Friday afternoon at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center in Lawrence, Kan., the Lady Bisons beat tournament host Kansas 25-20 in the first set, but lost 25-14 in set two, 25-23 in set three and 25-23 in set 4.
“The first set was great because I think we did a nice job of taking care of the ball and running our offense,” said Lady Bisons coach Brandon Rosenthal. “In set two we let a couple of points get away from us that really gave them momentum.
“We knew it was going to be a hard-fought battle, and it definitely was. We weren’t overly concerned. That is what happens when you play good teams. Three and four were great sets. A point here or point there made the difference. The points didn’t go our way. We have to do a better job of making the points go our way.”
Middle hitter Alex Kelly posted a team-high and season-high 17 kills and a .333 hitting percentage. Outside hitter Meghan Hinemeyer recorded a double-double with 12 kills and a team-high and season-high 14 digs. Freshman outside hitter Kaycee Green also had 12 kills. Setter Stefine “Jake” Pease had 42 assists and eight digs.
“Obviously, Alex, Meghan and Jake did a nice job,” said Rosenthal. “Kaycee had a pretty good match.”
Rosenthal will be emphasizing the need to take the defense to a higher level.
“You get locked up in these point-for-point kinds of battles and it comes down to a couple of key plays,” said Rosenthal. ““I thought our players gave a great effort other than set two.
“We have to be better at picking up the defensive intensity. We had one too many balls get away from us. You have to find a way to make one stop here or one dig there. You have to realize one play can make a difference in swinging the momentum late in a match.”
The Lady Bisons, 2-2, get another chance at 5 p.m. when they play Creighton. The Lady Bisons close out the tournament Saturday at 10 a.m. against Florida International.
“Creighton is a tough, tough team,” said Rosenthal. “Creighton is a tournament team nearly every year. They lost in three sets to Nebraska. They are going to be hungry for more wins.”