Oct. 14, 2012
BATON ROUGE, La. – The Alabama volleyball team suffered a 3-1 (20-25, 23-25, 14-25, 23-25) Southeastern Conference loss to the LSU Tigers from the Maravich Center on Sunday afternoon. In the hard-fought match, the Crimson Tide (14-7, 3-6 SEC) posted a .290 hitting percentage, while LSU (8-11, 4-6 SEC) hit .311.
Alabama had three players reach double figures in kills, as freshman outside hitter Laura Steiner led the way with a season-high 19 kills. Senior outside Kayla Fitterer added 16 kills, and with 12 digs, she notched her 29th career double-double. For the third straight match, junior middle blocker Kanesha Burch reached double figures in kills with 10.
Sierra Wilson notched her team leading fifth double-double of the season with 50 assists and 11 digs, Kelsey Melito had a career-high 13 digs and Cristina Arenas had a team-high 22 digs, for her eighth 20-dig kill match of her career.
LSU was paced by Madie Jones’ match-high 25 kills, while Desiree Elliott added 16. The Tigers collected 87 digs in the match as five players reached double digits, with Meghan Mannari leading the way with a match-high 27.
Alabama dropped the opening set, 25-20, as the Tigers held the Tide to .162 (11-5/37) hitting, while posting a .333 (18-5/39) hitting percentage against Alabama. LSU got nine of its 18 kills in the first set from Jones.
With the score tied at 3-3 in the second set, both teams traded points until the Tide took a 14-13 advantage. The teams continued to sideout each side until LSU scored back-to-back points for a 19-18 lead. After Alabama scored three straight points to take a 22-19 lead, LSU rallied to score six of the final seven points for a 25-23 win, and a 2-0 advantage in the match.
After the break, Alabama responded by winning the third set in dominating fashion, 25-14. Alabama posted a .621 hitting percentage in the set, recording 18 kills without committing a hitting error.
Like in the second set, Alabama had its chances to win the fourth set. LSU led 7-4, but three straight kills by Steiner evened the match at 7-7. After the Tigers ran off four straight points, the Tide evened the score at 13-13 following an ace by Arenas, before opening a 15-13 lead. LSU responded by tying the score at 16-16, before the teams traded points. With the Tide leading 23-22, LSU scored three straight points on a kill by Cati Leak and two kills by Helen Boyle to put the match away with a 25-23 fourth set win.
Alabama returns to action on Friday, Oct. 19 with a match against the No. 11 ranked Florida Gators. First serve for the Tuscaloosa Toyota Power of Pink match is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT from Foster Auditorium.
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