Olympic Sports Wrap-Up

The LSU soccer team earned a weekend split, while the Tiger volleyball squad had a rough time in Atlanta. Meanwhile, the LSU cross-country teams held their own in the first meet of the season despite not featuring their top athletes.


Teams both third at Tulane Invitational: The LSU men's and women's cross country teams came up with solid debut performances, as both squads finished third in their respective races Friday evening at the Tulane Invitational at Levee Oaks Park in New Orleans.

Ryan Raiford led the Tigers with a fourth place finish in the men's competition, while Lindsay Daigle paced the Lady Tigers with a fifth place finish in the women's race.

Despite not running a number of top runners on both sides, LSU cross country coach Mark Elliott was enthused with the results posted by each team.

"I'm very pleased with what I saw today, I think we got some very strong efforts from athletes that were put to the test," said Elliott. "We had a good, competitive effort on both sides and I like what I got from a number of my athletes today, it was a very successful competition for us."

Raiford finished the men's three-mile race in a time of 15 minutes 07.20 seconds to post the highest finish of his career. Brandon Guillory finished 10th for the Tigers, followed by Jarrett Roche' in 13th, Jason Carroll in 15th and Ben Shumaker 16th to round out the Tigers' top five.

Solomon Kandie of host-Tulane won the event with a time of 14:33.30, averaging a stellar 4:41 per mile in the process.

Alabama won the men's competition with 32 points, however, while Tulane finished second with 45 points and the Tigers third with 58 in the eight-team field.

For the Lady Tigers, Daigle completed the women's course in 12:18.10, while freshman Katie Denton finished four spots back in 10th place. Megan Szmajda placed 16th, followed by Katrina Flanders in 22nd and Sarah Bailey 25th to round out the Lady Tigers' top five.

Eva Lusitgova of Tulane edged teammate Katrina Gemmell to win the women's individual title in a time of 11:42.20. Lusitgova averaged a solid 5:51 per mile in victory.

Tulane won the women's competition with 69 points, edging Alabama and LSU, which finished with 74 and 78 points respectively in the 11-team competition.

LSU will take next weekend off to prepare for its first competition with a full squad, when both the men's and women's teams head to Albuquerque for the New Mexico Lobo Invitational on Sept. 22.


Georgetown downs LSU in volleyball, 3-0: Yulia Vtyurina recorded a double-double with 15 kills and 12 digs to lead Georgetown to a 30-28, 30-23, 30-24 victory over LSU on Friday night in the Georgia Tech classic in Atlanta.

The Tigers fall to 2-2 on the season while the Hoyas improved to 2-2.

Lauren Warner was equally deadly for Georgetown as she notched 14 kills and 11 digs in the match. Jennifer Ward also had a double-double with 41 assists and 10 digs.

"Georgetown just had too much firepower on the outside tonight with Vtyurina and Warner," said LSU coach Fran Flory. "They got in a groove offensively and we really couldn't stop them."

LSU was led by junior Jennifer Hampton, who had 12 kills and four blocks. Junior Addie Prewitt provided a spark off the bench with seven kills and four blocks in just two games.

Serving was the Tigers downfall as they had just three service aces compared to 10 errors. Meanwhile, the Hoyas had seven aces and just six errors.

"This is the second straight weekend our serving has let us down," said Flory. "Last weekend against Baylor it cost us key points and it did the same tonight. We can't have that many mistakes on the one thing we can control and expect to win the match."

Georgetown stole game one from LSU as the Tigers outhit the Hoyas .308 to .200. Strong serving proved to be the difference as Georgetown recorded four aces in the game while the Tigers managed none.

Vtyurina paced the Hoyas with six kills, two digs and two blocks. Warner added four kills two digs and one block. For LSU, Hampton was unstoppable as she racked up seven kills in just 11 attempts. She also had three digs and three blocks in the game.

In game two, the Hoyas raced out to a 12-6 lead before the Tigers rallied back to within two, 14-12, behind the blocking of Lauren Cuyler and Prewitt, who each finished with three blocks in the game. However, Georgetown went on an 11-5 run to push the lead to eight and all but put the game away.

"I thought Addie came off the bench and gave us a huge lift when we needed it in game two," Flory noted. "She gave us some crucial blocks to get us back in the game, but we couldn't capitalize on that."

The story of the game was the Hoyas 21 kills and .381 attack percentage to LSU's 12 kills and .184 attack percentage. Vtyurina again led the charge with six kills while Warner had five. Hampton notched four kills in the game.

Game three was similar to its predecessor as Georgetown pulled away from the Tigers in the middle of the game, building a 22-16 lead before coasting to the win.

