2009 LSU Tigers Volleyball
Congratulations to LSU Tigers Volleyball -- 2008 SEC West Volleyball Champs!
If Georgia has the disadvantage of being in wrong division when it comes to its ability to rank highly in the SEC, LSU is the recipient of some fortunate geography. While LSU is a good solid program that would be competitive even if they were slotted in the SEC East, they are clearly the cream of the crop in the SEC West.
What to Look for in 2009: LSU is losing some tremendous talent due to graduation since the end of the 2008 season, and it may be a challenge for the remainder of the LSU team to make up for the talent that is being lost. In fact, in Kyna Washington's departure, one of the best attackers in the SEC last season is gone. And at 4.96 digs per game, Elena Martinez was one of the best defenders in the SEC in 2008. The loss of these two top players, in conjunction with the loss of a 3rd senior, Marina Skender, could pose a challenge.
Despite the loss of Washington on the attack, LSU just may have the ability to overcome her loss thanks to the tremendous depth that was exhibited by the team last season as far as kills per game. In fact, aside from Washington, LSU returns 4 starters that averaged 1.50 or more kills per game during the 2008 season. Those players were Brittnee Cooper (2.90 kills per game), Michele Williams (2.42 kills per game), Lauren Degirolamo (2.40 kills per game), and Angela Bensend (1.59 kills per game).
LSU also has the benefit of returning a pair of talented defensive players at the net, one of whom averaged nearly a block and a quarter per game (Murphy, 1.21 blocks per game), and an0other just about one block per game (Degirolamo, 0.98 blocks per game). LSU had two other players in 2008 who averaged nearly three quarters of a block per game, in Williams and Rania Shatow (both averaging 0.72 blocks per game in 2008), and an advancement of one or both of these into the 0.8-1.0 block per game range would help the team immensely.
***ads-468x60.shtml***The area in which the LSU Lady Tigers may be in the greatest need for the 2009 season is that of deep defense, particularly digs. Elena Martinez was one of the best diggers in the SEC, and she is now gone. And on top of that, the 2nd leading digger on the squad, Washington, is also gone. As such, it will be up to the remainder of the team, led by Samantha Dabs (1.91 blocks per game in 2008), Brittney Johnson (1.56 blocks per game), and Lauren Waclawczyk (1.46 blocks per game) to pick up the slack.
2009 Prediction: The LSU Lady Tigers should have enough, even with the loss of two key members of the 2008 squad, to win the weaker SEC West Division. However, the team still will, overall, likely be no more than the 4th or even 5th best team in the SEC overall.
LSU Tigers Volleyball
You can read more about last year's LSU Tigers Volleyball team at 2008 LSU Tigers Volleyball Team.
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