TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Up by three points in the fourth set and hoping to take it to deciding fifth, the LSU volleyball team got into a dogfight with Alabama in a thrilling extra-point affair, with the Crimson Tide pulling out the set and the match 3-1 (25-15, 22-25, 25-21, 35-33) Sunday afternoon in Foster Auditorium in Tuscaloosa.
Hitting the road for the first time in league play, the Tigers (5-6, 0-2 SEC) came in knowing they were going to need an all-around effort to keep up with a streaking Alabama (14-2, 2-0) on its home floor, getting some solid play in some spots but not in the end to topple the Tide in the end.
Briana Holman earned her first double-double of the year, leading LSU with 17 kills on a .406 hitting percentage to go along with her 12 blocks, which led all players. Cati Leak finished with nine, while Helen Boyle produced eight and Katie Lindelow had seven.
Malorie Pardo led with 28 assists for LSU.
TIGERS PLAY EXTRA TIME DRAW: Strikers Jorian Baucom and Summer Clarke and defender Megan Lee each scored goals for LSU in Sunday’s match against Arkansas at the LSU Soccer Stadium, but the visiting Razorbacks responded each time to force extra time as the sides played to a 3-3 draw in 110 minutes of play.
Baucom opened the scoring in the 22nd minute with her sixth goal of the season to put the Tigers on top 1-0 midway through the first half, while Lee found the scoresheet on the hour mark to push their lead to 2-1 with her second goal of the campaign before Clarke matched Baucom with her team-leading sixth goal of the season in the 75th minute to give the home side a 3-2 edge late in the contest.
But freshman Nicole Ortega scored her first collegiate goal with just seven seconds remaining in regulation to force extra time and rescue a point for the Razorbacks with the scoreboard reading 3-3 at full time.
While the Tigers (4-6-2, 0-2-1 SEC) were denied their first Southeastern Conference victory of the season, they snapped a four-game losing skid going back to a 1-0 defeat at No. 25-ranked Duke on Sept. 14, and extended unbeaten streaks against the Razorbacks (5-2-4, 1-0-2) to 11-straight games dating back to the 2004 season and eight-straight matches in Baton Rouge since 1998.
FREUND, ARIAS WIN AT ITA CHAMPIONSHIPS: In Tulsa, Okla., freshman Simon Freund and junior Boris Arias notched two victories for the Tigers at the 2014 ITA Men’s All-American Championships on Sunday.
Freund defeated junior Nikolas Papic from Fresno State, 6-2, 6-1. Arias defeated senior Szymon Opieczonek from SIU-Carbondale, 6-2, 6-2. Both wins came in the pre-qualifying consolation round where Freund replaced fellow Tiger junior Andrew Korinek in the bracket.
The Tigers are now focused on qualifying play where senior Chris Simpson (ranked No. 49 nationally), junior Tam Trinh and sophomores Jordan Daigle (No. 57 nationally), Eric Perez and Justin Butsch will compete.