Southeastern volleyball earns historic first win over LSU in Baton Rouge

SLU downs Tigers in four sets in Sunday stunner
Sr. OH Kailin Newsome (#6) & Sr. MH Jacqueline Arrington (#23) rise to block a LSU attack
Sr. OH Kailin Newsome (#6) & Sr. MH Jacqueline Arrington (#23) rise to block a LSU attack(LSU Athletics)
Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 8:19 AM CDT

BATON ROUGE, La. – The defending Southland Conference Champion Southeastern Louisiana University volleyball team capped off one of the most successful nonconference weekends in program history with a historic victory, picking up its first-ever win over the LSU Tigers 3-1 (25-22, 25-21, 20-25, 25-17) Sunday afternoon at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

After the match’s first 10 rallies were evenly split at 5-5, a Cicily Hidalgo kill kicked off a four-point run for the Southeastern to open the first bit of an advantage as a kill by Hannah Brewer put SLU up 9-5. The lead slowly expanded as a Rachel Hartmann kill put the Lady Lions up 13-8. The Tigers rallied, scoring nine of the next 13 points to tie the set at 17-17. It would be tied at 20-20 when SLU went on the run that put the set away with Kailin Newsome getting two kills and while Hartmann and Jacqueline Arrington combining on blocks on back-to-back rallies to put Southeastern on set point. It took 3 rallies, but Newsome put the set away with a kill to put SLU up 1-0 in the match.

The second set didn’t have the start the Lady Lions envisioned, falling down 4-0, but Southeastern immediately rallied, scoring on five of the next six rallies as Hartmann served up an ace that started it all anew at 5-5. After LSU scored the next two points, another Newsome kill sent SLU off on the run of the set as the Lady Lions scored the next six straight to take an 11-7 lead after Hidalgo and Arrington blocked a Tiger attack back down on LSU’s side of the net. LSU scored six of the next nine to cut the Southeastern lead down to 14-13, but the Lady Lions kept them away, scoring six of the next seven points to open the advantage back up to six points at 20-14 following an LSU attack error. SLU used the advantage to slowly get to the magic number of 25, taking 11 rallies to secure set point on a Tiger service error at 25-21 and go up 2-0 in the match.

LSU rode the momentum of several small runs throughout the third set to open a gap over Southeastern, taking a 16-11 lead off of a kill. SLU got as close as two points the rest of the set as another Tiger service error made the score 21-19 LSU. The Tigers scored on four of the final five rallies to force a fourth set with a 25-20 score.

Southeastern made sure there would be no fifth set early in the fourth. Another LSU service error kicked off a run of seven in a row for the Lady Lions, turning a 2-2 tie into a convincing 9-2 SLU lead on a kill by Alexis Logarbo. Over the rest of the set, every time LSU tried to string together a couple points, the Lady Lions responded, pushing the lead back up and never letting the Tigers back in it. Eventually, a block by Logarbo and Arrington gave Southeastern its largest advantage of the set at 22-14. Six rallies after that, Hidalgo got all of her power into a swing and put down a kill on match point to secure the fourth set 25-17 and match 3-1.

“This is a program-defining win,” said SLU head volleyball coach Jeremy White. “I’m so proud of the confidence we played with and the intensity we showed on both sides of the ball. This was probably the greatest team win of my coaching career and I can’t say it enough how great this group is.”

Newsome picked up her sixth double-double of the season and fifth straight as she piled up a team-high 17 kills to go with a match-high 15 digs. She hit .255 in the match and had a block assist as well. Hidalgo tied Newsome with a team-high 17 kills while collecting her third double-double of the year with 10 digs and had a block assist as well. Arrington was a force at the net, collecting nine block assists to go with eight kills in the win. Logarbo added five block assists and two kills. Calli Collins collected her first double-double of the season with 19 assists and 10 digs to go with a couple kills. Peyton Stokley was one dig off of her own double-double with a team-high 20 assists and nine digs.

The Lady Lion offense had its best day of this young season, hitting for .321 as a team in the win. The Tigers finished with a .271 attack percentage as a team in the contest.

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