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Volleyball knocks off conference rival ETSU 3-0
Friday, September 12, 2008
Volleyball knocks off conference rival ETSU 3-0
Six sets. Six wins.

The Lipscomb Lady Bisons swept ETSU 3-0 Friday night in Atlantic Sun Conference volleyball action at Allen Arena.

The scores were 25-23, 25-22 and 25-18.

“We talked about ETSU being a great scrappy team,” said Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal. “If you don’t finish points they are going to sneak up on you.

“One of the things you don’t see in the stats is our passing. I thought we did a nice job of passing and controlling things out there.”

It was the second A-Sun match win in a row for the Lady Bisons who also swept Belmont 3-0 Tuesday night.

In set one the Lady Bisons led 10-8 and then watched ETSU go on a 4-0 run to take the lead. The Lady Bisons played catch-up until taking a 21-20 lead on a kill by junior opposite Erin Pierce. It remain close the rest of the way with freshman outside hitter Katie Rose and sophomore middle blocker Alex Kelly putting the game away with the final three points.

Set two was almost as close as set one with Pierce and sophomore outside hitter Katie Bradley giving the Lady Bisons a final stretch boost offensively.

“We talked about having a lead and making mental errors,” Rosenthal said. “We talked about having a lead and then making mental errors. When we have a team down we have to do a good job of not giving them points. All the mistakes start to add up and they are back in there.”

In set three the Lady Bisons took the lead at 10-9 and never looked back.

“I was real happy to see the intensity and consistency take off in the third set,” Rosenthal said. “I thought we did a nice job of frustrating them and did a great job at the net blocking-wise.”

Pierce led a balanced Lady Bisons offensive attack with eight kills.

“We have some big offensive threats in Alex Kelly, Sarah Snider and Amy Trykowski,” said Rosenthal. “Erin is that third or fourth option teams have to think about. When we use her correctly all of a sudden that opens up the game for everybody else.

“Erin continues to work hard. A lot of what you see from her is true determination and grit. She made some great hustle plays on defense.”

Senior libero Jessica Turner led the Lady Bisons with 15 digs.

Senior Sarah Snider, who had played the first eight matches as either the libero or a defensive specialist, returned to her outside hitter position against ETSU.

“It was great to see her back in her position,” Rosenthal said. “I thought she took some good swings in the second set. And I really thought she was getting back in the groove in the third set, not in the number of kills but things like her intensity on her approach.

“She played a great match. She is a true offensive threat. To get her back in that mode is nice.”

Rosenthal also praised sophomore outside hitter Katie Bradley.

Sophomore middle blocker Alex Kelly made six kills. She had led the team in kills in their previous eight matches.

“Alex will put this one behind her and come back against Upstate,” Rosenthal said. “She has had some really good success and all of a sudden teams are making adjustments because of her. That is what we want because we will have openings in other places.”

ETSU’s Lauren Baufield made eight kills to lead her team. Jen Neice added a match-high 19 digs.

The Lady Bisons are 3-6, 2-0 in the A-Sun. ETSU slipped to 2-6, 0-2 in the conference.

Saturday afternoon at 3 the Lady Bisons continue their homestand at Allen Arena when A-Sun foe USC-Upstate visits.