Oct. 18, 2005
The Lady Bisons put themselves back in the win column in volleyball with a 3-1 match victory over visiting Austin Peay State University.
Austin Peay, a member of the Ohio Valley Conference, beat the Lady Bisons 3-1 on Aug. 26 to open the season. Tuesday night in Allen Arena the Lady Bisons won game one 30-23, lost game two 30-24 and rebounded to win game three 30-27 and game four 30-25.
The Lady Bisons are 9-14 overall, already equaling last season's total of nine victories with eight more regular season games to play. The Lady Bisons have won six of their last seven matches.
"The past two years Austin Peay had owned us," said Rosenthal. "They beat is in our first match of the season, but we had such a new team then. Our players were very confident in playing them a second time."
The Lady Bisons never trailed in game one. Austin Peay tied the game at 11-11 but that was close as the game would get. The Lady Bisons biggest lead was nine points at 22-13.
"I was very impressed with the way we came out in the first game," Rosenthal said. "We controlled that game."
Game two was a different story. Austin Peay took a 1-0 lead and built on that start. The Lady Bosons tied the game at 1-1, but they never got any closer the rest of the game. The biggest lead for Austin Peay was 10 points (22-12). The Lady Bisons refused to go away easily, chipping away at the advantage but never getting closer than four points away at 26-22.
"We got off to a little bit of a slow start in game two,' said Rosenthal. "We pulled within four points. We started doing what we needed to do to get us back in the game, but we didn't execute at the end."
Rosenthal admits he was a little frustrated with his team when they went into the dressing room between games two and three. He was especially concerned with Austin Peay's block total which was 15 for the match.
"Austin Peay did a nice job of blocking and a lot of those blocks came in the second game," Rosenthal said. "I told our players to relax and move the ball around."
In game three there were 10 lead changes and 11 ties. The Lady Bison took the lead for good at 24-23 on the way to a 30-27 decision with game point coming on a kill in the left corner by Cara Wilber.
Game four was just as close with seven ties, but only four lead changes. Austin Peay scored the first part of the game and then saw the Lady Bisons three points in a row on the way to a 5-4 advantage. After coming back to tie the game at 5-5 Austin Peay again took over the lead.
The Lady Bisons tied the game at 12-13 and then moved ahead 14-13 on a kill deep behind the Austin Peay players. The Lady Bisons led by as many as four points but Austin Peay came back to tie the game at 21-21 and then took a brief lead at 22-21 and 23-22.
The Lady Bisons tied the game at 23-23 and then took the lead at 24-23 and stayed in charge the rest of the way.
"Games three and four were close, but we were able to pull away at the end each time," Rosenthal said. "A lot of that had to do with our serving, especially by Alex Scruggs. "
Rosenthal had praise for several other players as well. Scruggs finished with 14 kills and two service aces. She posted a .393 hitting percentage.
"We're really getting a chance to see what Alex can do," said Rosenthal.
Lindsey Rutherford had a match-high 18 kills and added 12 digs. She also had a .349 hitting percentage and a team-leading three service aces.
"Lindsey played a tremendous game," said Rosenthal. :"Jessica did a great job coming into the games off the bench and switching gears."
Wilber finished with another double-double with 17 kills and 18 digs.
"Cara did not do that well in the early going," said Rosenthal. "But she really came back strong. That says something about a player who struggles but is able to come back. I'm proud of the way she did that."
Ann Mullins had a match-high 26 digs.
"I hate to say it this way, but it was a typical night for Ann," said Rosenthal. "She is a difference maker."
Catherine Johnson's stats aren't usually impressive in terms of numbers, but Rosenthal stresses that when she is called on to make a play she more often than not is going to come through for the team.
"Catherine was tremendous offensively," said Rosenthal. "She doesn't get a lot of attention, but I am proud of her and what she continues to do."
Rosenthal called the victory a team effort. He was especially pleased with the .212 hitting percentage as a team and the consistency of each game with percentages of .184, .208, .229 and .226.
"Somewhere in the 200-to-300 range is a good goal for us," said Rosenthal. "We have had .300 games in the past, but then we might follow that with a negative game. It was nice to see the consistency."
Two Austin Peay players finished with double-doubles. Amber Stein had 14 kills and 11 digs. Ashley Genslak added a team-leading 15 kills and 11 digs.
Caroline Frens recorded a team-high 19 digs. Krstine Kirch added 17 digs. Kelsey McNalley was credited with 16 digs as the Lady Governors made 81 digs in the match.
Jaimie Trill made 13 kills for Austin Peay.
Austin Peay fell to 6-14.