ORANGE BEACH, Ala. — The surging LSU soccer team kicks off the 2012 postseason at 6:30 p.m. Monday against Ole Miss on the opening day of the SEC tournament in the Orange Beach Sportsplex.
The SEC will provide live streaming audio and video in the first round and quarterfinals through its digital website at www.secdigitalnetwork.com.
The Tigers (9-7-4, 5-6-2 SEC) wrapped up the regular season with a three-game winning streak to capture the No. 8 seed as they are set to compete in the SEC tournament for the sixth straight season.
The Rebels (12-8, 5-8) dropped their final three matches of the regular season to claim the No. 9 seed this week as the two teams will meet for the second time in 11 days.
After facing a 2-0 halftime deficit in their regular-season meeting in Oxford, Miss., on Oct. 19, LSU scored three unanswered goals to take home a 3-2 overtime victory at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium.
The Tigers are now unbeaten in their last five meetings with the Rebels. They own a 3-0-2 overall record since the 2008 season, including back-to-back 3-2 victories in their last two regular-season matches in 2011 and 2012.
Monday’s match marks the second meeting between the teams at the SEC Tournament, as the Tigers claimed a 2-1 win in the opening round during the 2008 season.
Freshman Jade Kovacevic leads the Tigers into the postseason as. The reigning SEC Freshman of the Week led LSU to a 3-2 come-from-behind over an Arkansas side in the regular-season finale Thursday night.
Kovacevic dished out her SEC-leading sixth assist in conference play in the 43rd minute and scored her third goal of the season in the 70th minute while leading the Tigers back from a two-goal deficit.
Fellow freshman Fernanda Pina scored the game-winning goal against the Razorbacks with her team-best fourth goal of the season in the 86th minute to give LSU its third straight win in league play.
The Rebels feature a potent offensive attack with the one-two punch of junior Mandy McCalla (13 goals) and sophomore Rafaelle Souza (12 goals). McCalla scored both goals versus the Tigers in the regular-season meeting between the two teams on Oct. 19.
The winner of Monday’s opening-round match will move to Wednesday’s quarterfinal round, where they’ll face No. 1-seeded Florida at 5 p.m. The Gators claimed the SEC regular-season championship with an 11-2 mark and 33 points in league play.
VOLLEYBALL TEAM SWEEPS
MISSISSIPPI STATE: The LSU volleyball team turned in a solid defensive effort and limited Mississippi State a paltry .035 hitting percentage en route to a 25-12, 25-20, 25-18 sweep Sunday at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
In the process, LSU (10-13, 6-8 Southeastern Conference) ended a two-match losing skid and picked up its seventh consecutive season sweep of the Bulldogs (4-18, 0-13). The Tigers converted on 39 of 52 of their sideout attempts to claim a 75 percent efficiency. Five different players had an ace for LSU.
“I thought we did a nice job,” coach Fran Flory said. “We’ve been working on certain things. I thought our serving took them out of system more. We were able to get Mississippi State out of system a whole lot more than we’ve been able to get other teams. When you get teams out of system, the defensive side of the game on your side of the net comes a little bit easier. Overall, it was a very balanced and very solid effort.”
Malorie Pardo conducted the LSU offense to 44 kills and a .262 hitting percentage. She dished out 29 assists to go along with 13 digs to secure her 10th double-double during SEC play.
Madie Jones bounced back in a big way, pounding a match-high 14 kills on a .429 hitting percentage. The 14 kills enabled Jones to move past former All-American Lauren DeGirolamo (2006-09) for 18th place on LSU’s all-time list.
Helen Boyle joined Jones with double-digit kills. She added 10 kills, 11 digs and three blocks to collect her ninth double-double of the season.
DREHER LEADS LSU IN ALAMO
INVITATIONAL: In San Antonio, Nadine Dreher posted an 1-under round to lead the LSU women’s golf team in the first round of the Alamo Invitational on Sunday at the Briggs Ranch Golf Course.
A freshman from Austria, Dreher shot a 34 on the back nine to complete a 1-under 71 to stand in a group tied for 11th after the first round of play.
LSU posted a solid opening round of 3-over 291 and is tied for sixth in the 15-team field led by Oklahoma at 9-under 279. The Sooners are seven shots ahead of SMU with Tulane in third at 1-under 287. Texas A&M is fourth at 1-over 289 with host UTSA right in front of LSU in fifth at 2-over 290.
The Lady Tigers also got an even round from junior Lindsay Gahm, who is tied for 15th place. Sophomore Madeline Sagstrom is tied for 25th at 1-over 73. Freshman Elise Bradley of Mandeville came in with a 3-over 75.
Individually, Jennifer Park of SMU and Hayley Davis of Baylor are tied for the lead at 5-under par 67. Three players are at 4 under.
The second round is set for Monday with the final round Tuesday. Live scoring is available at LSUsports.net through Golfstatresults.com.