Aug. 29, 2009

Coming off an opening-match defeat in the Shamrock Invitational, LSU Tigers came back strong and earned a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Denver on day two of action at Notre Dame’s Joyce Center.

LSU got off to a quick start in the first set taking a 7-3 lead. Denver rallied back to tie the set at 20-20, but the Tigers fought off the mid-set rally by the Pioneers to win the opening set, 25-21.

In the second set it was the same story but the roles were reversed. Denver took a convincing lead 17-12 but the Tigers clawed back tying the frame at 24-24 to send the set into overtime. In overtime, the Pioneers went on a five-to-three rally to win the set, 30-28, tying the match at 1-1.

The third set was tightly contested with neither team taking a definitive lead. A late rally by LSU propelled the Tigers to a 25-22 victory and a 2-1 advantage.

The Tigers looked to have victory in their grasp after taking a 22-12 lead before an impressive 14-2 rally by the Pioneers which resulted in a 26-24 Denver victory, sending the match into a dramatic fifth and final set.

LSU regained their composure in the fifth set en route to a 15-10 set victory to take the match, 3-2. In the fifth the Tigers had their best set of match by converting on .304 of their attacks.

Leading the Tigers was junior setter Brittney Johnson who led the team with 36 assists while contributing nine kills on 19 attempts along with nine digs. Also playing a major role in the Tigers’ victory was senior Marina Skender, who led the team with 22 digs to go with her 10 kills.

Sophomore Jordan Raines led the Pioneers with a team-high 19 kills to go with 11 digs. Junior setter Kresson Vreeman had 48 of the Pioneers 54 assists.

The win improves LSU to 1-1 in the Shamrock Invitational. The Tigers return to action Sunday at 1:00 p.m. (ET) to take on host Notre Dame in the final match of the Shamrock Invitational.

The loss drops Denver to 0-2 to start the season as the squads heads into a Sunday matchup with No. 5 Stanford at 11:00 a.m.