The LSU volleyball team continues its four-match homestand and wraps up the first half of the Southeastern Conference schedule on Friday against Alabama.
First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
LSU (13-6, 6-3 SEC), winners of three of its past four games, claimed consecutive four-set victories over Georgia and Auburn last weekend.
LSU won 51 of their past 54 decisions versus the SEC West since the 2006 season, including a 3-1 triumph over Alabama (10-11, 3-7) on Sept. 18 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Offensively, the Crimson Tide is paced by Kayla Fitterer’s 4.24 kills per set which rank third-highest in the SEC. Fitterer has missed UA’s last four matches because of injury.
In Fitterer’s absence, Andrea McQuad and Cortney Warren have filled the void. Warren powered home 4.00 kills per set on a .386 hitting percentage, while McQuad slapped 3.17 kills per set highlighted by a 16-spike performance during the Tide’s 3-1 win over South Carolina. On the back row, Cristina Arenas has posted 3.30 digs and 0.26 aces per set to rank 10th in the SEC in both categories.
LSU’s runs through Malorie Pardo, reigning SEC Freshman of the Week.
Pardo lifted her season average to 11.60 assists per set, second among SEC setters and 12th nationally. The League City, Texas, native has eclipsed the 50-assist mark on seven occasions.
LADY TIGERS TO PLAY IN SEC/PAC 12 CHALLENGE: The scene shifts from the Pac 12 to the Southeastern Conference as the third-ranked Lady Tigers play in the Mercedes-Benz SEC/Pac 12 Challenge starting Friday at Holston Hills in Knoxville, Tenn.
UCLA won the inaugural event last year at Stanford with a 4-over 856, 11 shots better than Alabama.
To determine a conference challenge winner, the 12 SEC team scores each day will be averaged and the 11 Pac 12 team scores will be averaged to determine the conference score for the three days.
TIGERS OFF TO A STRONG START AT ITA SOUTHERN REGIONAL: In Auburn, Ala., the Tigers swept the first round of singles and earned six wins in the second round to advance Thursday at the USTA/ITA Southern Regional Championships.
After falling in doubles, nine out of the 10 Tigers that traveled to Auburn came away with a victory in singles play. Matt Zachary, Chris Simpson, David Roberts, Tom Knights, Mark Bowtell, James Turbervill, Neal Skupski, Olivier Borsos and Stefan Szacinski all picked up wins.
Round of 128
Matt Zachary (LSU) def. Alex Durham (Ole Miss) 6-3, 7-6 (3); Chris Simpson (LSU) def. Mansingh Athare (Troy) 7-6, 6-2; David Roberts (LSU) def. Patrick Eichler (Troy) 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-2; Tom Knights (LSU) def. Rens Van der Vis (Alabama) 2-6, 6-2, 6-3; *Byes for Szacinski, Skupski, Bowtell, Turbervill, Anderson
Round of 64
Mark Bowtell (LSU) def. Zac Dunkle (Samford) 6-3, 6-2; Danny Munlow (UAB) def. Roger Anderson (LSU) 7-5, 6-4; James Turbervill (LSU) def. Carson Kadi (Samford) 4-6, 6-1, 6-2; Neal Skupski (LSU) def. Daniel Leitner (South Alabama) 6-7, 6-2, 6-4; Olivier Borsos (LSU) def. Fernando Costa (Samford) 6-3, 6-1; Stefan Szacinski (LSU) def. Rodrigo Rappaccioli (Tulane) 4-6, 6-2, 7-5; Idan Mark (Tulane) def. Matt Zachary (LSU) 6-4, 6-2; Chris Simpson (LSU) def. Johan Backstrom (Ole Miss) 7-5, 7-6 (2); Carlin Murray (ULL) def. Tom Knights (LSU) 6-2, 6-1; Jonas Lutjen (Ole Miss) def. David Roberts (LSU) 6-4, 6-2.
Joe Rogers/Adrian Skogeng (Ole Miss) def. James Turbervill/David Roberts (LSU) 8-5; Jonas Lutjen/Johan Backstrom (Ole Miss) def. Stefan Szacinski/Mark Bowtell (LSU) 9-7; Skupski/Anderson, Borsos/Simpson and Zachary/Knights all had byes.
Swimming and diving
TIGERS HOSTING AUBURN: The men’s swimming and diving team will host Auburn starting at 2 p.m. Friday in the LSU Natatorium.
The Tigers (0-2) will use Friday’s dual meet as a chance to improve after last weekend’s losses at Florida State (161-139) and Florida (185-115). The Auburn men have captured 16 straight SEC championships.
“There is a reason Auburn’s men’s team has won multiple SEC championships in a row,” swimming coach Dave Geyer said. “It gives our men an opportunity to step up and race against them.”
Although the Tigers opened with consecutive losses, the coaching staff left Florida impressed .
Diver Matt Vieke was named SEC male diver of the week after finishing second with a total of 317.77 on the one-meter springboard and third in the three-meter with a score of 340.65 against Florida.
Raymond DePauda stood out in the 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke. After finishing second against Florida State in both events with times of 49.96 seconds and 51.24, respectively, DePauda took first in both events with a 100 butterfly time of 49.56 and a 100 backstroke time of 50.30.