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Lady Bisons open A-Sun portion of season with win

Friday, September 30, 2005

Sept. 30, 2005

Lipscomb's Lady Bisons volleyball team opened Atlantic Sun Conference play in a big way Friday night with a 3-2 victory over visiting Stetson at Allen Arena.

The Lady Bisons opened with 30-16 victory in game one, but lost game two 30-27. They came back to win game three 30-24, but fell 31-29 in game four. In game five the Lady Bisons quickly took control in a 15-8 victory.

"We hit .286 for the match and had 82 kills to their 56," said Lady Bisons Coach Brandon Rosenthal. "We did a lot of things that we planned to do. We did a nice job of limiting Stetson on the offensive front."

It was the fourth time this season the Lady Bisons have played five games in a match. They are 2-2 in five-game matches.

Alex Scruggs set the pace for the Lady Bisons in game one with five kills and a season-and-career-high .833 hitting percentage. Cara Wilber also had five kills on 10 attacks for a .500 percentage. Lindsey Rutherford made four kills and one error on six total attacks for a .500 percentage. The Lady Bisons finished the game with a .472 hitting percentage.

The Lady Bisons opened game one with the first point and never trailed, leading by as many as 14 points.

In game two Rutherford was also a major factor, but the Lady Bisons could never get control. The game as tied 10 times with Lady Bisons losing the lead for good at 24-23.

"We knew they were going to come back and fight," Rosenthal said. "I didn't think we did enough of the small things."

Game three was more of the same with the Lady Bisons overcoming nine ties to pull ahead 25-20 on five straight points. The Lady Bisons six-point margin of victory was the largest lead of the game.

"We hit .622 in the third game, and that has to be the highest we have ever hit in a game," Rosenthal said. "

Game four didn't go exactly as the Lady Bisons had planned. They operned up leads of seven, eight and nine points, and held a 27-20 advantage. But Stetson outscored the Lady Bisons 8-1 to tie the game at 28-28. The Lady Bisons took a 29-28 edge as Stetson's serve went too deep and out of bounds.

Stetson rallied to score the next two points to force a game five.

The game was held up on several occasions for various reasons by officials.

"It is our fault for not putting the game away," Rosenthal said. "It was a bad game as far as rhythm."

In game five with the score tied 6-6 the Lady Bisons took over and rolled to a 15-8 win.

"It shouldn't have gone to five games, but it did," Rosenthal said. "I'm very happy with how we responded in game five."

Wilber's effort was her strongest performance of the season overall with 22 kills, 50 total attacks, four errors, three service aces, a .360 hitting percentage and 11 digs. Her 22 kills tied Stetson's DeeAnn Dempsey for the match high.

"Cara really showed everybody what type of player she is," Rosenthal said.

Other players who put up big numbers were Jessica Turner with 19 kills, Rutherford with 17, and Scruggs with 14 and a .385 hitting percentage.

Ann Mullins led t he Lady Bisons with a match-high 22 digs.

Rebecca Orzechowicz recorded a double-double for Stetson with 12 kills and 19 digs. Liz Gorski also had 19 digs,

The Lady Bisons are 4-13 overall, 1-0 in the A-Sun. Stetson is 4-11, 0-3 in the conference.

"We have been talking about the conference tournament," Rosenthal said. "This has been a great start for us."

The Lady Bisons face Mercer, another A-Sun foe, Saturday night at 7 in Allen Arena.

"I think it is going to be a great match," Rosenthal said. "Both of our programs are in similar spots. It is going to be a battle."