LSU Beach Volleyball

NCAA Beach Volleyball: LSU Has More in the Tank

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There’s more left in the tank yet. Russell Brock needs just two results to prove it: the first match of the season, and the last.

That first day, February 23, Brock’s LSU Tigers beat both Cal Poly and Florida State, 3-2. Two teams in this weekend’s NCAA Championships. The best the East had to offer and one of the most promising in the West.

The last day the script was flipped, when the Tigers fell to Florida State in the finals of the CCSA Tournament.

“It didn’t really matter who we were beating, we knew we had more in the tank that we had to figure out how to get to it,” Brock said of his Tigers. “I still think that’s our mindset right now. The lineup we’re going into nationals right now – I don’t know if we’ve ever run it exactly like this, and the goal is, we gotta be a little bit better. The hope is we will finally have put the pieces where they’re supposed to be.”

All season long, the feeling kept nagging Brock: There was something more LSU could be doing. But what?

After the Tigers returned to the Bayou from East Meets West, LSU didn’t lose to another East Region team the rest of the regular season. Its only loss came to UCLA at Florida International’s Surf and Turf Invitational.

So what was it?

“It was a weird season where you feel like we gotta do more, we gotta do more, then you get to the end, and you’re like ‘Holy smokes! That was pretty good!’” Brock said, laughing, of the team that went 29-6 but was never satisfied. “We were just pressing so hard to be better. That’s what we were trying to do all season: be better.”

LSU has three days left to do it. In a field that features five West Coast teams, it will open up this weekend’s NCAA Tournament as the fifth seed, playing fourth-seeded Pepperdine.

There is no dearth of opportunities to do more.

“All of those pairs, they look forward to the chance to be tested,” Brock said. “This weekend, they know, ‘Hey, we are going to get everything we want,’ and they are chomping at the bit, because when you’re that good, you just don’t see it that often. They know every time they walk out on the sand, they’re so ready for it. They’re always fun to watch. But against that environment, against those teams? You can just park yourself on court one all weekend and it’s going to be fantastic.”

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