FORT WORTH, Texas – For the first time in program history, LSU Beach Volleyball will look to protect its No. 1 ranking this week as the Tigers travel to TCU for the Fight at the Fort tournament on Friday and Saturday that includes two of four matches against ranked teams.
“Now we have a target on our back,” said head coach Russell Brock.
“We didn’t begin this process this year to be No. 1 in the second poll of the season,” Brock added. “We have a much longer vision, a much grander goal and we know that the process is to get better. If we can continue to improve and we get better this weekend, then we’ll do what we need to do on the court.”
All of the matches for Fight at the Fort will take place at the TCU Beach Volleyball Courts. Fans can follow @LSUBeachVB on twitter for updated throughout the event.
LSU jumped to the top of the AVCA and DiG rankings on Monday after defeating previously top-ranked UCLA in consecutive weeks, including in front of a NCAA beach record on-campus crowd of 2,407 last Saturday at LSU Beach Volleyball Stadium.
Claire Coppola and Kristen Nuss, LSU’s senior pair on Court 1, have a chance to make NCAA history this weekend. They currently sit at 99 career victories as a pair, playing in every collegiate match together. Only two other pairs in NCAA Beach Volleyball have reached the 100-win mark; USC’s Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes were 147-4 and played from 2014-17. UCLA’s twin pair of Megan and Nicole McNamara went 109-30 and graduated last year.
LSU will open on Friday against two ranked teams in No. 17 Arizona at 8:30 a.m. CT and No. 16 TCU at 12:30 p.m. Arizona remains unbeaten at 7-0, but LSU will be the Wildcat’s first ranked test. TCU (6-2) is at home for the second consecutive weekend and has one top-20 win this season against No. 13 South Carolina the first weekend of the season.
“Arizona is a team that annually is a strong team out of the Pac-12,” said Brock. “They face tough competition week-in and week-out. TCU is a conference foe. They know us well and we know them and it’s going to be at their place. They’re going to have that comfort level that we had at our home place this past weekend in big matches.”
LSU will wrap up the weekend on Saturday against Missouri State (3-5) at 9 a.m. and UAB (4-2) at 1 p.m.
(Press Release Provided by LSU Athletics)