Coming into the weekend, the LSU women’s beach volleyball team was staring straight-down-the-barrel of the top 4 teams in the country according to the latest AVCA coaches’ poll. They could have come away from the East Meets West Challenge with an 0-4 record, and still have gained something valuable from playing the best competition in the country.
They did better than that. They stole 2 points against the #1 team in the country Pepperdine, and beat the two-time defending (and only official) NCAA Champions USC 4-1: all in hostile territory on Manhattan Beach.
That made them just the 6th team ever to beat USC since they launched a varsity program in 2012. The Trojans, who are the dominant program in varsity women’s college volleyball history, have added 2 new teams to the list of those who have beaten them this season – they lost to UCLA earlier this year, and now LSU. USC is 7-4 this season after losing just 3 total matches over the last 3 seasons combined.
Teams that have beaten USC, along with date of first-such win:
- Florida State (March 24th, 2012)
- Pepperdine (April 7th, 2012)
- Long Beach State (April 14th, 2012)
- Hawaii (May 2nd, 2014)
- UCLA (April 27th, 2017)
- LSU (March 10th, 2018)
The Tigers’ #1s Claire Coppola and Kristen Nuss hadn’t lost a match coming into the weekend, but were 0-4 on the weekend. They were the one loss against USC, who has been experimenting with different lineups all season. The weekend’s stars were Emmy Allen and Maddie Ligon, who went 3-1 on the weekend at the #3 line, with their only loss coming in their last match: a 2-1 defeat to Hawaii’s Morgan Martin and Lea Monkouse on Sunday. Martin and Monkouse are now 9-3 this season.
In spite of taking a 1-3 record through the weekend, LSU coach Russell Brock was very high on his teams results.
“This morning we played a lot better than we have at any point in the season thus far,” said head coach Russell Brock said after a 4-1 weekend-opening loss to UCLA. “We just didn’t play quite well enough to pull out a win against an incredibly talented UCLA team. They’re really really good and we just made too many mistakes to overcome.”
“I’m really proud of the team for for getting a win against a great program like USC, but we know that we’re not done,” explained Brock. “We have work to do and we have higher goals and expectations.”
LSU’s Full Weekend Results:
No. 1 Pepperdine (9-2) def. No. 9 LSU (6-5), 3-2
1: Brook Bauer/Madalyn Roh (PEPP) def. Claire Coppola/Kristen Nuss(LSU), 17-21, 23-21, 15-10
2: Deahna Kraft/Corinne Quiggle (PEPP) def. Haleigh Nelson/Hunter Domanski (LSU), 21-13, 21-13
3: Emmy Allen/Maddie Ligon (LSU) def. Heidi Dyer/Gigi Hernandez (PEPP), 21-14, 21-15
4: Skylar Caputo/Alexis Filippone (PEPP) def. Olivia Powers/Gina Tillis(LSU), 17-21, 21-19, 15-11
5: Riley Young/Megan Davenport (LSU) def. Maddie Dilfer/Jordan Ferrari (PEPP), 21-18, 18-21, 15-13
No. 3 Hawaii (7-3) def. No. 9 LSU (6-6), 4-1
1: Emily Maglio/Ka’iwi Schucht (UH) def. Claire Coppola/Kristen Nuss(LSU), 21-18, 21-19
2: Laurel Weaver/Carly Kan (UH) def. Haleigh Nelson/Hunter Domanski(LSU), 21-17, 21-16
3: Morgan Martin/Lea Monkhouse (UH) def. Emmy Allen/Maddie Ligon(LSU), 21-18, 15-21, 15-10
4: Amy Ozee/Ari Homayun (UH) def. Olivia Powers/Gina Tillis (LSU), 21-12, 22-20
5: Riley Young/Megan Davenport (LSU) def. Hi’ilawe Huddleston/Allyssah Fitterer (UH), 16-21, 26-24, 16-14
#4 UCLA (8-3) def. #9 LSU Tigers (5-4), 4-1
1. Megan McNamara/Nicole McNamara (UCLA) def. Claire Coppola/Kristen Nuss (LSU) 21-10, 21-17
2. Sarah Sponcil/Lily Justine (UCLA) def. Haleigh Nelson/Hunter Domanski (LSU) 21-10, 21-12
3. Emmy Allen/Maddie Ligon (LSU) def. Savvy Simo/Zana Muno (UCLA) 21-15, 21-15
4. Elise Zappia/Madi Yeomans (UCLA) def. Olivia Powers/Gina Tillis(LSU) 21-18, 21-14
5. Izzy Carey/Megan Muret (UCLA) def. Riley Young/Megan Davenport(LSU) 21-18, 19-21, 15-12
Ext. Mac May/Hannah Phair (UCLA) def. Lilly Kessler/Emily Hardesty(LSU) 25-22, 21-16
#9 LSU Tigers (6-4) def. #2 USC (6-4), 4-1
1. Abril Bustamante/Tina Graudina (USC) def. Claire Coppola/Kristen Nuss (LSU) 25-23, 21-17
2. Haleigh Nelson/Hunter Domanski (LSU) def. Terese Cannon/Sammy Slater (USC) 23-21, 21-19
3. Emmy Allen/Maddie Ligon (LSU) def. Joy Dennis/Haley Hallgren (USC) 21-14, 16-21, 18-16
4. Olivia Powers/Gina Tillis (LSU) def. Jenna Belton/Jo Kremer (USC) 19-21, 21-10, 15-13
5. Riley Young/Megan Davenport (LSU) def. Alexandra Poletto/Maja Kaiser (USC) 21-19, 17-21, 15-11