After playing its last four matches on the road, the LSU volleyball team returns home Friday to face No. 19-ranked Florida at 7 p.m. in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Admission is free, and following the match, LSU will honor Lauren Waclawczyk and Michele Williams as part of Senior Night festivities.
The match will also be part of LSU's season-long book drive to benefit the Everybody Reads Program. Fans are asked to bring new or used elementary level books to help local students.
|LSU volleyball coach Fran Flory|
"This is going to be a tough senior class to say goodbye to because of the impact that they have had on our program," Lady Tigers' coach Fran Flory said. "Not only have they won an SEC Championship on the court, they have won the SEC West and been to the NCAA Tournament every year they have been here. In the classroom and community, they have had just as much of an impact."
The Tigers (17-8, 10-5 SEC) have pieced together three straight victories to emerge with a one-match lead over Arkansas in the SEC West race.
Helen Boyle has garnered consecutive double-doubles and compiled 3.22 kills per set on an impressive .377 hitting percentage to go along with 3.02 digs per set for the weekend. The Eureka, Mo., native hammered a career-best 18 kills versus Auburn last Friday.
Malorie Pardo continues to pace the SEC with 11.82 assists per set. She also has climbed her way to seventh in the nation after posting 40-plus helpers in six of her last nine appearances. Pardo also equaled her career-high with 60 assists and added 10 digs Sunday to compile her team-leading 10th double-double of the season against Georgia.
Florida (18-5, 11-3 SEC) boasts the SEC's top defense unit and has held its opponents to a .160 hitting percentage. During a 3-0 sweep of LSU earlier this season, the Gators limited the Tigers to a season-low .027 rate.
"Our kids are excited about playing a great team, and there's no doubt that Florida is a great team," Flory said. "Their group is extremely focused, I have a lot of respect for this very talented Florida team especially their seniors along with Mary and her staff. Our team is excited about that challenge. We are going to have a better approach, and we are going to have a more aggressive mentality."
Live video and live stats of Friday's match are offered inside the Geaux Zone on LSUsports.net. In-match updates also are available via the program's social media outlets at http://twitter.com/lsuvolleyball or LSU Volleyball on Facebook. KLSU 91.1 FM will carry the match live in the Baton Rouge area.
Lady Tigers reel in three players
Flory announced that her program received National Letters of Intent from Khourtni Fears, Cati Leak and Katie Lindelow on Thursday.
All three members of the class are ranked among PrepVolleyball.com's Senior Aces Top 100 in addition to the 2011-12 AVCA Under Armour High School All-America Watch List.
"We are absolutely thrilled with the addition of Khourtni, Cati and Katie to our program and the LSU volleyball family," Flory said. "All three are outstanding student-athletes and will have an immediate impact on our program, both on and off the court. They are committed student athletes who will represent our program and our university in a first-class manner."
Fears, a 6-2 middle blocker from Bellaire, Texas, was a three-time All-District 20-5A First-Team selection from 2009-11. She also garnered MVP status as a junior in 2010. She checked in at No. 27 on PrepVolleyball.com's Senior Aces and was among the organization's Top 50 juniors.
Leak, a 6-2 outside hitter from Guntersville, Ala., was named State Tournament MVP after leading her team to its third straight Class 2A championship. She also secured 2010 Gatorade State Player of the Year along with a 2010 PrepVolleyball.com High School All-American selection. She was tabbed No. 84 on PrepVolleyball.com's Senior Aces ratings and listed among the organization's Top 50 juniors.
Lindelow, a 5-11 outside hitter from Mandeville, earned multiple All-District, NOLA.com All-Metro and All-State selections during her prep career. She also racked up 2010 Gatorade State Player of the Year and tallied 2010 PrepVolleyball.com High School All-American accolades. She was ranked No. 70 on PrepVolleyball.com's Senior Aces list.