Sometimes less is more. Just ask the Lipscomb Lady Bisons.
After giving several of his players an earful of advice following Friday night’s 3-0 sweep of Mercer, coach Brandon Rosenthal and his assistant Samantha Sullivan decided it was time for them to back off and let the players play.
The strategy worked as the Lady Bisons swept Kennesaw State 3-0 Saturday afternoon in Atlantic Sun Conference play at Allen Arena. The Lady Bisons recorded set wins of 25-18, 25-15 and 25-11.
It was the 10th match sweep of the season for the Lady Bisons and the fourth straight win.
“Our motto before the match was `our side, our way’,” Rosenthal said. “We have to take care of things we want to do.
“The first set started out great. In all honesty Kennesaw was playing tremendous defense in the first set.”
In set two the Lady Bisons had a .441 hitting percentage. In set three they posted a .400 hitting percentage. The team hitting percentage for the match was a solid .358.
“We decided to do less and get out of their way,” Rosenthal said. “We don’t need to overload them with information or be critical on every play.
“The truth of the matter is that these girls know exactly what they are doing. As a coach you literally have to take a back seat. People ask me all the time about coaching and it has little do with Xs and Os and more to do with good leadership."
The overall team effort was a quick turnaround from what Rosenthal endured Friday night.
“Friday night our effort was just bad,” Rosenthal said. “Against Kennesaw State I thought they were much more focused and more tasked oriented. They were disciplined on defense. They played with more passion.
“I was little surprised and disappointed that we didn’t bring that against Mercer. But you have to have short memories.”
Another quote for the day was about playing with confidence and not having that fear of losing.
“Friday we didn’t play great, but we won and we needed to move on,” Rosenthal said. “Even though I didn’t like the effort against Mercer when you step back and let it all sink in after three or four hours you realize our girls weren’t worried.”
Middle blocker Alex Kelly led the Lady Bisons in kills with a match-high 17. She also recorded a match high 17 digs. Kelly hit .483 for the match.
Outside hitter Meghan Hinemeyer added 11 digs for the Lady Bisons.
Setter Stefine “Jake” Pease made 13 digs and posted 40 assists.
Opposite Charlyn Ursell had nine kills and a match high .667 hitting percentage.
No Kennesaw State players had more than six kills in the match. Alyssa Lang led the Owls with 12 digs. Camille Pedraza and Rachel Albright each had 10 digs.
The Lady Bisons extended their conference regular season win streak to 27 matches. They have won their last 22 matches in a row at home. Rosenthal is worried more about winning 10 games this season in the conference.
“Every weekend is the next test,” Rosenthal said. “That has something to do with not having two round robins in the conference, especially out of the game. You don’t want to get behind early in a single round robin where you have to play catch-up or look for other teams to help you.
“I don’t want to deal with that. I want to be out in front.”
The Lady Bisons are 13-5, 2-0 in the A-Sun. Kennesaw State is 8-9, 1-1 in the conference.
This Friday night at ETSU in Johnson City the Lady Bisons are scheduled to play at 6 p.m. Saturday at 2 the Lady Bisons will be in Spartanburg, S.C., to face USC Upstate. It is the first set of road games for the Lady Bisons in conference play this season.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.