, Oct. 13, when it completes their two-game SEC road trip against the No. 25 ranked Missouri (20-0, 4-0 SEC). The match between the Alabama and Missouri will begin at 1:30 p.m. CT from the Hearnes Center in Columbia, Mo.
     




    LSU Volleyball Dismisses Ole Miss in Four Sets

    BATON ROUGE – Briana Holman and Cati Leak slapped 15 kills each as the LSU volleyball team used a balanced offensive attack to notch a 3-1 victory over Ole Miss [25-19, 25-9, 23-25, 27-25] Friday at the Maravich Center.

    With the victory, LSU (12-3, 2-1 SEC) has won 10 of its last 12 meetings against Ole Miss (10-8, 0-5 SEC) going back to the 2007 season. The 12 victories for the Tigers also equal their season total from 2012.

    “I think our confidence grows each time we step out on the court,” head coach Fran Flory said. “You can see it, you can feel it. There was a little break in it. We are still a young team. They will have to grow up some, but it was another good step forward for our kids.”

    LSU tallied 59 kills on a .287 hitting percentage, its highest offensive output since the Houston match on Sept. 21. The Tigers also continued their strong defensive play and forced Ole Miss into 30 hitting errors en route to a .117 hitting clip. The 30 attack errors were the second-highest season total for the Rebels.

    Malorie Pardo had her run of seven consecutive double-doubles come to a close. She registered a solid all-around effort with 41 assists, eight digs, four kills and two blocks.

    Holman’s 15 kills came on a team-leading .414 hitting percentage. She has turned in 10-plus kills during 12 of her last 13 outings. The Texas native also was involved in seven of LSU’s eight blocks for the match.

    “I thought their middles were awfully good. They caused us a lot of trouble, but Briana Holman brought a different level to the court tonight,” Flory said. “She is going to carry us. If she plays that good, we are going to be hard to beat. She can create so many scoring opportunities. She opens up so many other things. You have to credit Malorie for finding her and giving her those opportunities. I liked how Malorie set this match. In the end, I thought her maturity and the way she managed the tempo sets were the keys in those last couple points during the fourth set.”

    “It felt great,” Holman said. “At some point, every player has to carry the torch to help lead their team along the way. That is what I tried to do. I tried to pick my team up because I felt at certain points someone needed to step up.”

    The 15 kills for Leak was her highest mark since the Rice match on Sept. 7. She also turned in a solid passing performance and converted on 20-of-21 reception attempts.

    Desiree Elliott belted 12 kills on a.333 hitting ratio to go along with four digs and two aces. The 12 kills enabled Elliott to move past Meagan Davis (1998-2001) for 18th place on LSU’s all-time list.

    Helen Boyle tacked on seven kills and nine digs over her three sets of action whereas Katie Lindelow and Madi Mafaffey added three kills apiece.

    On the back row, Haley Smith corralled 15 digs to extend her run to 11 consecutive matches with double digit scoops. LSU was 48-of-79 and tallied a 60 percent sideout efficiency for the match.

    Ole Miss was sparked by Ty Laporte’s 13 kills on a match-best .478 hitting percentage, Skylar Johnson’s 19 assists and Cara Fisher’s 13 digs. The Rebels held a 12-8 blocking advantage.

    The two teams garnered four ties and a lead change during the early moments of the first set. With LSU ahead 12-11, the Tigers picked up six of the next nine points to surge ahead by an 18-14 margin. Elliott ignited the charge with back-to-back kills, while a Holman-Leak block followed by a Holman kill capped the spurt. Ole Miss trimmed the margin down to 20-19, but LSU finished with a five-point flurry to tuck away the 25-19 win. Holman, Mahaffey and Pardo provided kills sandwiched between two Ole Miss hitting miscues.

    LSU carried that momentum into the second set and built a 10-1 advantage sparked by four Leak kills. The Tigers continued to rip off points at a staggering rate and made it 23-5 after another six-point run highlighted by three Elliott kills and an Elliott solo stuff. In total, LSU blasted 18 kills on 26 swings with only one error en route to a blistering .654 hitting clip and the 25-9 triumph.   

    “We did very well at playing how we are supposed to play,” Pardo said. “We started how we ended at Texas A&M. We played fast, came together and that really helped us this game. Team unity and coming together, even on the negative points, really helped our mentality for each play.”

    Ole Miss regrouped out of the locker room and went up by a 17-9 score to start the third set. The Tigers would rally and get back to within 24-23 after a Lindelow kill. However, the Rebels countered with a sideout of their own from Laporte to finish off the 25-23 victory.

    Set four was a defensive battle as neither team cranked over a .200 hitting percentage. Ole Miss came away with an early 12-9 edge, but LSU answered with 10 of the next 12 points to take a 19-14 lead. Holman and Leak popped two kills each coupled with three Ole Miss hitting miscues. The Rebels didn’t go away and fired back with a 10-4 flurry to arrive at set point. Out of a timeout, Leak buried a crosscourt kill and teamed with Holman for a block on Laporte to swing LSU ahead 25-24. After a Rebel sideout, Leak and Holman struck for consecutive kills to vault the Tigers to the winner’s circle at 27-25.

    “Day-by-day, I am building my relationship with the hitters,” Pardo said. “I tell them that I trust them, that you are doing great and that you are going to put the ball away. I have been a little more demanding which has helped me, but I think the hitters are also taking that and running with it. Some of the hitters have even told me they like it. They are doing everything really well. If I demand something, they come through with it. I think that is the relationship we did not have at the beginning. It has really made a positive difference.”

    LSU wraps up its stretch of three matches over a five-day span and meets Mississippi State for a Sunday matinee at the Maravich Center. First serve is scheduled for 1 p.m. with live video and live stats available for Geaux Zone subscribers at www.LSUsports.net/live.

    Admission to all 2013 home matches is free compliments of the Advocate's “Geaux Free” program. It’s “Teacher Appreciation Day” as LSU volleyball will recognize their professors and staff members.

    Desiree Elliott will continue LSU’s legacy of serving the community. She is teaming up with St. Vincent de Paul and Bishop Ott Shelter Program for her season-long senior class philanthropy project. The Tigers will be collecting items ranging from children’s clothes and shoes along with baby supplies and toys at every home match as part of the “Geaux Kids” initiative. Fans will be able to donate items inside the “Geaux Kids” boxes located at the Tiger Fan Zone.