It wasn’t as easy as the 3-0 match score made it appear.
The Lipscomb Lady Bisons opened with a 25-10 set win over visiting Tennessee State University Tuesday night in the home opener at Allen Arena. But Tennessee State refused to go away easily losing the second set 25-19 and jumping out to a 7-1 lead before falling 25-21 in set three.
“I’m a little disappointed we didn’t play with more energy at the end,” Lady Bisons coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “In the first set we did a nice job of getting out and dictating the momentum.”
The match win was the 19th straight for the Lady Bisons at Allen Arena. It was the third straight time the Lady Bisons have swept an opponent.
Rosenthal thinks that he could have done more to keep his team focused, especially between the second and third sets.
“I would have liked to have seen better defensive pressure, especially in the third set,” Rosenthal said. “Some of that falls on me. Some of it falls on the girls.”
The Lady Bisons had four service aces, but also made nine service errors.
“I thought in the third set we let up on our serves and gave TSU extra opportunities," Rosenthal said. "We were hitting the ball over the net instead of serving it. There is a big difference.”
Rosenthal was looking for a way to discourage TSU offensively. He brought Kelsey Neumann, 6-foot-3, off of the bench in the second and third sets.
“We were looking for Kelsey to block the ball and change the other team’s offense,” Rosenthal said. “TSU’s offense was on a roll until we brought Kelsey in. All of sudden it came to a halt and it wasn’t by coincidence.”
Senior middle blocker Alex Kelly was the only player to finish in double figures in kills with 10. She also posted a double-double with 10 digs, tying for the match high with freshman Caitlin “Dot” Dotson. It was the first time this season Dotson has finished in double figures in digs.
TSU was led by Shaquita Williams with six kills. Kamille King made eight digs.
The Lady Bisons are 5-2. Tennessee State slipped to 0-5.
This weekend the Lady Bisons will be playing in the third of four preconference tournaments when they travel to the University of South Carolina for the Gamecock Invitational. They will play Furman Friday at noon and South Carolina State a 5. The Lady Bisons will face host South Carolina Saturday at 11 a.m.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.