After opening the Southeastern Conference season with a 4-0 mark, 14th-ranked LSU goes on the road in SEC play for the first time on Friday night against Vanderbilt at 7 p.m. the Vanderbilt Soccer Complex.
The SEC-leading Tigers (9-3-1, 4-0 SEC) enter Friday’s match at the top of the league standings as the SEC’s only team to secure 12 points from the first four games in conference play.
Auburn and Florida are in a tie for second place with 3-1 marks and nine points in conference play. Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee are each 2-2 in SEC play.
LSU used its six-game winning streak and nine-game unbeaten streak to be ranked as high as No. 14 nationally in the Soccer America Top 25.
The Tigers are also ranked No. 25 in both the NSCAA/Continental Tire Top 25 and Soccer Times Top 25.
The Tigers, who are also ranked No. 18 in the NCAA’s latest Rating Percentage Index, are 8-0-1 in their last nine matches.
While LSU has won four of its past five meetings with Vanderbilt (6-6, 0-4), the Tigers are aiming to avenge a 1-0 loss to the Commodores last season.
LSU’s Taryne Boudreau is the SEC’s leading scorer in conference play, and she has been named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week the first two weeks of the SEC season.
LSU LOOKS TO BOUNCE BACK AT SOUTH CAROLINA: LSU looks to break out of a two-match losing skid and maintain its spot at the top of the SEC Western Division on Friday at South Carolina.
First serve is slated for 6 p.m. at USC’s Volleyball Competition Facility.
LSU (10-5, 3-2 SEC) has won five straight in the series over the Gamecocks (9-6, 0-5), highlighted by a quartet of sweeps during the past two seasons.
Under the direction of first-year coach Scott Swanson, South Carolina has surpassed its win total from 2010.
The Gamecocks are fueled by Juliette Thévenin, a 2010 All-SEC Freshman pick. She is fourth in the SEC with 3.85 kills per set to go along with 3.62 digs per set to claim eight double-doubles on the season.
Defensively, Paige Wheeler has corralled 4.34 digs per set, third-highest in the SEC.
LSU’s trio of Desiree Elliott, Madie Jones and Michele Williams has combined for 66 percent of the team’s kills. All three players are ranked in the SEC’s Top 10.
LSU BACK IN ACTION AT TAR HEEL INVITATIONAL: In Chapel Hill, N.C., the third-ranked Lady Tigers begin play in the 36th annual Tar Heel Invitational on Friday at the UNC Finley Golf Course.
LSU had a second-place finish in this event last season. LSU posted a 10-under par round of 278 on the final day to finish behind Alabama.
The first round begins Friday with tee times off No. 1 and No. 10 at 7:51 a.m.
LSU will start in the second wave off the first tee with North Carolina State and Notre Dame.
Twelve of the 18 teams entered are ranked in the Golf World/NGCA coaches poll, while Tulane is one of the unranked teams in the field.
LSU will be led by defending NCAA champion, sophomore Austin Ernst with seniors Tessa Teachman and Jacqueline Hedwall. LSU will also send out the Big 10 Freshman of the Year at Indiana, sophomore transfer Lyndsey Gahm as well as freshman Madelene Sagstrom.
The 54-hole event runs through Sunday.
WOLF FALLS AT ITA/RIVIERA ALL-AMERICAN: LSU senior Whitney Wolf, the No. 52-ranked player in the nation, fell to Clemson’s Keri Wong 6-4, 6-1 in the qualifying consolation draw round of 16 at the International Tennis Association/Riviera All-American on Thursday.
Rain postponed play and changed the draws on Wednesday.
In doubles, Wolf and junior Kaitlin Burns lost to Duke’s Mary Clayton and Hanna Mar 8-3 to complete the week in California for LSU.
Six Lady Tigers travel to Houston for the Rice Fall Invitational with play getting under way at 9 a.m. Friday.
Paige Bahnsen, Rebecca Bodine, Hayley Everett, Ariel Morton, Yvette Vlaar and Ebie Wilson will all make the trip to Rice.
Qualifying Back Draw (Round of 16)
Singles (Round of 16)
Keri Wong (Clemson) def. Whitney Wolf (LSU) 6-4, 6-1.
Clayton/Mar (Clemson) def. Burns/Wolf (LSU) 8-3.