Volleyball Preview - Texas vs LSU

The Gazelles took care of business last night and dispatched Texas State in a sweep.  
Match recap Texas vs Texas State

LSU outlasted #14 New Mexico State in a 5 game match.  Game 5 went point for point until LSU scored the final two points to get the victory and become the sacrifical lambs on Saturday night.

The sweet sixteen is on the line when Texas (25-3) takes on LSU (25-7) at 6:30 at Gregory.  

Last Time Out for Texas and LSU
Texas got a taste last night of what it is like to be a #1 regional seed. Texas State came out fired up and had the Horns tied at 19 in Game 1.  However, at that point Texas' talent and athleticism took over.  As the teams get stronger, the matches will not be as easy.

For LSU, I watched the final four games and the last 7-8 points of the first game.  I'm not sure how LSU managed to get the Game 1 win, I expect it might of been nerves on the part of New Mexico State.  LSU played very uninspired ball during Games 2 and 3.  It almost seemed like they didn't realize they could go home until their backs were against the wall in Game 4.  From the end of Game 4 on, LSU sided out well and played very competitively with New Mexico State.

Common Opponents
LSU had New Mexico State take them to 5 games last night.  In August, playing without Ashley Engle the Horns swept New Mexico State in the UH Tournament.  LSU also played Iowa State in early September on a neutral court and lost to them 1 game to 3.  One week later Texas swept Iowa State in Austin (again without Ashley Engle) and then before Thanksgiving beat ISU in Ames 3-2.

Keys to the Match for Texas
Start strong and don't give LSU any hope.  From what I witnessed last night, LSU plays its best volleyball when their backs are against the wall.  With Texas' physically dominating hitters, we need to pound the ball and finish LSU off with a sweep.  Michelle did an excellent job of distributing the ball and getting the pins and middles equally involved in the offense.  LSU runs a 6-2 offense which means they set from the back row and have 3 attackers in the front court at all times. The Texas block needs to perform well against the multiple attack option offense which is an offense we have not seen as much.

If you can't make the match here is a link which includes video, audio and livestats links for all the games of the NCAA tournament:
NCAA Volleyball Tourney Broadcast Info

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