LipscombSports.com
Volleyball takes sole possession of first place with 3-0 win over Stetson
Alex Kelly
Alex Kelly

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Lipscomb Lady Bisons moved into sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Sun with a 3-0 match win over Stetson Friday night at Allen Arena.

It was the seventh straight conference win for the Lady Bisons, a new school record. It was also their eight straight win overall, tying a school record set last season.

Saturday afternoon at 5 the Lady Bisons meet Florida Gulf Coast, a 3-1 loser to Belmont Friday, in the A-Sun Game of the Week. Belmont is playing its volleyball games at Allen Arena this weekend due to the Presidential Debate preparations at their home arena.

The Lady Bisons swept Stetson 25-15, 25-17 and 25-15. It was the fifth time this season they have swept an A-Sun opponent in three sets.

“A lot of it was getting our players to realize we can’t go out there and let the other team dictate the match,” said Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal. “We talked about it for a couple of days. I thought we did a nice job of that.”

Sophomore middle blocker Alex Kelly had 15 kills and 18 digs, both match highs. She also had a match-high .560 hitting percentage. She has posted double-doubles in her last three matches.

Sophomore outside hitter Katie Bradley added 13 kills.

“I really liked what we did offensively,” Rosenthal said. “I thought serve-wise we did a nice job of putting pressure on them to make tough plays.”

Defensively, senior libero Jessica Turner had 13 digs, her eighth straight game in double figures. Sophomore setter Jake Pease added 13 digs.

The Lady Bisons held a 66-46 advantage in digs over Stetson.

“We have said it all along, `defense, defense, defense’,” said Rosenthal. “We had great performances up and down the score sheet. It doesn’t necessarily have to be one person. It is a team thing.

“We didn’t have a ton of kills out of people, but what I do see is high hitting percentages out of several players.”

Nine of 11 Lady Bisons players played two or more sets. Rosenthal praised the performance of defensive specialist Elly Kaiser who played in three sets and freshman setter Jenny Brekke who played in two.

“It was great to get some people in and really give them some playing time and get them into the flow of the game,” said Rosenthal. “That is a challenge.”

Stetson was led by Rebecca Orzechowicz with 12 kills and 12 digs. Melanie Boyer added 13 digs.

Florida Gulf Coast’s loss to Belmont was its first in conference play this season and broke the tie for first with the Lady Bisons. The Lady Bisons were the only team to beat Florida Gulf Coast in conference play last season.

“We have a tough match ahead,” said Rosenthal. “Florida Gulf Coast has a real dynamic setter (Roberta Santos) who makes a lot of plays. She is going to dictate a lot of their offense. Ana Kokanovic (outside hitter) is the defending A-Sun Player of the Year. Those two make it really difficult. Obviously, you have to keep an eye on them, but they have some real nice players all around.

“I think it is going to be a challenge because they serve extremely tough. I think it is going to come down to serving and who does the best job passing.”

The Lady Bisons are 9-6 overall, 7-0 in the A-Sun. Stetson fell to 2-12, 0-7 in the conference.