LSU volleyball closed out play Saturday in its Tiger Classic with a 25-20, 26-24, 27-25 loss to No. 21 Penn State at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
“For whatever reason today, every time we got it going and made a run, we shot ourselves in the foot,” LSU volleyball coach Tonya Johnson said. “We have to be prideful in those pressure situations and I do not think we did a good job at that today. But I did see a lot of great things and a lot that we can build on to get better. Everything that we struggled with today is fixable.”
The Tigers (3-3) were led by outside hitter Sanaa Dotson’s second double-double of the season with 13 kills and 15 digs. Outside hitter Samarah Hill followed with 11 kills with freshman setter Maddie Waak adding a season-high 29 assists with eight digs and in three kills.
Defensively, they led by Alia Williams’s six blocks who also chipped in five kills. Defensive specialist Jill Bohnet and libero Ella Larkin finished with 13 and 12 digs, respectively.
LSU trailed 9-5 and tied the score four times before falling behind 19-16 and for the first time this season dropped their opening set in a match.
The Tigers used a 5-1 run in the second set for a 12-12 tie and took a brief 13-12 lead on a block but were unable to keep pace with the Lions in a match that has 11 ties and a pair of lead changes.
LSU took a 6-2 lead in the third set but was unable to hold it against a surging Penn State team which took a 19-15 advantage.
Hill sparked a run for LSU with a kill that tied the set at 19 and after two points for Penn State to take a 21-19 lead, LSU went on a 3-0 run and a kill from Larkin put the Tigers on top, 22-21.
Both teams traded kills to a 25 tie, but an ace and kill from Penn State ended.
LSU travels to Milwaukee, Wisc. for a pair of matches at Milwaukee (Sept. 9) and Marquette (Sept. 10).