The LSU volleyball team wraps up its September slate and faces its first ranked opponent of the season as No. 23 Tennessee visits the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on Friday.
The game between the Southeastern Conference’s Western and Eastern Division leaders is set for 7 p.m.
Fans are encouraged to take advantage of the Geaux Free program and receive free admission for every home match this season compliments of The Advocate.
The Tigers (10-3, 3-0 SEC) are 3-0 in SEC play for the fourth time in the past six seasons after picking up a 3-0 sweep against Mississippi State, while Tennessee (11-2, 4-0 SEC) is coming off a 3-2 road victory over then No. 6 Florida.
The Lady Vols are sparked by reigning SEC Offensive Player of the Week, Kelsey Robinson, who has an SEC-leading 4.77 kills and third-best 0.48 aces per set. Mary Pollmiller has 11.67 assists per set and has helped Tennessee to a .271 hitting percentage - both second in the league.
In conference play, UT’s middle attack of DeeDee Harrison and Shealyn Kolosky have combined for 62 kills, an average of 4.13 spikes per set, on a .346 hitting ratio. Harrison also collected SEC Defensive Player of the Week after recording a career-best eight blocks versus South Carolina.
LSU is led by Madie Jones, the SEC’s kills leader at 4.83 per set in conference play. She has a .353 hitting percentage during her first three SEC matches and extended her run to six consecutive efforts with 10 or more kills.
Desiree Elliott and Michele Williams have combined for an additional 17 double figure kills performances. Elliott has knocked 3.53 kills per set to rank fifth, while Williams has notched 1.17 blocks per set to rank third in the SEC.
Malorie Pardo, the SEC Freshman of the Week, leads the conference and is fifth nationally with 11.88 assists per set.
Swimming and diving
LSU WOMEN TO HOST TULANE IN SEASON OPENER: The LSU women’s swimming and diving team will kick off the season against Tulane on Friday at 5 p.m. in the LSU Natatorium.
Last season, LSU defeated Tulane at the Reily Center Natatorium 194-98, with wins in 14 of the 16 events. The Green Wave finished fifth at last year’s Conference USA Championships.
The Lady Tigers return five NCAA Championship qualifiers from a squad that posted a fifth-place finish at the SEC Championships and a 14th place finish at the NCAA Championships. LSU ended the year with a 13-4 dual-meet record as well.
First-team All-American and six-time NCAA Honorable Mention All-American junior Amanda Kendall highlights a core of athletes with NCAA experience, including senior Samantha Goates, juniors Sara Haley and Jana Ruimerman and sophomore Torrey Bussey.
In diving, LSU returns junior Elle Schmidt, who scored in two of three events at SEC’s and qualified for the NCAA Zone ?D’ Diving Regional. She will be joined by freshman Alex Bettridge.
LADY TIGERS PAIR BEGINS PLAY AT SFA FALL INVITE: Women’s tennis players Hayley Everett and Paige Bahnsen travel to Nacogdoches, Texas for the Stephen F. Austin Fall Invitational on Friday.
Play begins at 9 a.m. Friday as Everett takes on SMU’s Perri Anderson in the “D” singles bracket and freshman Bahnsen faces SMU’s Erika Marschal.
The two Lady Tigers will team up in doubles later as they oppose Alena Erofeyeva and Maartje De Wit of Louisiana Tech in the “B” doubles bracket.
“This is a great opportunity for me to focus on just two players in a tournament,” LSU assistant coach Lisa Jackson said. “It’s going to be a very competitive weekend so I’m excited to see how they compete.”