|October 25, 2013||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
FESL - 16
FESSLER - 1
DOTSON - 1
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Lauren Ford is not overly concerned with her personal statistics.
So it came as a total surprise to her that she became only the fifth player in the history of the Lipscomb Lady Bisons volleyball program to break the 1,000-mark in career kills.
Ford, a junior outside hitter from Lenexa, Kan., entered Friday night’s match with North Florida with 995 kills. She had nine for the Lady Bisons in the 3-0 Atlantic Sun match win.
“It was a lot of fun,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “It was a special thing. We didn’t say anything to her until after the match. We made a conscious decision to do that.
“Her parents had no idea. The girls had no idea. Sometimes we get caught up in the individual numbers. Lauren is very analytical and very astute to everything so it was fun to catch her off guard.”
Ford has been a three-year starter for the Lady Bisons. To reach 1,000 kills in only her third season is a testament to her hard work.
“Lauren has had a great career to this point,” Rosenthal said. “She is the type of player who wants more. She is a special player.
“It is not every day that you find players that are good and want to get better. Every day Lauren comes in and works hard at everything she does. That’s a big reason why we went after her.”
Rosenthal often gives quotes to his players to ponder. This week’s was “I try to do better than good enough”, a fitting reference to Ford.
“A lot of this generation is a `good enough’ generation,” Rosenthal said. “Lauren leads that pack of people who want to do better than good enough.
“We know what we are going to get from her every day. Each day she is driven.”
Holding on for the sweep
The Purple and Gold won set one 25-18 and set two 25-15. Set three was close. The Lady Bisons found themselves trailing 22-20 and eventually tied 23-23 before taking a 25-23 win.
“I thought our girls really did a fantastic job at the end,” Rosenthal said. “We didn’t have to go to a fourth set and that was really good.
“Momentum can shift so quickly. The pressure builds and builds.”
The Lady Bisons are 15-6, 9-2 in the A-Sun. North Florida slips to 7-15, 3-7 in the conference.
Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. in Allen Arena the Lady Bisons face Jacksonville, 20-1, 10-1 in the A-Sun. Call it the biggest return grudge match of the year for the Lady Bisons. The memories of a 3-1 match loss to the Dolphins Sept. 27 are still very much on the minds of the Lady Bisons.
“They beat us down there,” Rosenthal said. “There is no doubt that our girls have had this match circled.”
Co-captain Caitlin “Dot” Dotson writes a blog about volleyball for lipscombsports.com. In her blog from that weekend she expressed the team’s disappointment in losing the match at Jacksonville.
“When you go back and look at what Dot wrote it was more about the program and the expectations the players put on themselves,” Rosenthal said. “I don’t think it was necessarily, `hey, we lost’. I think it was more than that.
“It was an understanding of what LUV means. That sometimes gets lost in the mix. I wasn’t happy about the loss. But I was glad to see that the girls understood the enormity of it all.”
The Dolphins went to five sets Friday night at Northern Kentucky but came away with the win. It was the 10th match win in a row for Jacksonville.
“I think we have a good plan ready,” Rosenthal said. “But we have to go out and execute.”
Solid blocking performance
Middle blocker Jewell Dobson was the only Lipscomb player in double figures in kills with 14.
Libero Bri McCombs finished with a match-high 17 digs against North Florida.
Rosenthal was impressed with the blocking of the Purple and Gold. Under the guidance of assistant coach Ann Armes the Lady Bisons have been emphasizing blocking more this season than they have in the past.
“We did a pretty good job of it,” Rosenthal said. “We established it early and got after it throughout the match.
“UNF has good players. They made some nice adjustments. It was fun to get some points off of our blocks. Ann is passionate about it and our girls have taken to that passion.”
Anna Budinska recorded a double-double for North Florida with a match-leading 16 killls and a team-high 12 digs. Cari Whitmire added 11 digs.
The match with Jacksonville will be televised free on A-Sun TV.