Oct. 1, 2005
Lipscomb's Lady Bisons volleyball team played a grueling pre-conference schedule that is paying early dividends in Atlantic Sun Conference play.
The Lady Bisons won their second straight conference match with a 3-0 worksheet against visiting Mercer in front of more than 360 fans at Allen Arena. Friday night the Lady Bisons beat Stetson 3-2 to win their first two conference games for the first time ever.
"I thought we did a great job of always thinking ahead and really executing our scouting report," said Lady Bisons Coach Brandon Rosenthal said. "We had been talking about the importance of being able to play with a lead and things like that.
"The crowd was tremendous. I can't say enough about everyone who was there. I hope that we will get even more support."
The Lady Bisons won by scores of 30-24, 30-23 and 32-30.
"We were down 28-26 in the third game," Rosenthal said. "We had some clutch serving at the end."
It was the fifth victory of the season overall for the Lady Bisons. It was also their first sweep of a team this season in three straight games.
There were outstanding individual performances from several Lady Bisons players. Lindsey Rutherford with a double-double with 14 kills and 14 digs. Libero Ann Mullins finished with 17 digs. Cara Wilber made 10 kills. Alex Scruggs recorded a .308 hitting percentage.
"Samantha Sullivan had a great game," Rosenthal said. "She did a lot of things. It was not a stat-worthy performance, but she got the job done."
But the fact the victory was a team effort was most important for Rosenthal.
"We have talked a lot about playing and winning as a team," Rosenthal said. "This was a total team effort. No one on this team is worried about what they do as individuals. It is all about being part of a team."
Rosenthal also had praise for a Mercer team which is playing without its starting center player and starting opposite.
"Those positions are tough shoes to fill," Rosenthal said. "Mercer really fought hard. They put up a tremendous defensive effort. They came at us with everything they had. I have nothing but praise for them."
Liz Kane had a match high 24 digs for Mercer. Jackie Viren added a double-double with 11 kills and 11 digs. The Lady Bisons are 5-13 overall, 2-0 in the conference. Mercer is 4-13 overall, 0-3 in the A-Sun.
Despite the early conference success Rosenthal is not making A-Sun Conference Tournament reservations yet.
"We still have a long way to go," Rosenthal said. "But last season we were put ourselves in a position late to get into the tournament but we fell short. It's nice to get ahead like this, but by no means is the fight over."