CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Malorie Pardo handed out 30 assists to go along with five digs and three aces as the LSU volleyball team picked up a tightly contested 25-21, 25-23, 25-23 win over Middle Tennessee on Saturday to open the final day of the Carolina Classic at Carmichael Arena on the University of North Carolina campus.
“Certainly, we’re very happy to win this match,” LSU coach Fran Flory said. “I thought our team played extremely hard even though we weren’t very efficient on offense. We still had way too many errors, but we were able to create better swings. You have to credit Middle Tennessee because they dug a lot of balls. I’m proud of our resiliency, the confidence that we showed in what we’re doing and the total effort especially late in tight sets.”
Pardo set a balanced attack, and LSU (3-5) had four hitters register over six kills for the match. The Tigers were limited to a .142 hitting percentage for the match but executed late in sets to earn the sweep. Madie Jones powered home six of her team-leading 12 kills in the third set and added three digs.
Helen Boyle made the most of her 16 attempts. She connected for six kills on a .312 hitting percentage and also recorded eight digs. Desiree Elliott garnered nine kills and two blocks, while Cati Leak charted seven kills, four digs and three blocks.
“We needed that win in a big way,” Boyle said. “We were a little down after last night. The goal was to come out this morning forget about last night’s loss and move forward. We had to focus more of being ourselves and taking care of our own jobs on the court. The coaching staff told me to swing harder and not worry about where I’m putting the ball.”
Defensively, Khourtni Fears notched four blocks on the front row. Meghan Mannari posted 11 digs to extend her run of double digit scoops to seven consecutive outings. Sam Delahoussaye, who has opened her career with 100 straight match appearances, secured seven digs and an ace.
Middle Tennessee (3-7) was paced by Ashley Adams’ 16 kills and Chelsea Ross’ 13 spikes, respectively. Bri McCombs sparked the Blue Raiders with a match-best 21 digs, and Brandi Waller totaled a match-high six blocks.
LSU finished the Carolina Classic, and the nonconference portion of its schedule later Saturday versus Western Michigan.
TIGERS TIED FOR THIRD HEADING TO FINAL ROUND AT CARPET CAPITAL: In Rocky Face, Ga., sophomore Curtis Thompson followed his 1-under par 71 in Friday’s opening round with a 2-under par 70 in Saturday’s second round to help lead the Tigers into a tie for third place heading into the final round of the Carpet Capital Collegiate Classic at The Farm Golf Club.
Thompson is on the cusp of his first top-10 finish at the collegiate level after moving himself into a tie for 11th place on the leaderboard at 3-under par 141 for the championship.
Thompson helped the Tigers break par for the second-straight day as they posted a 1-under 287 during the second round to finish the day in a three-way tie for third place with a 36-hole score of 3-under par 573. It is also a score held by the likes of No. 1-ranked Alabama and No. 24-ranked Clemson.
The No. 2-ranked and defending national champion Texas Longhorns fired a tournament record round 22-under par 266 on Saturday to move from a tie for 11th place at the start of their day into sole possession of first place in the race for the team title The Longhorns carry a three-stroke lead over the Georgia Bulldogs into Sunday’s final round with their leading 36-hole score of 17-under par 559.
Fellow sophomore Stewart Jolly also finished in red figures to lead the Tigers in the second round, ending Saturday’s action with a 1-under 71 for the day and a 36-hole score of 1-under 143 to finish in a tie for 16th place. Junior Andrew Presley followed his 1-under par 71 on Friday with an even-par 72 on Saturday as he also wrapped up the afternoon in a tie for 16th place with Jolly at 1-under par 143.
Freshman Zach Wright added a 2-over 74 toward LSU’s team score as he wrapped up the day tied for 30th place at 2-over 146 for the championship. Junior Landon Lyons carded his second-straight score of 4-over par 76 on Saturday to finish in a tie for 62nd place at 8-over 152 after 36 holes.
Brandon Stone fired a tournament record to lead the charge for the Longhorns in the second round with an impressive 9-under par 63 to overtake Georgia’s T.J. Mitchell for the individual lead.
The Tigers are paired with Georgia and Texas in Sunday’s final round as they are slated to tee off with the final wave off the front nine beginning at 8:30 a.m. Live scoring of the final round of the 2012 Carpet Capital Collegiate Classic will be provided by Golfstat and available online at www.golfstat.com.
Carpet Capital Collegiate Classic
SECOND ROUND RESULTS
TEAM SCORES (Par 576)
1. Texas 293-266 – 559 -17; 2. Georgia 278-284 – 562 -14; T3. LSU 286-287 – 573 -3; T3. Alabama 284-289 – 573 -3; T3. Clemson 292-281 – 573 -3; 6. Wake Forest 288-286 – 574 -2; 7. Chattanooga 292-286 – 578 +2; T8. Auburn 289-290 – 579 +3; T8. North Florida 291-288 – 579 +3; 10. North Carolina 291-293 – 584 +8; T11. Tennessee 299-290 – 589 +13; T11. Kennesaw State 293-296 – 589 +13; T13. South Carolina 296-296 – 592 +16; T13. Georgia Tech 301-291 – 592 +16; 15. Middle Tennessee State 292-315 – 607 +31.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (Par 72)
1. Brandon Stone, Texas, 69-63 – 132 -12; 2. T.J. Mitchell, Georgia, 65-68 – 133 -11; 3. Jordan Spieth, Texas, 70-66 – 136 -8; T4. MJ Maguire, North Florida, 70-68 – 138 -6; T4. Michael McGowan, North Carolina, 69-69 – 138 -6; T6. Lee McCoy, Georgia, 68-71 – 139 -5; T6. Bobby Wyatt, Alabama, 67-72 – 139 -5; T8. Stephen Behr, Clemson, 71-69 – 140 -4; T8. Ben Greene, Kennesaw State, 70-70 – 140 -4; T8. Liam Johnston, Chattanooga, 70-70 – 140 -4.
T11. Curtis Thompson, 71-70 – 141 -3. T16. Andrew Presley, 71-72 – 143 -1. T16. Stewart Jolly, 72-71 – 143 -1. T30. Zach Wright, 72-74 – 146 +2. T62. Landon Lyons, 76-76 – 152 +8