LEXINGTON, Ky. - Helen Boyle had 11 kills and 14 digs for her sixth double-double of the season, but the LSU volleyball team fell 3-0 (15-25, 19-25, 21-25) to Kentucky on Friday.
The Tigers (18-10, 11-7 Southeastern Conference) remained one match ahead of Arkansas in the SEC Western Division race after No. 14 Tennessee swept the Razorbacks.
Boyle connected for a team-high .333 hitting percentage and notched double-figure kills for the fifth time in the past six outings.
“Helen was exceptional and played extremely well,” LSU coach Fran Flory said. “We had some bright spots, and she was one of them. I thought she managed plays and didn’t try to be a superstar. She attacked the block, you can’t ask for much more than she gave us.”
Kentucky (25-4, 16-2 SEC) forced LSU into 27 hitting errors and limited the Tigers to a .084 clip. The Wildcats totaled a .276 ratio and recorded eight of the match’s 11 blocks. Christine Hartmann posted a solid all-around effort with 29 assists, three kills, two digs and two blocks.
Ashley Frazier ripped 10 kills on a .500 hitting rate, while Whitney Billings chipped in nine kills and nine digs for the Wildcats.
“There’s no doubt that Frazier is an All-SEC outside hitter,” Flory said. “She takes some big swings for them when they need them most. Out of every timeout, Frazier is part of the solution that their staff comes up with. They’ve relied on her, and she did a great job against us.”
Michele Williams garnered a team-best 13 kills. Desiree Elliott and Nicole Willis tallied negative hitting percentages.
Defensively, LSU picked up a 55-50 digs edge. Meghan Mannari sprawled out for a match-high 17 digs to reach double figure scoops for the 25th time this season.
LSU plays its final road match of the regular season at 1 p.m. Sunday at Tennessee, the SEC leader.
DUO RECEIVES ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT ACCOLADES: For the second year in a row, two LSU players have been recognized by the College Sports Information Directors of America for their academic achievement as juniors Carlie Banks and Natalie Ieyoub were selected to the 2011 CoSIDA Academic All-District VI Team.
After earning second-team honors a year ago, Banks has been recognized this season with first-team accolades and is now eligible for CoSIDA Academic All-America honors.
Banks has a 3.52 grade point average in kinesiology with a concentration in fitness studies.
Ieyoub was named to the second team.
ISOM TO APPEAR ON REALITY TV SERIES: LSU goalkeeper Mo Isom is set to appear on the nationally-syndicated reality television series “The Real Winning Edge” on Saturday morning as the show is set to air at 10 a.m. on KZUP-TV (Cox Cable Channel 13).
Isom, a broadcast journalism major, said appearing on show provided an opportunity to share some of the adversity she has faced, such as her father’s suicide after her freshman season in January 2009, a near fatal car accident following her sophomore season in November 2009 and a lifelong battle against an eating disorder.
“It’s all about getting some positive stories out there for teenagers and young people,” Isom said.
Swimming and diving
LSU WRAPS UP TENNESSEE INVITATIONAL: LSU left the Tennessee Invitational with a wealth of experience.
The men finished the three-day event in second place with a team score of 931, and the women finished fifth at 517.5.
Junior swimmer Amanda Kendall earned her third gold medal of the event, winning the 100 free with a mark of 48.19 seconds. Senior Samantha Goates emerged on top in the consolation final of the same event with a time of 49.79, which was the second fastest time in the event.
The women’s 400 free relay took first behind Kendall, Sara Haley, freshman Amber Carter and Goates with a time of 3:18.54. The men’s 400 free relay finished second.
Junior Craig Hamilton was second in the 1,650 free (15:16.80). And in the 200 backstroke, freshman Michael Young went 1:47.15 in a bronze medal finish.
Junior Nick Kunkel picked up his first Olympic Trial cut in the 100 back with a time of 57.40 in the morning prelim session.
Sophomore Daniel Helm finished third with a six-dive total of 334.45.