LipscombSports.com
Lady Bisons keep win streak alive against USC Upstate

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Maybe a broom should replace the Bison as the symbol for the Lady Bisons volleyball team.

Saturday afternoon at Allen Arena the Lady Bisons beat USC Upstate 3-0, the third straight time they have swept an Atlantic Sun team this week. The Lady Bisons won set one 25-17, set two 25-15 and set three 25-23.

The win streak is a new school record, but Lady Bisons coach Brandon Rosenthal isn’t overly concerned about that.

“Some of it is we are going out there and doing what we are supposed to be doing,” said Rosenthal. “Whatever happens set-wise is something I’m not necessarily concerned with.

“It has been a great week for us. We played a lot of tough competition early on. This has been a great way to start the conference schedule.”

The match allowed Rosenthal to get a long look at some of his reserve players, especially the newcomers.

“These players work hard in practice,” Rosenthal said. “It’s nice to give them an opportunity to hone their skills outside of practice in real-life matches.

The third set was one that Rosenthal thought his team could have played better.

“Some of it was I didn’t think we executed as well,” said Rosenthal. “Our defense got a little lackadaisical.

“It’s a credit to Upstate that they didn’t allow us to make runs. They closed the gaps and made their own leads. In the end we fought through it.”

Two of the newcomers that stood out for Rosenthal were defensive specialist Elly Kaiser and setter Jenny Brekke.

“Elly has been working really hard on serving,” said Rosenthal. “She has worked on it day after day. She did a tremendous job serving and defensively she came up with some big digs.

“Jenny Brekke started off a little slow, but really got into a rhythm in the third set. I wanted her to get in there and run the offense and get that valuable experience.”

For Brekke the day was a long one in many ways. She is from Friendswood, Texas, near Houston. Her family is safe, but the area where she lives took a strong battering from Hurricane Ike.

“Her neighborhood is pretty wrecked,” Rosenthal said. “She had to deal with that. It was nice that she could put that aside for an hour-and-a-half or so and have a little diversion.”

Middle blocker Alex Kelly and outside hitter Katie Rose each made 12 kills, tying for the match high. Kelly has led or tied for the lead in nine of the 10 matches this season. Kelly also posted a .529 winning percentage.

Libero Jessica Turner made 13 digs, her third match in row in double figures. It was also a match high.

Jovana Lubura led Upstate with 10 kills. Megan Healy finished in double figures in digs with 12.

The Lady Bisons raised their record to 4-6, 3-0 in the Atlantic Sun. USC Upstate slipped to 3-7, 1-2 in the conference.

The Lady Bisons play at Evansville Tuesday in a non-conference match, the first of four consecutive matches on the road.

“I’m excited we are going to Evansville,” Rosenthal said. “The last time we played them we lost in five sets. It will be a good trip for us.”