LSU blanked by Top 25 team: All-American Angela Knopf recorded a double-double with 16 kills and 15 digs to lead Colorado State, ranked 12th nationally, to a, 30-25, 30-15, 30-23, over the LSU volleyball team on Saturday in the Georgia Tech Classic.

LSU fell to 2-3 on the season while Colorado State improved to 5-0.

"We played a good team today," said LSU coach Fran Flory. "Colorado State didn't play to the level they are capable of today, but we weren't able to capitalize on that. We blew a golden opportunity today."

The Rams became the first team to out-block the Tigers this season, recording 11 blocks to LSU's six. Colorado State also hit .319, the highest percentage of a Tiger opponent this season, compared to just .070 for LSU.

"I thought our ball control was much better today than last night, but we didn't have any finishing ability," Flory noted. "We can't have our outside hitters hit a negative percentage and expect to win. A team would have to lose to us for us to get a win in that situation."

Knopf, who hit .682 on the match, also led all players with seven blocks. Courtney Cox and Katie Jo Shirley each reached double-figures in kills with 14 and 10, respectively.

Rachel Vogt and Addie Prewitt led the Tigers with six kills a piece. Katie Kubena was the defensive leader with seven kills and four blocks, both team highs.

In game one, the Rams raced out to an early 12-6 lead before LSU rallied to score seven unanswered points and take a 17-15 lead in the game. However, Colorado State proved to be too powerful as it won 15 of the next 23 points to win the game.

Knopf paced the Ram attack with five kills and two blocks in the game while Courtney Cox added four kills and four digs. LSU was led by Hampton, Davis and Rachel Vogt, who each notched three kills.

Game two started out close before Colorado State ran off four straight points to take a 13-8 advantage. From there it was all Rams as they ran away with the game. LSU hit -.063 in the game compared with Colorado State's .382. The Tigers manages just six kills in the game.

Cox led the way for the Rams with five kills while Knopf recorded four to go along with her three blocks.

The third game was much of the same as LSU kept it close until a six point run midway through the frame gave Colorado State a commanding 25-13 lead.

Georgia Tech beats Tigers: Maja Pachale hit for 23 kills to lead Georgia Tech to a 30-24, 30-24, 30-22, victory over LSU on Sunday afternoon in the final match of the Georgia Tech Classic.

The loss drops LSU to 2-4 on the season while the Yellow Jackets improved to 4-2. The game was broadcast by Fox Sports South and will be aired on Sept. 16 at 3 p.m. and Sept. 18 at 11 a.m. 

"I thought we showed good fight today in coming back in game three," said LSU coach Fran Flory. "But we can't keep digging holes for ourselves and expect to get out of them. It happened in all three games today." 

Meagan Davis was the Tigers main offensive weapon, hitting for 10 kills on just 17 attempts en route to a .529 hitting percentage. Rachel Vogt was the main force at the net, recording six blocks while Jenny Greco and Jennifer Hampton led the defense with 11 and 10 digs, respectively. 

"What can you say about Meagan? She just keeps producing for us, but we can't seem to get the ball to her enough," Flory noted. "She only had 17 swings in the match. That number needs to be higher for us to be successful." 

With a crowd of 1,853 behind it, Georgia Tech raced out to an early 9-3 advantage in the first game. The game went back and forth the rest of the way as LSU was unable to cut the lead below four. 

Lauren Sauer and Pachale had six and five kills, respectively, to pace the Tech attack. Lynette Moster and Kele Eveland each recorded six digs in the game. 

The Tigers were led by Davis and Meghan Bedford, who had three kills a piece. Vogt's three blocks and Hampton's six digs to led the defense. 
Georgia Tech jumped all over LSU in the second game and owned a quick 5-0 lead. The Tigers managed to close the lead to two as late as 19-17, but could get no closer. 

The Yellow Jackets were on fire the whole game, hitting .353 compared to
LSU's .075 clip. Pachale led the charge with nine kills in the game. Bedford and Davis each notched four kills for the Tigers. 

LSU reversed the trend in game three opening up early four point leads at 9-5 and 10-6. However, Tech came right back with an 8-1 run to take a 14-11 lead. The lead reached five, 18-13, before the Tigers rallied to tie the game at 20 and 21. However, the Yellow Jackets answered with nine straight points before closing out the game. 

Kyra Lancon's four kills in just five attempts in the third stanza led LSU while Pachale again paced Tech with nine kills. 

LSU will next be in action on Friday, Sept. 14 in the Tiger Classic when it faces Rice at 1 p.m. and George Mason at 7 p.m.


