When Lipscomb Lady Bisons’ coach Brandon Rosenthal told his players they had clinched a berth in the Atlantic Sun Tournament he wasn’t prepared for the reaction.
“After the match we told the girls that and there was less than a reaction,” Rosenthal said. “I remember the first time we clinched a spot in the tournament. We beat ETSU here. The whole crowd knew what we had done. We knew. It was like we had won a championship.
“It’s really interesting. It’s not a bad thing. It is just what our girls expect. That’s neat to see that the program has come that far.”
The Lady Bisons, the defending A-Sun regular season and tournament champions, earned the return trip with a 3-0 sweep of Jacksonville Saturday afternoon at Allen Arena. The Lady Bisons won the sets by scores of 25-17, 25-16 and 25-15.
“We did a really good job of allowing the game to come to us and taking what they gave us,” Rosenthal said. “When you hit .410 against a good opponent with only seven hitting errors it is impressive.
“We have talked the last couple of weeks about trying to put things together. Hopefully one of the things we are going to keep seeing is our hitting percentage going up and our errors going down.”
The Lady Bisons are 18-6 overall, 7-0 in the conference. Jacksonville is 12-14, 3-5 in the A-Sun. The Lady Bisons have only lost two sets in A-Sun matches.
It was the 32nd straight conference regular season win and the 25th consecutive home victory. The home victory streak began in 2008.
Outside hitters Kaycee Green and Meghan Hinemeyer each had 11 kills, tying for the match high. Green also had a .524 hitting percentage.
Opposite Charlyn Ursell had 10 kills and a .600 hitting percentage.
“Kaycee mixed up her shots well,” Rosenthal said. “Char on the right side was devastating. There was so much going on from antenna to antenna and then Jacksonville had to worry about us in the middle.”
Middle blocker Alex Kelly made nine kills and had a .529 hitting percentage.
Setter Stefine “Jake” Pease made 38 assists and added a match high 10 kills.
“It was a pretty balanced attack,” Rosenthal said. “I liked what I saw.
“Jacksonville’s players are big and strong. They move fairly well. You can see the kind of athletes they have. When you see Jacksonville on tape you can see their potential. I thought our girls handled everything well.”
Rosenthal continues to point to defense as the key to the team down the stretch.
“When we play good defense we are getting opportunities,” Rosenthal said. “Jake is going to put us in spots where we have those one-on-one matchups. I thought we executed extremely well.”
The Lady Bisons hit the road this weekend stopping at Florida Gulf Coast Friday night at 6 and then playing at Stetson Saturday afternoon at noon. The Lady Bisons close out the regular season Nov. 9 when Belmont visits Allen Arena for the volleyball version of the “Battle of the Boulevard”. The Lady Bisons beat Belmont 3-1 Sept. 14 at the Curb Center.
“We’ve got more work to do with three matches left,” Rosenthal said. “The nature of the trip alone to Florida is going to be hard with a quick turnaround. We are going to have to stay focused.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.