Nov. 3, 2006
This one was about as close as it gets.
For most veteran fans of Lady Bisons volleyball it was the closest one they could recall. When it was all over the Lady Bisons had prevailed 3-2 over Atlantic Sun foe Jacksonville in the five-game match Friday night at Allen Arena.
The victory puts the Lady Bisons in control of the third place in the conference. They also have 13 wins. Matching last year's win total for the season.
"We have talked about raising the bar each year," Lady Bisons coach Brandon Rosenthal said. "We are one game off of .500."
After dropping the first game 31-29 the Lady Bisons came back in game two to take a 35-33 decision. The Lady Bisons took a 2-1 match lead with a 30-28 win in game three. Jacksonville set up the tie-break game with a 31-29 win in game four. The Lady Bisons were able to seal the match with a 15-13 victory in game five.
It the third straight 3-2 match for the Lady Bisons, winners in all three. The Lady Bisons have also won their last six games at Allen Arena.
"That's the closet match I've been a part of as a coach," Rosenthal said. "You hear about games where two points separate the whole match. Coming into this match we knew it was going to be a battle.
"It was kind of weird. Neither one of us could break away for more than three or four points. No lead was safe. We had the lead in game one and game four and lost them both."
Lindsey Rutherford and Jessica Enderle tied for the match-high in kills with 20 each for the Lady Bisons. Rutherford earned a double with 25 digs while adding four blocks and posting a .278 hitting percentage.
Rutherford also became only the second player in the history of the program to record 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs. Kristin Peck, Lipscomb softball coach, is the only other player to hold that distinction.
"I can't say enough about what Lindsey has done this season," Rosenthal said. "You always hope your seniors will step up at the end of the year."
Another player producing a lot of talk is Enderle, one of the top players on the team in the past few matches.
"Jess is hungry," Rosenthal said. "This goes back to who Jess is and how hard she works. A lot of people passed up on her because they didn't think she could play. She uses that to her advantage.
"I love what Jess is doing right now and not just for the kills. We have asked all of our players to take their games to another level and she has."
"It was a career night for Catherine all the way around," Rosenthal said. "Samantha Sullivan had a great match setting the ball and added 12 digs and four blocks and one ace."
"We really had a solid defensive effort," Rosenthal said. "We asked our players time after time to dig in and see what we had and to see what we could do. It was a great night."
Jacksonville had four players in double figures in kills. Stevenique Richardson led with 18. Eva Stoilova finished with 16 followed by Melissa Merchant with 13 and Petya Borisova with 12.
Soilova made a match-hgih 33 kills for the double-double. Borisova added 17 digs for a double-double. Michelle Walroth added 22 digs. Katie Hendrian finished with 19 kills. Una Dzalba added 14 digs.
The Lady Bisons are 13-14, 6-2 in the A-Sun. They face North Florida, a 3-1 loser at Belmont Friday night, at 7 p.m. Saturday at Allen Arena. North Florida is 15-15, 6-2. Jacksonville slipped to 14-12, 5-3 in the conference.
Saturday is Senior Day with Rutherford, Johnson and Sullivan being honored.