COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The LSU volleyball team fell in three sets to Texas A&M on Wednesday night.
The Aggies (13-6, 6-2 SEC) won 25-19, 25-22, 25-18.
LSU (8-11, 4-4) struggled offensively, hitting .103 on the night with only 31 kills, while Texas A&M hit .276 with 45 kills, hitting above .260 in every set, with no worse than six errors in any of the three on the evening.
Sophomore outside hitter Gina Tillis led LSU with eight kills, followed by Emily Ehrle and Cati Leak with seven each. Ehrle hit .400 with only one error on 15 swings Wednesday.
Lindsay Flory led LSU in assists for the second time this season, having 15 on the night, followed by Cheyenne Wood’s eight.
Katie Lindelow tied for the match high in digs with 11, followed by Wood who finished with eight. The Tigers finished with seven blocks as a team, as Ehrle and Leak finished with three each.
Kiara McGee finished as one of three Texas A&M players with double figure kills with her match-high 13, hitting .476. Stephanie Aiple led all players with 40 assists, while Amy Nettles led the way defensively with 11 digs. Jazzmin Babers finished with 12 kills and led all players with eight blocks.
In a series that has featured some tense and close affairs in the recent past, the first set lived up to the hype early, as LSU fought back from a pair of deficits to make the match interesting. Down 8-5, LSU scored five of the next seven to tie the set at 10-all to put some pressure on the Aggies.
Although the Tigers went into the media break down 15-11, Texas A&M would only get the first point out and watch as LSU netted the next four to pull within one at 16-15 backed by a Haley Smith ace and TIllis kill. Unfortunately, every time LSU got close, The Aggies would find a way to pull away, going on a 4-1 run to lead 20-16, holding off a Tiger rally that saw the squad pull within two, before going on to take the set 25-19 to take a 1-0 lead.
The beginning of the second set featured four ties and just one lead change, and the Tigers made sure to regroup after dropping the first by going on a four-point swing after being down 5-3 to go up 7-5. Texas A&M earned the next two points to tie it up at 7-7, but a kill from Mimi Eugene made it 8-7.
However, that would be the final lead for LSU in the set, as Texas A&M went on an 8-1 run to head into the media timeout with a six-point lead over the Tigers at 15-9. The run ended at 9-1 after a service error, as Eugene earned an ace of her own to make it 16-11, as the Tigers pulled within four at 18-14, as another A&M run got the home side to the 20-point mark first, leading 21-15, but not before a pair of kills from Ehrle and one from Eugene forced the Aggies into their first timeout of the match only leading by three at 21-18.
The Tigers would continue to fight, pulling within one at 23-22 after a block from Eugene and Tiara Gibson, but the Aggies would not relinquish its lead, going up 2-0 after taking the second set 25-22.
LSU wasted little time in stealing the momentum out of the intermission, rattling off five of the first six points of the frame to go up 5-1 early. LSU began the third hitting .500 and eventually going up by as many as four leading 9-5, but the Aggies quickly got out of the fog they were in, earning the next four points to tie the third at 9-9 and force LSU into a timeout.
By the time the run was over, Texas A&M scored seven-straight to take its first lead of the set and go up 12-9 over the Tigers. However, trailing 15-10 LSU scored four of the next five to pull within two points at 16-14, but a pair of points by the Aggies forced LSU into calling its final timeout of the set down 18-14.
A kill by Ehrle and a Texas A&M attack error pulled LSU within two again at 18-16, but the Aggies came back with a 5-0 run to go up 23-16 to put the Tigers on the brink. LSU was able to net two more points, but by that point the lead would be too much to overcome and A&M would earn the sweep taking the third and final set 25-18.
LSU will be back in action on Sunday, hosting the Auburn Tigers at 1 p.m. inside the Maravich Center. The match will be streamed live online on SEC Network+ with Lyn Rollins and Yvette Girouard.
For all of the latest news and information on Tiger volleyball, visit www.lsusports.net/volleyball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsuvolleyball along with @lsuvolleyball and @lsucoachfran on Twitter and @lsuvb on Instagram.