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Lady Bisons are on a record-setting pace

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Oct. 18, 2007

There is still a lot of volleyball to be played but it is already a record year for the Lady Bisons.

Junior outside hitter Sarah Snider set two new Atlantic Sun records for a five-game match Tuesday night with 37 kills and 109 total attempts in a non-conference win at Tennessee-Chattanooga.

She beat the kills record of 35 twice set by Leyre Santaella Sante of UCF against Stephen F. Austin on Sept. 7, 2002 and UCF against Belmont on Sept. 28, 2001.

Former Lipscomb player Cara Wilber hold the record for most kills in a four-game conference match with 26 against Jacksonville Nov. 5, 2005.

"I don't think these records will stand very long," Lipscomb volleyball coach Brandon Rosenthal. "It is something I knew Sarah would be able to do. She will eventually break them again."

The previous record for total attempts in a match was 76 set by Kristie Brinkley Oct. 3, 2003. The total attacks record was a surprise to Rosenthal.

"We monitor that through the games, but we have to ultimately get the job done," Rosenthal said. "There is not hard and fast rule about total attacks. We check with her throughout the match.

"That was a large number of total attacks. Part of the reason is that Chattanooga plays great defense. They lead the nation in digs.

Senior libero Ann Mullins only needs 27 more digs to be the all-time conference leader in digs. She had a season-high 39 against Tennessee-Chattanooga. The most amazing thing about Mullins reaching this feat is that she has only been playing for Lipscomb for three seasons.

Liz Kane from Mercer is the all-time digs leader with 1,843.

"I don't know how much it will be noticed that she is going to do it in three years," Rosenthal said. "But it is a tremendous feat."

"Ann is the first to tell you that it doesn't really matter as long as we get the win." Rosenthal said. "But Ann knows that she is close. She approaches every game the same, but her awareness of how close she is will give her a little extra edge.

"We are at that point of the season where everybody is tired. This will give her that extra juice that she needs."

Rosenthal would prefer Mullins to break the record at Allen Arena Saturday Kennesaw State visits. But it might not happen until Tuesday when the Lady Bisons make the short trip to Belmont.

Junior defensive specialist Jessica Turner didn't set a record, but she did set a new career high with 25 digs against Tennessee-Chattanooga.

"Jess is having a fantastic year," Rosenthal said. "It has been an understated year. Jessica does some great stuff on the court. She can have 15 or 16 digs in a match no one really notices her, but when check the stats we see we are 12 to 20 digs ahead of the other team we start to realize where we are getting those digs from."

Freshman defensive specialist Brittany Simmons is also putting up solid marks with a season-high 15 digs against Tennessee-Chattanooga.

"We knew the game was a little bit faster than Brittany was comfortable with when she first came here," Rosenthal said. "We told her we weren't in a rush. We told her not to be in a rush because her time would come. She has a terrific attitude."

The Lady Bisons have won their last seven matches. They are in a three-way tie for fourth in the conference.

"We really haven't talked about the winning streak," Rosenthal said. "It's kind of odd that no one on the team have even mentioned it.

"I think it stems from understanding we have to take one match at a time. I told them to enjoy the win for 24 hours and then start getting ready for Kennesaw State."

Playing mid-week matches against non-conference teams are a character check for the Lady Bisons. Tennessee-Chattanooga is in second place in the Southern Conference.

"Tuesday matches, especially against non-conference teams, teach us a lot about ourselves and a lot about what we need to do later on in the season," Rosenthal said. "They are a great opportunity for each of us to push ourselves just a little bit and face some different challenges."

The Lady Bisons, 13-9, 5-2 in the A-Sun, return to conference play Saturday at 3 when Kennesaw State, 4-19, 2-4, visits Allen Arena.