The shortest rivalry in terms of distance between two schools heated up at the Curb Center Tuesday afternoon with the Lady Bisons winning set one 25-19, set two 25-18 and set four 25-15.
“I think we are the top two teams in the Atlantic Sun Conference,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “I think anyone in this conference who watched this match had the idea of measuring our two teams and measuring where they are at this point in the season.
“I thought we did a nice job. I wouldn’t say that we played our best volleyball.”
The Lady Bisons fell 25-23 in set three. That set loss ended a streak of 14 straight set wins. The 3-1 win against Belmont also ended a string o f3-0 match sweeps at six.
“I am spent,” Rosenthal said. “I didn’t do a very good job in set three. I over coached in set three and we didn’t need that. Set three was my fault.
“Mid-way through set four, when we got a two-point lead, we called a time out and talked about just executing. In one and two we did a nice job of executing. I thought we did a spotty job of executing in sets three and four. We were missing so many assignments and defensive plays.”
The Lady Bisons spread the offense around with middle blocker Alex Kelly making a match-high 16 kills. Outside hitter Meghan Hinemeyer, who has excelled on defense this season, opened up the offensive portion of her game with 14 kills. Outside hitter Kaycee Green added 10.
Setter Stefine “Jake” Pease made 44 assists.
Kelly recorded a double-double with a match-leading 19 digs. Hinemeyer also had a double-double with 11 digs.
Due to some injury issues the Lady Bisons played with more varied lineup combinations than usual. Kelsey Neumann started at one of the middle blocker positions and played in all four sets. Claire Peterson played middle blocker in the fourth set and made two kills and added one dig. Katie Rose spent time at libero, a position she played last season.
“We had to substitute a couple of people,” Rosenthal said. “I preach day in and day out that it is a team game. I don’t think that was more evident than in the substitution of Claire Peterson.
“That was her first chance to play the middle position in a match. It is a tough position. What she did at the end was tremendous in terms of blocking the ball and hitting the ball. Even beyond the stats was the way she played her role.”
The Lady Bisons are 9-2. Belmont fell to 4-8. This match does not count on either team’s Atlantic Sun Conference record.
The Lady Bisons are on the road this weekend for their fourth, and last, pre-conference tournament. Friday night they play host St. Louis in the Billiken Invitational in St. Louis. Saturday they face Western Kentucky and Marshall.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.