Xavier University gave him exactly what he asked for Saturday afternoon at Allen Arena. The Lady Bisons lost 25-21 in set one, but came back to win set two 25-17 and set three 25-16. But Xavier rallied in set four for a 25-23 win to push the match to five sets. The Lady Bisons prevailed 15-12.
“We were out to win,” Rosenthal said. “I think you saw that after the first set. Set one was a little disappointing. I thought we were just going through the motions.
“But we responded well. We did a nice job in sets two, three, four and five even though we allowed Xavier to make a seven-point run to win set four. We lost focus in set four.”
It was the second 3-2 match win in a row for the Lady Bisons and their eight match win in row this season. They have won 15 of their last 16 matches. This was also the 27th straight home win for the Lady Bisons dating back to the 2008 season.
Rosenthal wanted to play this match in an effort to put his players through a match that was more than just an exhibition game or a scrimmage. The Lady Bisons won the Atlantic Sun Tournament last weekend. Xavier lost in the finals of the Atlantic 10 Tournament to nationally-ranked Dayton.
“Having to play five sets to win the match was not what we wanted to do,” Rosenthal said. “Even with only four days off there was a little bit of rust. We haven’t missed so many serves in a long time. Our passing was also a little off.”
Senior Alex Kelly led the way with a match-high 24 kills, which also tied her season high set vs. San Francisco Aug. 28. She also had 13 digs for a double-double, a match-high .465 hitting percentage and four blocks.
“Alex can change a game even without the numbers,” Rosenthal said. “Getting 24 kills as a middle blocker is outstanding.” Outside hitter Meghan Hinemeyer posted a double-double with 10 kills and 14 digs.
Outside hitter Kaycee Green added 12 kills. Middle blocker Katie Rose led the Lady Bisons in digs with 19. She barely missed a double-double with nine kills. She also had three service aces and five blocks.
Setter Stefine “Jake” Pease finished with 58 assists, a season high. She added nine digs, five kills and four blocks. Rosenthal would have liked to have seen Pease look more for right side Charlyn Ursell who was credited with eight kills, three blocks and a .438 hitting percentage.
“Kaycee and Meghan both did a great job,” Rosenthal said. “I’m fine with that. But I would have liked to have seen Jake go to Char a little more.
“Katie did a tremendous job overall. With the exception of one error she did a nice job serving. She also did a nice job blocking.”
Libero Stephanie Rex was credited with 12 digs and defensive specialist Caitlin "Dot" Dotson added 12.
Xavier was led by Shannon Voors with 16 kills. She also had 10 digs.
Stephanie Vorherr made a match-high 25 digs for Xavier.
The Lady Bisons are 24-6 overall. Xavier slipped to 20-10.
“This was a great match for our resume,” Rosenthal said. “The Atlantic 10 is a tough conference.”
Sunday afternoon at 1:30 fans and friends of the Lady Bisons are invited to a viewing party at the Shamblin Theater in the Bennett Center.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.