Nov. 15, 2007
Lipscomb's Lady Bisons moved into the semifinals of the Atlantic Sun Conference Volleyball Tournament with a 3-0 sweep of Mercer University.
This was the third straight season the Lady Bisons, the No.4 seed, had faced Mercer, the No. 5 seed, in the first round. It is also the third straight season the Lady Bisons have beaten Mercer to move to the semifinals.
The Lady Bisons won the match by scores of 30-15, 30-24 and 30-26. The match was played at Mercer's University Center in Macon, Ga.
"When we play as a team like we are capable of playing we are hard to beat," said Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal. `We came out in the first game and set a tone for the rest of the match."
Earlier this season the Lady Bisons lost 3-2 to Mercer in Macon Sept. 22. Rosenthal said that the earlier loss had gnawed at his players most of the season.
"That was one of our keys to victory," Rosenthal said. "When we lost that earlier match to Mercer we felt like we had let one get away.
"In talking with our players individually, and as a group, all of them talked about the Mercer match. Of the matches we lost that was the one that stood out to them."
Lipscomb junior outside hitter Sarah Snider made a match-high 17 kills and also posted a .342 hitting percentage with 38 total attacks.
Freshman middle blocker Alex Kelly made 12 kills.
"Turner played a very solid match," Rosenthal said. "She was very good serving. We were very good serving as a team. We kept them on their heels with our serves."
But it was freshman setter Stefine "Jake" Pease who stood out for Rosenthal. She posted a .700 hitting percentage and made 43 total assists.
"Jake played a fantastic match," Rosenthal said. "To have a setter like her and five hitters like we have that has to be frustrating for any team."
Senior outside hitter Drennan Denheimer posted a double-double with a team-high 10 kills and a match-high 13 digs for Mercer. Junior Claire Tucker made 11 digs.
Friday night at 6:30 the Lady Bisons will face top-seeded Belmont. The Lady Bisons lost at Belmont ??.
"The rivalry is no secret," Rosenthal said. "Our players all know each other very well.
"I don't know if there is a whole lot we can do to get ready for them. We play good defense. They play good defense. It is going to be a matter of not forcing the issue."
The earlier loss to Belmont is not as much of a motivator as the Mercer match. Belmont is 20-7.
"When we lost to Belmont it was one of those matches where nothing went our way no matter what we tried," Rosenthal said. "We have a second chance against them. It is going to be a difficult match, but we don't want to let it get away."
The Lady Bisons are 18-11. Mercer ends the season with an 8-20 record.