|November 18, 2011||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
YOUNGQUIST - 1
MASTERS - 1
REX - 10
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The second-seeded Lipscomb volleyball team opened the 2011 Atlantic Sun Conference Volleyball Championship with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-13, 25-22) win over Florida Gulf Coast on Friday evening at Allen Arena in Nashville.
With the two squads battling in the first set and the score tied 13-13, Lipscomb used a 9-to-1 run to pull away and finish the set. During the rally, senior setter Abby Fay, pushed the Lady Bisons to a 16-13 lead with back-to-back kills and then rattled off three aces in the run.
From that point on, Lipscomb controlled the tempo the rest of the match and punched the ticket for the fifth straight time to Saturday afternoon’s championship tilt against top-seeded Belmont.
“I thought we had a great week of practice and that understanding of what’s ahead,” said Lipscomb head coach Brandon Rosenthal. “I’m always interested to see when you have five freshmen and one other person who hasn’t been in this situation before how they’ll react. You never really know.
“In the first set and even through the second set, we really kind of dictated the action. I thought our play was tremendous. Not only spreading the ball but we did a nice job defending.
Freshman outside hitter Lauren Ford led the Lady Bisons with a dozen kills and was joined in double figures by junior outside hitter Kaycee Green.
“I thought our setters did a fantastic job of distributing the ball and really understanding what (FGCU) was trying to do on defense.
Lipscomb outhit the Eagles (18-13, 10-3 A-Sun) .387 to .110 as the Lady Bisons showed a spirited defensive effort including 10 blocks on the night. Senior Katie Rose, who was named A-Sun co-Player of the Year finished the night with a match-high four blocks along with eight kills.
“It turned out we had a huge number of blocks tonight,” said Rosenthal. “That’s something that we work on but it’s not a huge priority of ours. It’s nice to get that at times.
“We talked about yesterday that coaches coach and players play and we’ve got to this point and now it’s their turn to take it and run with it.”
The Lady Bisons will hit the court on Saturday afternoon at Allen Arena at 3 p.m. in the tournament championship game against Belmont. Tickets are available for $8 each for those ages three and up. The game will also be broadcast live on http://asun.tv free of charge.