LipscombSports.com
Kelly, Pierce spark Lady Bisons to win over Mercer
Brandon Rosenthal
Brandon Rosenthal

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Lipscomb Lady Bisons returned to the scene of their 2007 Atlantic Sun Championship Tournament title and came away with a 3-1 match win over Mercer at the University Center.

“We were in the same locker room,” said Lady Bisons coach Brandon Rosenthal. “Obviously, that place has great memories for us, but at the same time we have to build new memories. It was more about going out there and taking charge.

“I was proud of our players. It is getting harder and harder to win on the road. Whenever we can come out with a victory on the road we have to feel pretty pleased.”

The Lady Bisons won set one 26-24 and set two 25-19 before losing set three 25-22. The Lady Bison rebounded for the match win with a 25-17 win in set four Friday night.

“Mercer did a real nice job of jumping out on us in set one,” Rosenthal said. “We took control of set two. In the third we led and let our guard down. We didn’t take care of some plays here and there that we should have.

“A lot of credit goes to Mercer. I thought they were a good team. They gave us some problems. That is why I am so happy to walk out of there with a victory. They put better and better teams out there every time we play. It’s tough.”

Middle blocker Alex Kelly and opposite Erin Pierce both finished with double doubles in kills and digs. Kelly made a match high 22 kills and 16 digs and also had a .364 hitting percentage.

Pierce finished with 21 kills, a season-and-career high, and 14 digs and a .367 hitting percentage.

“Erin is the X factor,” said Rosenthal. “She spent some time on the outside. She gave some relief to Alex Kelly. She did a tremendous job of filling a void offensively and defensively.”

It was the sixth match in a row that Kelly has finished with a double-double in kills and digs.

Libero Jessica Turner was credited with a team-high 23 digs, her 11th match in double figures in digs.

The only Mercer player in double figures was Krista Hurley with 10. Amiee Frutchey made a match-high 26 digs. Claire Tucker added 24.

“We did a nice job defensively,” said Rosenthal. “We usually don’t get out dug by the other team, but we did this time. Coming down the stretch late I thought we did a nice job of buckling down.”

The Lady Bisons are 11-7 overall, 8-1 in the A-Sun. They remain tied with Florida Gulf Coast for first place.

Mercer fell to 10-6, 5-3 in the conference.

The Lady Bisons play the second of five consecutive road matches Saturday afternoon at 4 when they visit Kennesaw State.

“Kennesaw State is hungry for a win,” said Rosenthal. “We have to come out early and take care of the ball on our side. We have to build on our performance against Mercer.”