Oct. 13, 2006
The Lipscomb and Campbell volleyball teams turned a match into a test of wills with neither team wanting to give in.
In the end the Lady Bisons prevailed on their home court at Allen Arena, taking a 3-2 decision in the Atlantic Sun confrontation Friday night. The Lady Bisons won the first two games by scores of 30-25 and 35-33 before losing the next two 30-28 and 30-27.
The Lady Bisons finally took the match in game five by a 15-12 margin.
"You can't take anything in this conference for granted," said Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal. "Nobody is going to roll over. We knew coming into the match that Campbell's height was going to be a problem and it was.
"I give Campbell a tremendous amount of credit. After losing game two they could have easily rolled over, but they showed a lot of heart and a lot of drive."
It was the first five-game match since the Lady Bisons lost 3-2 to Arkansas-Little Rock at the Memphis Invitational.
"To win a five-game is a tremendous boost," said Rosenthal. "Any five-game match, especially in the conference, is going to be tough. It was an awesome to be part of this match."
Game one set the stage for the rest of the evening. After opening with a 4-1 lead the Lady Bisons watched as Campbell came back to take an 8-6 advantage. The Lady Bisons tied the game at 14-14, 16-16 and 18-18. They took the lead at 19-18 and never gave it back. The Lady Bisons stretched the lead to six points on two occasions at 24-18 on a kill shot by Lindsey Rutherford and 26-20 on a kill play by Cara Wilber.
Campbell took a 2-0 lead in game two, but the Lady Bisons took over in the early going with a 12-7 lead their biggest advantage in the game. Campbell battled back to tied the game at 12-12 and then pushed ahead to a 15-12 advantage, After a Campbell server sent the ball deep out of bounds, Catherine Johnson scored on a couple of kill shots to rally the Lady Bisons to a 15-15 tie.
Campbell would briefly take the lead again at 16-15. The Lady Bisons knotted the game at 16-16 and then took a 17-16 lead on a kill shot by Alex Scruggs. Again, Campbell fought back. They took the lead at 22-21 and never trailed again until the Lady Bisons took a 31-30 edge. Campbell then came back yet again to take a 33-32 lead, but the Lady Bisons closed out the game 35-33.
"The first two games I thought we good games for us," said Rosenthal. "We made some mistakes in game two."
Campbell bounced back strong in game three, breaking a 12-12 tie and never looking back. Their biggest lead of the game was eight points at 21-13. The Lady Bisons pulled within one point at 29-28 before losing.
Game four was the closest of the match with neither team leading by more than three points at any one time. After the 12th tie of the game at 24-24 Campbell took control for the win.
"In game three we looked flat," said Rosenthal. "In game four we just kind of gave up which is disappointing."
In game five the Lady Bisons took the lead from the start and never trailed.
"Campbell made a lot of plays at the end to keep rallies alive," said Rosenthal. "The numbers for both teams are very similar."
The Lady Bisons had two players with double-doubles in kills and digs. Rutherford made a match-high and career-high 23 digs and added 27 kills, also a career high. Cara Wilber earned her fifth double-double out of her last six games with 19 kills and 23 digs.
"Lindsey Rutherford had her career match," said Rosenthal. "She really kept us in the match."
Ashley Cox added 18 kills for the Lady Bisons. Alex Scruggs finished with 11. Libero Ann Mullins was credited with a team-leading 33 digs. Jessica Turner finished with 16 and Samantha Sullivan made 11.
"Catherine Johnson came up big for us in the end," said Rosenthal. "She doesn't show up a whole lot on the stat sheet, but she had some key plays for us.
"Alex struggled with the bigger blockers. Campbell did a fantastic job of shutting her down. That's hard for Alex. Ashley had a pretty good night."
The Lady Bisons finished with a school record 116 digs.
Campbell's Ashley Weers had a double-double with 15 kills and 14 digs. Femi Alabi led Campbell with 19 kills. Rachel Templin finished with 16.
Melissa Harvey was credited with a match-high 43 digs. Sarah Hill finished with 22 followed by Sarah Dillon with 12.
The Lady Bisons are 8-12, 3-1 in the A-Sun. Campbell is 9-12, 2-3 in the conference.
There is little time for rest. The Lady Bisons are back in action Saturday afternoon at 3 against Gardner-Webb, a 3-0 loser to Belmont Friday night.
"We're once again, with very little rest, faced with a battle," said Rosenthal. "Gardner-Webb is playing great volleyball. We'll see who wants it more."