LSU volleyball opens coach Tonya Johnson era with Tiger Classic this weekend

The LSU volleyball team’s 2022 opens this weekend, when they host the Tiger Classic at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center (PMAC).

LSU opens the tournament Friday with a 10 a.m. match against Samford before taking on Houston in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m. The Tigers challenge Rice at 3 p.m. Saturday to conclude the opening weekend. All LSU matches this weekend will be streamed on SEC Network +.

The event marks the LSU head coaching debut of Tonya Johnson, a Zachary native and former Tigers player who was a part of two SEC championship teams and the school’s first team that advanced to the Final Four.

LSU has a core group of returnees, led by middle blocker Anita Anwusi, outside hitter Sanaa Dotson and libero Ella Larkin.

Anwusi is a 2022 preseason All-SEC first team selection after leading the Tigers with a .346 hitting percentage – a mark that ranks No. 10 in the program’s single season record book. She also paced the team with 1.16 blocks per set (102 total), including 14 solo blocks.

Dotson had nine double-digit kill matches, including a season-high 21 kills and a career-best .581 hitting percentage in a win against Alabama on Sept. 25, 2021.

Larkin, who was named to the 2021 All-SEC Freshman Team, turned in 15 double-doubles in assists and digs, and leads all returners with 2.79 digs per set (301 total) and 23 aces last season.

Other key returnees are outside hitters Paige Flickinger and Samarah Hill. Both Flickinger (2020) and Hill (2019) were named to the SEC All-Freshman team. Hill will be making her first appearance since the 2020 season due to injuries.

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