LSU volleyball suffers first loss of season

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — The LSU volleyball team was unable to rally from a two-set deficit for the second consecutive match as Miami emerged with a 3-2 decision over the Tigers 25-18, 25-17, 18-25, 16-25, 15-11 Saturday at the Knight Sports Complex.

LSU (7-1) was limited to a season-low 40 kills along with a .052 hitting percentage. The Hurricanes (5-2) countered with 66 kills and a .193 hitting clip.

Cati Leak and Malorie Pardo collected double-doubles for the Tigers. Leak belted a team-leading 13 kills and added 15 digs, while Pardo handed out 31 assists and tallied 10 digs. It was Leak’s fifth and Pardo’s third double-doubles of the season.

Briana Holman tacked on 11 kills and registered eight blocks to finish just shy of her third straight double dip. Khourtni Fears picked up eight kills and three blocks.

LSU wraps up its eight match, three-weekend road swing at the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup hosted by the University of Houston. The Tigers will take on North Texas at 11 a.m. and Baylor at 4:30 p.m.

Ramsey’s goal lifts LSU to 1-0 victory

The Tigers took advantage of one of their five corner kicks in the match in the 70th minute of play when senior Alex Ramsey’s first career goal proved to be the game-winner as the LSU soccer team scored a 1-0 victory over Rice on Sunday in its final non-conference match of the season.

After the initial service by freshman midfielder Emma Fletcher was cleared away, sophomore midfielder Heather Magee headed the ball back into the box creating a scramble in front of the net.

While standing near the left post, Ramsey found herself on the receiving end of Magee’s header as she chipped home the game-winner at the 69:24 mark for her first career goal. Senior goalkeeper Megan Kinneman led the defensive effort down the stretch as she finished the match with six saves for the victory.

The Tigers (4-3-1) leveled their series with the Owls (2-3-2) at 1-1-1 and are now unbeaten in each of their last two matches after the sides played to a 1-1 draw in Baton Rouge last season.

UL-Monroe takes 2-0 win over Southern

MONROE — The University of Louisiana at Monroe soccer program completed an undefeated four-game home stand with a 2-0 victory over Southern on Sunday at the ULM Soccer Complex.

Freshmen Abigail Canny and Allie Dickson each scored in the first half to lead ULM (4-4-1) offensively. The Warhawks outshot Southern (0-5-1) 27-7, including 14-3 on shots on goal.

LSU’s Otero loses in qualifying draw

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The LSU women’s tennis team concluded its season-opening competition Sunday as newcomer Gabrielle Otero fell 4-3 in the first round of the qualifying draw at the Coleman Vision Tennis Championships in Albuquerque, N.M.

Freshman Otero received a wild card to compete in the qualifying round of this United States Tennis Association (USTA) Pro Circuit event, and she took on professional player Nicole Melichar.

“It was a really close match and a high-level match, coach Julia S. Sell said. “(Melichar) is a player that bypassed college to go pro, so she is the next level of power and consistency. The experience of competing here is second to none. You can’t get that kind of experience anywhere else.”

Serbia earns berth in Davis Cup final

BELGRADE, Serbia — Serbia reached the Davis Cup final Sunday after Janko Tipsarevic won the decisive singles match against Vasek Pospisil to clinch a 3-2 victory over Canada.

Tipsarevic beat Pospisil 7-6 (3), 6-2, 7-6 (6) to send Serbia into the final against the Czech Republic, which beat Argentina at home.

By winning the doubles on Saturday, Canada had moved within one victory of reaching its first Davis Cup final. But in the opening singles Sunday, top-ranked Novak Djokovic beat Canada’s Milos Raonic 7-6 (1), 6-2, 6-2 to tie the series at 2-2.

Canada had never made the semis before, while Serbia won the event in 2010. The finals against the Czechs will be played in Serbia in November.

Parker’s 16 points help Sparks to rout

LOS ANGELES — Candace Parker and Jantel Lavender each scored 16 points as the Los Angeles Sparks routed the Phoenix Mercury 89-55 on Sunday.

Nneka Ogwumike had 12 points and eight rebounds for the Sparks (24-10) in a preview of the Western Conference semifinals. They’ve clinched the second and third seeds and will open a best-of-three series Thursday in Los Angeles.

Brittney Griner had nine points, seven rebounds and four blocks for Phoenix (19-15), which was held to its lowest point total this season. Jasmine James also added nine points.

Diana Taurasi, who had a shot at her sixth WNBA scoring title, took a knee to a quad in the second quarter and was held out as a precautionary measure. Phoenix’s second-leading scorer Candice Dupree did not play.

Ledecky captures USA Swimming honor

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. — Olympic and world champion Katie Ledecky was selected USA Swimming athlete of the year.

The 16-year-old swimmer from Bethesda, Md., won the award at the U.S. Aquatic Sports Convention on Saturday.

Ledecky also won the Phillips 66 Performance Award for her record-breaking swim in the 1,500-meter freestyle at the world championships in Spain this summer. She won in a world-record time of 15 minutes, 36.53 seconds, beating the field by 2.35 seconds and lowering the old mark by more than six seconds.

She won four gold medals and broke two world records at the world meet in Barcelona.

Kiwis close in on America’s Cup win

SAN FRANCISCO — Emirates Team New Zealand is getting closer to pushing the delete button on software tycoon Larry Ellison in the America’s Cup.

On one of the liveliest days of the regatta, Dean Barker and the rest of the Kiwi crew earned a split Sunday with Oracle Team USA to move within two races of yanking the oldest trophy in international sports away from the American-based powerhouse.

The day got revving when Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill posted a tweet that some people found offensive. Spithill later deleted it.

It ended with a race that saw four lead changes, strong winds on San Francisco Bay and a shift in momentum back to the Kiwis.

Compiled from news releases and The Associted Press