-- USD Volleyball (@USDVolleyball) December 2, 2017
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- The No. 9 USD Volleyball team (25-5) defeated LSU 3-1 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday evening at USC's Galen Center, extending their winning streak to 15 matches.
After the teams split the first two sets, the Toreros found themselves down 19-14 in the pivotal third set, but reeled off a clutch 8-0 run to take the set on their way to a 3-1 victory (25-23, 24-26, 25-23, 25-21).
Three Toreros had double-digit kills, led by Jayden Kennedy's 17. Lauren Fuller had 15 kills, one off her season-high, and Addie Picha had 13 on a .480 hitting percentage. Kristen Gengenbacher had her 12th double-double of the year with 52 assists and 11 digs. Lizzy Tardieu had 21 digs and Roxie Wiblin also had double-digit digs (10).
The Tigers had a better hitting percentage than the Toreros, hitting for a .253 clip, committing just 18 errors, but USD made big plays in big moments down the stretch. USD hit .246 and had 72 digs to LSU's 65.
-- USD Volleyball (@USDVolleyball) December 2, 2017
LSU took the first point of the match, but then the Toreros rattled off five straight points and held the lead for the remainder of the first set. The Tigers stayed close and pulled within two points at 20-18 and 24-22, but served in to the net on set point to give USD the first set 25-22.
The second set had 11 ties by the time it was 14-14, but then LSU began to pull away. They had a 7-1 run to give them a 21-15 lead, but the Toreros mounted a clutch run and tied the set at 24-24 before LSU eventually won the set 26-24. The Tigers hit .341 in the second frame, while USD hit .268.
The Toreros showed their grit and determination in the third set. Early on, it seemed nothing was going their way and USD fell behind 12-5 and 19-14. Then the Toreros started chipping away and went on an 8-0 run, scoring multiple clutch points, to take a 22-19 lead on their way to their second 25-23 win.
USD led for nearly the entire fourth set, although the Tigers kept it close throughout. It was their best set hitting-percentage wise, as they hit .295 as a team.
The Toreros will take on 10th-seeded USC Saturday evening at 5:00 p.m. inside the Galen Center. The match will be streamed on Pac-12+.
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