Oct. 9, 2007
Just call the Lady Bisons the streak killers.
Sunday afternoon they ended a 14-match winning streak for Florida Gulf Coast in an Atlantic Sun contest. Tuesday night they stopped Murray State 3-2, ending a seven-match winning string for the Racers of the Ohio Valley Conference.
The Lady Bisons opened the match with a 30-18 win, but lost 30-24 in game two. The Lady Bisons rallied with a 30-22 win in game three, but dropped game four 30-21. The Lady Bisons closed out the match with a 15-10 come-from-behind win in game five.
"We have been through some tough challenges," Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. "We let up a little bit, but we are playing good volleyball. I'm proud of our players.
"It's tough going into conference play and being so focused. Having a mid-week non-conference game like this is hard, but the schedule is the schedule. We can't take days off."
This was the sixth five-game match for the Lady Bisons this season. The win gives them a 3-3 record in five-game matches.
"In games two and four we got into an area where we started trading points," Rosenthal said. "We would close the gap to three and then we would serve out. It was just a matter of settling down.
"We have been talking about staying relaxed and steady, but we were a little too relaxed. We have to find that balance between being relaxed and having a competitive fire."
The Lady Bisons have won four straight matches and five-of-their last six games.
In game five the Lady Bisons were down 8-5, the exact situation they were in as they played game five against Florida Gulf Coast.
"There was no need to press at that point and do things we didn't need to do," Rosenthal said. "But at the same time it was the time where we had to get going."
Freshman defensive specialist Brittany Simmons served five on five straight points, including one service ace, for the Lady Bisons who took an 11-8 lead.
"Brittany is very even-keeled," Rosenthal said. "I've never seen her get upset. I think that works in tough situations. Like all of our freshmen she is making the most of her opportunities."
Junior outside hitter Sarah Snider made a match-high 27 kills and finished with a .274 hitting percentage on 62 total attacks. This was the 13th time that Snider has posted a match-high and the 16th time this season she has finished in double figures.
Snider also had a match-high 24 digs, the first time she has accomplished that feat this season.
"Sarah is so competitive," Rosenthal said. "She is going for it all the time. There is a lot of pressure on her. We want the ball to go out there to her. We need her to get the ball."
Senior outside hitter Jessica Enderle gave the crowd a scare in game one when she hit the floor. She came back to make 17 kills and 10 digs.
"We weren't sure she was going to be able to come back," Rosenthal said. "We had a good talk between games two and three. It was good for her to get back out there. She is very good when she plays within herself and within the system."
Senior defensive specialist Grace Gilmore was credited with a career-high and a season-high 20 digs.
"Grace knows what she has to do," Gilmore said. "When she is able to execute she can help out a lot."
Freshman middle blocker Alex Kelly made 18 kills with a .312 hitting percentage and seven blocks.
"I thought Alex Kelly had a huge game," Rosenthal said.
The Lady Bisons had 111 digs to Murray State's 97.
Heather Norris finished with a match-high 34 digs for Murray State. Tara Demage made a team-high 18 kills and added 13 digs.
"Murray State is a great team," Rosenthal said. "We knew they were going to be scrappy defensively. It was one of those games where we knew we were going to have to do everything we could in order to win."
The Lady Bisons are 6-4 at home this season. The next three games are on the road with stops at A-Sun foes North Florida on Friday and Jacksonville on Saturday and a non-conference visit to Chattanooga Tuesday.
"Home has been a good place for us," Rosenthal said. "It is tough to leave and go on the road, but we will be ready."
The Lady Bisons are 10-9 overall. Murray State slipped to 10-9.
"We have never been on the plus-side in wins at this point of the season," Rosenthal said. "But it is something that we though could happen this year."