9.30.18 LSU vs Texas A&M

LSU junior setter Anna Zwiebel (2) sets the ball during the Lady Tigers’ 2-3 loss against Texas A&M in the PMAC on Sunday Sept. 30, 2018.

This season, the LSU volleyball team returns three senior players: Anna Zwiebel, Milan Stokes and Sydney Mukes. All three have had countless volleyball experience and are likely to use their knowledge to help the new freshmen recruits.

Zwiebel in particular has extensive knowledge both on and off the court. Back in 2017, she became only the second player in program history to be named to the COSIDA All-America Third Team with a 4.09 GPA in Kinesiology.

“Anna is a model student-athlete,” said coach Fran Flory in a press release. “She is driven to excel on the court and in the classroom.”

Freshman Karli Rose showed flashes of Zwiebel this past weekend, who led the team in assists and aces in 2017. Rose tallied a match-high 22 assists against UT Arlington.

“Karli is a dynamic, explosive athlete who will bring a different style to the setting position,” Flory said. “Her ability to impact the game from all facets will open the opportunity for us to run a more diverse system.”

The Tigers do not get to play on their home turf until Sep. 20; however, this gives these seniors plenty of time to help the freshmen adjust and have confidence knowing that fans will rally in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center to support them.

Stokes, who hails from California, knows this all too well.

“There’s just nothing like PMAC,” Stokes said. “Away SEC games are always rowdy, but what I love is coming back to Baton Rouge and being able to play in front of our own crowd and feeling that support.”

Anita Anwusi, freshman middleblocker, had a team-high eight blocks against UT Arlington. She accounted for almost all of the team’s blocks along with senior Sydney Mukes, who had seven.

Mukes (six-foot-one) and Anwusi (six-foot-three) have been a defensive force through their first weekend tournament. Mukes will surely be able to help Anwusi improve her blocking abilities even more.

“Anita is an incredibly gifted athlete who will bring a different level of physicality to our gym,” Flory said. “She will have an amazing future in this sport far beyond the collegiate game.”

LSU has opened the season at 2-1 with victories over UT Arlington and Houston. The Tigers will travel to Ames, Iowa for the Cyclone Invitational Sept. 7-8 against Penn State and Iowa State.

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