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Lady Bisons give EKU a tough battle

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Sept. 24, 2005

The score line says the Lipscomb Lady Bisons lost their volleyball match with Eastern Kentucky by a score of 3-0, but numbers in this case don't tell the entire story.

The Lady Bisons, representing the Atlantic Sun Conference, gave visiting Eastern Kentucky, the defending Ohio Valley Conference champion, everything they had in the match Saturday afternoon at Allen Arena. The game scores were 30-28, 30-20 and 30-25.

"All in all I was very happy with the way we played," said Lipscomb Coach Brandon Rosenthal. "It just came down to making a little bit more of some opportunities that came our way. They are a good team. It's just a matter of that finishing touch that we have to get."

Game one was a see-saw affair with neither team holding more than one-point lead until Eastern Kentucky took a 14-12 advantage. Eastern Kentucky led by at least two points the rest of the way. The Lady Bisons pulled within one point at 29-28 but were unable to hold off Eastern Kentucky.

"We played point-for-point in the first game," Rosenthal said. "We had our chances."

Game two started out with the Lady Bisons taking a 2-1 lead, but Eastern Kentucky went head 3-2 and never looked back. Eastern led by nine points on at least three different occasions and won the game by 10 points.

"In game two we took some of the wind out of our own sails," Rosenthal said. "It was a little bit of letdown. The score was 30-20 but we got closer than that."

Game three was a lot like game one. Eastern Kentucky took the early lead, but the Lady Bisons refused to go away easily. The points went-back-and-forth with eight ties, the final one at 12-12. Eastern Kentucky took a 13-12 advantage and never trailed again. The Lady Bisons overcame a seven-point deficit (24-17) to pull within three points at 28-25, but could not sustain the rally.

"We pushed them to fire it up a little bit more and the girls responded in game three,' Rosenthal said.

Lindsey Rutherford posted a match-high 16 digs for the Lady Bisons, and also posted a double-double with 14 digs.

"We saw that Lindsey was getting a lot of looks and we wanted to increase that," Rosenthal said.

Rosenthal also had praise for Samantha Sullivan, who posted a .375 hitting percentage, and Jessica Enderle.

"I thought Sam did a nice job of looking to be aggressive and then distributing the ball," Rosenthal said. "Against a taller team we did a nice job of distributing the ball around.

"What Jessica did won't show up on paper. She did a great job passing. She came up with some key digs when we needed. Her serve put a lot of pressure on Eastern Kentucky.

Liz Guard led Eastern Kentucky with 15 kills. Jessica Sabath added 14 and Amy Arlinghaus chipped in 10.

Libero Ann Mullins led the Lady Bisons with 23 digs. Brittany Nobolio was credited with a match-high 32 digs for Eastern Kentucky. Sabath completed the double-double with 12 digs.

The Lady Bisons are 3-12. Eastern Kentucky is 10-3.