Volleyball takes LSU to five sets

Abby McCreary, Staff Reporter

A pinked-out Foster Auditorium watched a five-set thriller end in an Alabama loss during the annual Power of Pink match. The LSU Tigers (10-9, 5-4) won late Wednesday night after trailing the Crimson Tide 2-1. 

“I was happy that we stayed steady for most of the match,” head coach Rashinda Reed said. “But I’m not happy that we didn’t finish in the end.” 

Alabama (7-13, 1-7) swung the momentum in its favor for most of the match. After losing the first set 19-25 to the Tigers, the Crimson Tide defense was accustomed to the LSU tips over the net and was able to adjust and convert them into points of their own. Five second-set aces also helped Alabama to a second-set victory, 25-17, that tied the Tigers 1-1.  

The third set stayed close from beginning to end. The teams tied for more than half the points in the set. At 26-26, Alabama forced two LSU attack errors, giving the Crimson Tide a 28-26 victory and a 2-1 lead.  

Like before, the teams stayed neck-and-neck to start off the fourth set. Tied at 20-20, LSU finally pulled ahead, opening up to a 24-21 lead. At the Tigers’ set point, Alabama staged a comeback. After a kill from outside hitter Kendyl Reaugh, setter Emily Janek stepped behind the service line. Her next two serves threw the LSU squad out of system, giving the Crimson Tide free balls to tally points off of and tie the score at 24-24.  

Despite one more kill from Reaugh, LSU’s Paige Flickinger sealed the set with three kills of her own, winning the set for her team 27-25.  

By the fifth set, Alabama had lost its energy. For the Tigers, though, this was their seventh conference match where they played five sets. LSU’s experience gave them a 15-7 win and a 3-2 victory.  

Reed said that she wishes her team would’ve taken advantage of the early lead.  

“We played against a team that has been five-set ready,” Reed said. “They’ve been playing five sets match after match. For us, I just wish we would’ve capitalized on the opportunities that we had.” 

All night, the Crimson Tide had a tough time defending against LSU duo Sanaa Dotson and Anita Anwusi. They combined for 28 kills — nearly half the team’s total. Alabama’s Reaugh also tallied an impressive number of kills with 16, but in the end, both teams finished below a .150 hitting percentage. 

After tonight’s loss, Alabama will head to Athens, Georgia, to take on the Georgia Bulldogs this weekend. They play at 1 p.m. CT on Saturday and 11 a.m. CT on Sunday. Sunday’s match will be aired on SEC Network. 

Questions or comments? Email Austin Hannon (Sports Editor) at [email protected]