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Lady Bisons end season in NCAA First Round

Friday, November 30, 2007

Nov. 30, 2007

Final Stats

The Lipscomb Lady Bisons are leaving Dayton, Ohio with a rallying cry of they will be back.

Maybe not back to Dayton, but they definitely have plans to return to the NCAA Tournament. The Lady Bisons first NCAA Tournament match ended in three games as they lost 30-17, 30-25 and 30-19 to the host Dayton Flyers Friday night in the first round at the Frericks Center.

"We came with a little bit of jitters in game one, but I was real proud of how we settled down halfway through game one and in games two and three," said Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal. "Five years ago we started this program and here we were competing, especially in game two, with one of the top teams in the country.

"Hats off to our players. Dayton volleyball is a very strong program. Theyhave played all of the big names. They have a very good thing going. They are team to be reckoned with."

Rosenthal predicted during the preseason that this team would earn its first NCAA berth.

"I think I have a good eye for my team and an understanding of the talent," Rosenthal said. "They just played their hearts out. They really did.

"Any team could have folded pretty quickly after that first half of that first game. Our players have done an awesome job all year long."

As he stood on the floor after the game and mingled with players, families and fans he was already thinking about the next trip.

"My wife, Kate, asked me before the match if I was nervous," Rosenthal said. "The only thing I am nervous about is we will never get back.

"I realize how special this was. I realize how much hard work these players, the administration and staff put into this. I hate not to have the chance to experience it and enjoy it again."

Pepperdine and Arizona were two of the top teams on the Lady Bisons schedule this season.

"Dayton is probably the best team we have seen," Rosenthal said. "They have a real balanced attack. They have strong hitters. They do some nice stuff mixing things up."

Junior outside hitter Sarah Snider finished with 12 kills. Senior libero Ann Mullins made 14 digs.

The Lady Bisons dealt with a large and loud contingent of Dayton students. A sellout crowd of 2,400 was expected, but official attendance was 1,864.

"I think we figured it was going to take us a little time to settle down," said Mullins. "We maybe didn't think it was going to be 15-2 before that happened. But got it together. We came out in the second game and showed them what Lipscomb volleyball was all about. This is not the last time you will see us at an NCAA event."

Freshman setter Stefine Pease, who has led the team all season, was happy the team did manage to weather the first game and respond.

"We didn't split apart as individuals and some teams do that," Pease said. "Some teams get nervous and close up into themselves. We stayed together as a team.

"We knew from the beginning we were going to be playing in front of a lot of Dayton people. But I think we play better in that kind of environment. We are kind of hyper team and the energy of the fans drives us too."

Rosenthal thought the crowd gave the arena an electric atmosphere that was simply "big time volleyball".

Dayton's Lindsay Fletemier, 6-foot-6, was credited with a match-high 13 kills. Yvonne Marten added 12.

"Fletemier is a heckuva player," Rosenthal said. "To be a red-shirt freshman and doing what she is doing is impressive."

Three Dayton players finished in double figures in digs. Adrienne Green made a match-high 16.Chelsy Christoff added 11. Erin Schroeder finished with 10.

This was the fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament for Dayton, ranked 15th nationally. This marked only the second time they have moved past the first round.

The Lady Bisons finished the season with a 20-12 record overall. Dayton is 33-1.