The Lady Bisons went up against the Lady Vols of the University of Tennessee this afternoon in their final game of the Lady Vol Classic, but could not find a way to get past the SEC powerhouse.
In three extrememly close sets, the Lady Bisons lost with the set scores of 24-26, 22-25, and 23-25.
"I think the team is disappointed," said coach Brandon Rosenthal. "We were here to win and we let that one get away from us. But I think we raise this program's level with matches like this."
Tennessee got on the board first, but Lispcomb began their fight back quickly. Down 3-0, the Bisons used kills from junior Alex Kelly and freshman Kaycee Green, as well as a combined block from setter Jake Pease and Kelly to go on and score 5 straight points. Lipscomb held the lead up until a tie of 7-7. From there, the Lady Bisons played a chasing match, doing their best to keep up with the host team. Despite 10 kills to the Lady Vol's 9, the Lady Bisons fell 24-26 in the first set.
The Lady Vols came out strong once again in set two, scoring 4 unanswered points. But with kills once again from Kelly and Green, as well as Amy Trykowski and Pease, the Lady Bisons continued to make their come back and landed at a 13-13 tie. Lipscomb then gained the lead for the first time in the set and took their points all the way to 22. Tennessee then took advantage of Lipscomb mistakes and came back to close out the set 25-22.
In set 3, the Lady Vols got on the board first once again. With a kill and service ace by Kelly and a Block by Pease, the Lady Bisons tied things up at 5. Junior Meghan Hinemeyer contributed 2 kills, giving Lipscomb their first and only lead of the set. After numerous errors by the Bisons, senior Erin Pierce used two kills to get Lipscomb within 5, at a score of 9-14. Kelly, Hinemeyer, and Pierce's kills, as well as more blocks by Pease and Kelly, gave the Lady Bisons hope as they fought their way back to a score of 18-19. Lipscomb held on as Tennessee continued to commit errors. But 23 points was all Lipscomb could put up, as UT went on to take the set 25-23, and the match.
"When we were playing with all six players and executing, we were able to see we are a tough team to play," said Rosenthal. "Unfortunately we had way too many errors, and I think that was the hardest part to take away from the match."
Despite the loss, Kelly had a match high 16 kills for a hitting percentage of .394, and 10 digs. Pease added 4 kills to bring her hitting percentage to .375, the second highest percentage for the Bisons in the match. Pease also had a match high 13 digs. Trykowski and Pierce each added 5 kills in the match. Junior Katie Rose had11 digs for the Bisons.
Helping the Lasy Bisons to a tournament record of 2-1, both Kelly and Pease were recognized for their outstanding play this weekend and named to the 2009 Lady Vol Classic All Tournament Team.
The Lady Bisons next travel to Lawrence, Kansas on Sept. 4 to compete in the Jayhawks Invitational.
You can watch your Lady Bisons in action in Nashville against cross-town rival Belmont on Sept. 8 at 6:30 p.m.
This story was written by Katie Haab, a student member of the athletics communications staff.