No. 5 Stanford Volleyball Edges LSU, 3-2, In Season Opener

Aug. 28, 2009

NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- The fifth-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team edged LSU in five sets (22-25, 27-25, 22-25, 25-21, 15-12) Friday in the season opener for both teams at the Shamrock Invitational in Notre Dame, Ind. The Cardinal moves to 1-0 on the year, while the Tigers fall to 0-1.

Junior outside hitter Cassidy Lichtman led the Cardinal offense setting a new career high with 23 kills, hitting .314 for the match. Two-time All-American Alix Klineman added a double-double with 16 kills and digs for Stanford. As a team, Stanford hit .221, while LSU posted a .193 clip.

The first set was shaky for the Cardinal as it fell behind 9-8 early and was unable to fully recover. The two teams traded points until LSU outscored Stanford, 4-1, and claimed its largest lead of the set at 20-15. Two kills by Klineman pulled Stanford within one at 22-23, but LSU posted two straight points to go up 1-0 in the contest. Lichtman led the team with six kills and three digs, hitting .600 for the set.

The two teams remained equally matched throughout the second set. Tied at 14-14, Lichtman pounded her 10th kill, tying her previous career-high, and put the Cardinal up for good in the second. However, the Tigers would not go away without a fight, pulling within one of Stanford multiple times. The second set finally ended at 27-25 on Klineman's 11th kill of the match.

After falling in the third set, again with a score of 22-25, the Cardinal fought back to win the fourth set, 25-21. Red-shirt sophomore Stephanie Browne led the team with 5 kills in the fourth. Browne ended the match with seven kills, a new career high.

In the final set, Stanford jumped out to an early 8-2 lead on LSU. However, the Tigers would keep it interesting and pull within one at 11-10. Three kills by Lichtman and an attack error on LSU would seal the match for the Cardinal. Stanford is now 3-0 all-time against the Tigers.

True freshman Karissa Cook and Hayley Spelman earned the first starts of their careers. Cook, who split time at setter with senior Joanna Evans, totaled 34 assists and 14 digs in her first outing. Spelman contributed five kills and two block assists as an outside hitter.

Up next, Stanford will face the host of the Shamrock Invitational, Notre Dame, at 6 p.m. ET, Saturday at the Joyce Center in Notre Dame, Ind. The Fighting Irish battled Denver in the second match Friday evening.

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