Saturday afternoon in Buies Creek, N.C., the Lady Bisons set a number of Gore Arena records. As a team they set match records for kills (70), attack attempts (186), assists (65), digs (86) and points 81).
Junior middle hitter Alex Kelly also set arena records for kills (25), attacks (51) and points (28.5). Junior setter Stefine “Jake” Pease set an arena record for assists with 57.
The Lady Bisons lost set one 28-26 and then came back to win set two 25-23, set three 25-18 and set four 25-16.
“We had our chances in the first set,” said Lady Bisons coach Brandon Rosenthal. “We had 12 hitting errors in the first set alone. We had two match points that we hit out of bounds.
“The message between sets one and two was if we put the ball away no one has to help us.”
Rosenthal was happy to see how his players were able to physically and mentally endure a challenging travel schedule that had them playing Friday night in Johnson City against ETSU and Saturday afternoon at Campbell, approximately five hours away.
“We fought through it,” said Rosenthal. “Set two looks closer than it was.”
The 25 kills by Kelly are a personal season-high and a team season-high. She also added 12 digs, three blocks and one service ace.
“Alex found a way,” said Rosenthal. “Twenty-five kills in four sets is awesome.
“I thought we did a great job in sets three and four of passing and being able to get the ball to Alex.”
Sophomore libero Katie Rose made 16 digs. Pease added 15 along with two service aces and seven kills. Senior opposite Erin Pierce made 15 digs and also had a match-high three service aces.
“Jake did a tremendous job of directing the offense,” said Rosenthal. “Defensively, we had 86 digs. When you have that many you are looking at one player with a big number to jump out at you, but we had five players in double figures.
“Defensively, we had a balanced attack. That’s what we preach. It has to be everybody contributing.”
Junior outside hitter Meghan Hinemeyer earned a double-double with 15 kills and personal season-high 18 digs. Freshman outside hitter Kaycee Green chipped in with 12 kills.
One player who doesn’t show up strong on the stat sheet, but did play a solid on the court was junior defensive specialist Elly Kaiser who rotated with Green. Kaiser had two service aces.
“Elly came in and did a little bit of passing and serving,” said Rosenthal. “She also did a great job on defense too. We needed to have some more defensive pressure and we got it from Elly.
“We need all 13 players on this team, though we haven’t done it a lot this year. Elly came in and did a fantastic job. I’m very proud of her.”
The Lady Bisons travel to Murray State Tuesday night for a non-conference match at 7. They close out the first half of the A-Sun round robin at Allen Arena Friday night at 6:30.