Sept. 26, 2006
Ashley Cox worked her way through warm-ups as if the Atlantic Sun Conference championship was on the line.
After a few minutes Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal told assistant coach Jenna Panatier that it would be difficult not to start Cox Tuesday night against Austin Peay. Cox didn't start, but once she got on the court at Allen Arena she made it difficult to take her out as she made 16 kills in four games for a hitting percentage of .325.
"This was one of her best nights movement\-wise," said Rosenthal. "The game of volleyball is short spurts in different directions. One of the hardest things to do when you are coming back from a knee injury is to be able to move laterally and front-to-back,"
The play of Cox was one of the catalysts as the Lady Bisons returned to the win column winning 3-1 over Austin Peay. The Lady Bisons won the first game 30-28 and followed with a 30-24 win. After losing game three 31-29 they bounced back for 30-28 decision to seal the match.
It was the home opener for the Lady Bisons. They had beaten Austin Peay in Clarksville 3-0 on Aug. 29.
"Ashley is hungry to be out on the court," said Rosenthal. "She has had a long road. It has been 2 ½ years of ups and downs. When you see a player like that you hope to give them an opportunity. She approaches the game with an even keel and goes after it. She expects and demands a lot of herself."
Rosenthal was also impressed with Wilber's performance which also included 13 digs for her first double-double of the season.
"Cara had a fantastic night," said Rosenthal. "We had a good talk this week about her and her role on the team. I was very happy with the way she responded."
Ann Mullins recorded a match-high 37 digs. Rutherford recorded a double-double with 15 digs.
"Ann is always a threat," said Rosenthal. "She fuels the fire. She understands the game extremely well. She is one of the most competitive players I have ever seen in volleyball."
Rosenthal had been looking for consistent play across the board from his team and he got it against Austin Peay.
"One of the best things was our passing," said Rosenthal. "In the first couple of games we controlled the match by keeping our hitting errors very low. We served the ball extremely well as far as putting them in tough situations. Defensively, we did a great job.
"We didn't get the effort we needed at the end of game three. That is disappointing because you have to put teams away. We didn't take advantage of our momentum. Our players have to realize they have to earn it. People aren't going to just give it to us. I'm proud of the way they came back in game four."
The Lady Bisons are 4-11 overall. They open conference play Friday night on the road at Mercer in Macon, Ga. Austin Peay slipped to 3-11.