BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — The LSU volleyball team finished its nonconference schedule with a 3-1 setback to Western Kentucky (20-25, 25-22, 22-25, 22-25) on Saturday at E.A. Diddle Arena to conclude the WKU Tournament.
In a battle of two teams receiving votes in the AVCA Top 25, the Tigers (7-3) lost back-to-back matches for the first time since the 2008 season.
“I thought we fought extremely hard,” coach Fran Flory said in a university news release. “We created more offensively today than yesterday’s Xavier match, so there was a positive step made in the right direction. When it came down to it, we didn’t execute to the level that we needed to late during those tightly contested sets. Ultimately, that’s what cost us the match.”
Desiree Elliott had a team-best 17 kills on a .379 hitting percentage and extended her run to six straight matches with double-figure kills.
Michele Williams belted 15 kills and came away with a career-high nine blocks.
“Michele carried a huge load for us during the entire weekend,” Flory said. “There’s not too many things that she couldn’t have done better for us. Desiree did a lot of those same things well that Michele did. She did a great job serving today and created some much-needed opportunities for us.”
The Hilltoppers (9-1) were paced by WKU tournament MVP Jordyn Skinner.
SANG YI MOVES INTO TOP FIVE; TIGERS IN 8TH PLACE: In Rocky Face, Ga., senior standout Sang Yi fired a 3-under par 69 in Saturday’s second round to catapult himself into the top five on the leaderboard and lead the No. 17-ranked LSU men’s golf team into eighth place overall at the 23rd annual Carpet Capital Collegiate Classic held at The Farm Golf Club.
Freshman Curtis Thompson also rebounded with his best round of the weekend with an even-par 72 as the Tigers posted a team score of 3-over par 291 on Saturday for a 36-hole score of 9-over 585.
Yi nearly equaled the lowest round of his collegiate career on Saturday as he followed his even-par 72 in the first round with a 3-under 69 in the second round to vault nine spots on the leaderboard in a five-way tie for fifth place at 3-under 141.
Yi finds himself just two shots off the pace for the individual crown as Georgia’s Bryden Macpherson and Chattanooga’s Benjamin Weilguni fired matching 5-under par 67s on Saturday to share first place overall at 5-under 139.
Auburn fired a 9-under par 279 in the second round to take a commanding five-shot lead over Chattanooga, Clemson and Tennessee in the team standings at 569.
TEAM SCORES (Par 576)
1. Auburn 290-279 – 569 -7; T2. Chattanooga 287-287 – 574 -2; T2. Clemson 287-287 – 574 -2; T2. Tennessee 293-281 – 574 -2; 5. Alabama 291-284 – 575 -1; 6. Georgia 289-293 – 582 +6; 7. Georgia Tech 286-297 – 583 +7; 8. LSU 294-291 – 585 +9; T9. Kennesaw State 301-288 – 589 +13; T9. Wake Forest 298-291 – 589 +13; 11. South Carolina 295-295 – 590 +14; 12. Middle Tennessee State 297-298 – 595 +19.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (Par 144)
T1. Benjamin Weilguni, Chattanooga, 72-67 – 139 -5; T1. Bryden Macpherson, Georgia, 72-67 – 139 -5; T3. Stephan Jaeger, Chattanooga, 68-72 – 140 -4; T3. Garrick Porteous, Tennessee, 72-68 – 140 -4; T5. McCuen Elmore, Clemson, 70-71 – 141 -3; T5. Justin Thomas, Alabama, 71-70 – 141 -3; T5. Jacob Burger, Clemson, 71-70 -–141 -3; T5. Niclas Carlsson, Auburn, 74-67 – 141 -3; T5. Sang Yi, LSU, 72-69 – 141 -3; T10. Tom Lovelady, Alabama, 71-71 – 142 -2; T10. Jay Vandeventer, Tennessee, 73-69 – 142 -2; T10. Will McCurdy, Auburn, 70-72 – 142 -2.
T5. Sang Yi, 72-69 – 142 -3; T18. Franco Castro, 71-74 – 145 +1; T35. Curtis Thompson, 77-72 – 149 +5; 52. Smylie Kaufman, 74-79 – 153 +9; T53. Andrew Presley, 79-76 – 155 +11.
NO. 4 LSU OPENS 2011-12 SEASON AT COUGAR CLASSIC: In Charleston, S.C., the Lady Tigers open the season Sunday at the College of Charleston Cougar Classic at Yeamans Hall.
The Lady Tigers will tee off in the three-day event that features 22 teams. Joining Charleston and LSU in the field are Alabama, Charleston Southern, Duke, Florida, Furman, Georgia, Maryland, Miami, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Ole Miss, Penn State, Richmond, South Carolina, Tennessee, UNC Greensboro, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and Wisconsin.
LSU, ranked fourth in the preseason coaches’ poll, has veteran senior players Jacqueline Hedwall of Sweden and Tessa Teachman of Baton Rouge to lead the way with one of the nation’s top golfers in Austin Ernst back for her sophomore season. Ernst, of Seneca, S.C., won the 2011 NCAA individual title as a freshman in May.
Also in the LSU lineup will be Lindsey Gahm of Louisville, Ky., a sophomore transfer who was the freshman of the year in the Big 10 this past season, and Swedish freshman Madeline Sagstrom, who had an outstanding international junior career.
“I feel really good about our team,” said LSU Coach Karen Bahnsen, who is beginning her 28th season as the head coach of the LSU women’s team. “We have three players back from last year’s squad and two seniors that can provide a lot of leadership for us. Our new players have outstanding credentials and will add a lot for our team.”
The Lady Tigers go off in the morning wave with host Charleston and North Carolina.