Tigers fall to no. 16 Florida, 3-0: The LSU soccer team fell to 16th-ranked Florida, 3-0, on Friday in a classic battle in which the Tigers held the Gators scoreless for nearly 45 minutes. Florida notched a demoralizing first-half goal with less than a minute to play to take an early lead.

"This team has definitely come a long way in a year," said LSU head coach George Fotopoulos. "The last time we faced Florida we got beat 11-0, and tonight we competed with them and gave them a good game. We have to enjoy what we've done, but it's still a loss. We just have to put this behind us and get ready for Lafayette on Sunday."

With the loss the Tigers dropped to an overall record of 1-1 on the season and fell to an 0-1 mark in Southeastern Conference play. Florida improved to 2-1 with the win and earned an early 1-0 record in the conference.

At 44:08 in the first half of play, Florida's Kelley Visentin gathered a deflection and scored her first of two goals on the night from 10 yards out to give the Gators a key 1-0 lead in the contest.

"The goal right before the half was definitely the turning point in the game," Fotopoulos said. "If we could have entered the locker room with the score 0-0, our mental state would have been better off. That goal was such a let down for us, especially because they didn't dominate in the game."

Early in the second half of play, Visentin scored her second goal of the contest to give the Gators a vital 2-0 lead in the game. Robin Fulton recorded her first assist of the season on the play.

Florida capped off the scoring with 10:33 remaining in the game as the Gators' senior forward Andi Sellars notched her second goal of the season on a sliding shot into the far side of the net. Christine Johnson picked up the assist on the play.

"Overall we're going to take a lot from this game and we're going to have to take the positive with the negative," said Fotopoulos. "It was respectable, and if you ask Florida, they would say that this was the best LSU team that they have ever played."

The Tigers' Artie Brown had LSU's lone scoring opportunity of the contest on Friday, as she broke through the Gator defense midway through the first half and missed scoring her fourth goal of the season by a mere foot. Her shot angled just wide of Florida's left post.

With the win, Florida extended its lead to 4-0 in the all-time series and picked up its second victory over the Tigers here in Baton Rouge. LSU's previous scores against the perennial SEC champions were 7-0, 10-1 and 11-0.

 Tigers defeat UL-Lafayette, 3-0: The LSU soccer team won its seventh-straight in-state contest on Sunday as the Tigers shutout the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns, 3-0, in a soggy battle at the LSU Soccer Complex.

"It's always hard to come back and play again after losing your last game, but we found a way to win tonight and that was very good for our team," said LSU head coach George Fotopoulos. "UL-Lafayette has a talented team this year. They came into this match after defeating Jacksonville, who is ranked in the region and is a national qualifier, and they played us very hard tonight."

LSU improved to an overall record of 2-1 with the victory while the Ragin' Cajuns fell to a 1-3 mark on the season. The Tigers also remained undefeated against Louisiana-Lafayette and lead the all-time series, 2-0.

Ashley Mitnick, the Tigers' junior All-Southeastern Conference selection gave the LSU soccer team an early 1-0 lead in the contest by scoring on a free kick from 30 yards out only 4:21 into the game. With the goal, Mitnick accumulated her third and fourth points of the season. She recorded two assists in the Tigers' season opener against McNeese State.

"I'm very pleased with the way that we played," Fotopoulos said. "The field was extremely wet and soggy, but we still created a lot of chances to score and were able to get on the board early on in the game."

The Tigers' second goal of the night came at the 25:13 mark in the contest. LSU's Kara Dean gathered a deflected shot from Artie Brown and fired it into the net from three yards out to give the Tigers a 2-0 advantage. The goal was Dean's first of the season and the 17th of her career. She led the team with 15 in 2000 and is second on LSU's all-time goals scored list.

Bonnie Otillio earned her second shutout in three games on Sunday and improved her school-record total to 11.5. The junior is LSU's career leader in both shutouts and saves.

"Bonnie did an outstanding job for us today," said Fotopoulos. "She kept us in the game and made some clutch saves early in the second half, and whenever you get good goal-keeping play it's a lot easier to win the game."

Freshman Jessica King added the Tigers' third goal of the evening with 11:49 to play as she broke away from the Ragin' Cajun defenders and slammed home a shot from five yards out. The goal was the first of her collegiate career and was set up by a beautiful downfield pass from Elizabeth Marschall.

The LSU soccer team will next be in action on Friday, Sept. 14, as the Tigers head to Baltimore, Md., to face the Towson Tigers at 7 p.m. (Central time). The contest will be LSU's first road match of the season.

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