LSU’s volleyball team put it all together Sunday for its biggest victory over the season with a 3-1 victory over No. 20 Florida 22-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-21 in Southeastern Conference play.
The Tigers (7-9 overall, 3-4) successfully avenged a 3-1 loss to the Gators (11-6, 4-2) on Saturday.
LSU snapped a 19-match losing streak against Florida, registering its first win over the Gators since Nov. 13, 2009. It was also the Tigers first win over a ranked opponent since a win over Texas A&M Nov. 10, 2019.
“We finally executed at a high level for a long time. I am proud of our kids,” LSU head volleyball coach Fran Flory said. “We found a good rhythm and flow. We have a lot of physical players, but the bottom line is that we became better volleyball players today and we played the game differently. A win against Florida is always a great win for anybody and we are proud of that but I am more proud of the step we took and level of execution and toughness that we showed.”
LSU outhit Florida, .261-.170 and the Tigers had 61 kills to Florida’s 53 and won the blocking battle as well (11-7).
LSU was led by outside hitter Kylie DeBerg, who had 21 kills, her highest in a conference match this season, and 10 digs. It was her fifth double-double on the year and her fourth match with 20 or more kills.
Right side hitter Taylor Bannister tied the LSU program record for career kills (1,735) and is poised to break the record in her next match. The record has stood since 1991 and is currently shared with Nyla Shepherd. Bannister posted her second double-double this season with 15 kills and 11 digs, while also adding four blocks and a pair of aces.
“Taylor had a great bounce back game,” said Flory. “She is a big key to our team and opponents have focused heavily on her. To reach those stats and handle that pressure – I don’t think anyone understands the load she carries. She is a much better volleyball player than she even knows and is worthy of this title.”
Outside hitter Sanaa Dotson also contributed 10 kills and freshman setter Ella Larkin directed the offense with 41 assists and 19 digs. Libero Raigen Cianciulli had a game-high 25 digs and added eight assists.