Oct. 31, 2006
Sometimes the numbers don't tell the true story, but in the case of the Lady Bisons volleyball team wins were more important than the numbers.
"They out-hit us," said Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal. "They out-blocked us. They out-dug us. We served better than them. But we shouldn't have won this match when you look at the numbers."
Tuesday night the Lady Bisons won the first game 30-26, lost game two 30-27, came back to win game three 30-26 and then lost game four 30-22. With the match knotted at 2-2, the Lady Bisons took an early lead and then held on to win game five 15-13.
"We have talked about this," said Rosenthal. "In the end it comes down to work and effort. We pride ourselves on being a blue-collar team and that's what this match was. We worked and we kept going and beat a team that was ranked higher than us.
"Tennessee State is a good team. They are very athletic. They made some defensive plays that just shocked me. It was a tremendous win for us."
The Lady Bisons have beaten Ohio Valley Conference teams back-to-back at Allen Arena. They needed five games to beat Tennessee-Martin Oct. 24. The Lady Bisons are 3-1 overall in five-game matches.
The final game was typical of the match. The Lady Bisons jumped out to a 4-1 lead. Tennessee State rallied to take a 10-9 lead. Tennessee State moved out to a 12-9 advantage. This time around the Lady Bisons rallied to knot the game at 13-13. Catherine Johnson put the Lady Bisons ahead to stay with a kill shot to make the score 14-13.
"Just like in hockey, a two-point lead in volleyball is the most dangerous," said Rosenthal. "We were down 12-9. I called a second time out and told our players that if we get the next point we will be back to being down by two points and we would be fine."
Lindsey Rutherford led the Lady Bisons with 20 kills and earned the double-double with 19 digs. She also posted a .294 hitting percentage.
"Lindsey had a phenomenal match," said Rosenthal. "I am so proud of her playing as strong as she has."
"I can't say enough about Jess," said Rosenthal. "She came back in tremendous shape and really worked hard throughout the summer. She played extremely well in the preseason and through the first part of the season. She gets banged up at Kansas State and it takes her a week-and-half to get going again and by then other people had stepped up.
"We talked a lot with Jess about being patient and when the opportunity came up to be sure that she took it. She has stepped up. She hit some balls against Tennessee State like I had never seen her hit it before. She also played a tremendous match against UT-Martin."
"Ann is the foreman of this crew," said Rosenthal. "She understands her job. She takes the blame when she needs to take it. And she can rise to the occasion when we need it."
Meesha Jackson made a match-high 22 kills. Kelly Davis made 13 kills and Erika Godbolt and Collese Dornan each were credited with 11 kills.
Katie Lippi made a match-high 30 digs. Godbolt earned the double-double with 25 digs. Davis also recorded a double-double with 17 digs. Krystal Hunter added 15 digs and Tiana Maua made 13.
The Lady Bisons were beaten 3-0 by the Tennessee State Oct. 17 on the road.
"I think we are a better team," said Rosenthal. "We had some really hard hitting plays and some phenomenal digs. Emotions were high even though we aren't in the same conference with them."
The Lady Bisons 12-14 overall, are one match win short of tying last year's record for wins with three matches remaining in the regular season. They have already qualified for the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship. They play Jacksonville and North Florida this weekend to close out the A-Sun regular season.
Tennessee State drops to 16-12 overall.