At Monday’s practice the Lady Bisons wore white T-shirts and black shorts instead one of their more colorful outfits. Also gone was the music that usually plays in the background during practice sessions.
“I think it helped get our minds right,” setter Stefine “Jake” Pease said. “I don’t really feel like we were focusing on what T-shirts we were going to wear or our music.
“But Brandon wants us to focus on coming to practice everyday and playing volleyball. It worked.”
The Lady Bisons, 10-5, swept Austin Peay here at the Dunn Center Tuesday night by a match score of 3-0. The match win ended a three-match losing streak for the Lady Bisons. Austin Peay, 2-0 in the Ohio Valley Conference, slipped to 11-2 for the season.
“Austin Peay is a great team,” said Pease who finished with 42 assists. “We watched them on film, but we focus on what we are going to do. We don’t really focus on the other team. We focus on what we are doing on our side and what we can do better on the next play.”
The Lady Bisons jumped out to a 9-2 lead in set one and were never seriously challenged on the way to a 25-12 start. In set two the Lady Bisons prevailed 25-17. Set three was the toughest test for the Lady Bisons who held on for a 25-18 win.
Early on in the match the Lady Bisons felt the heat on a couple of levels. A very vocal, crowd gave the Lady Bisons a hard time until their fast start in set one shut them down.
The Dunn Center was also warmer than normal since the air conditioning in the building has been out for a couple of days.
“I thought it was a very efficient night,” Rosenthal said. “In sets one and three we sided out at 92 percent and 89 percent. It’s hard to complain with that.
“We had 10 errors on the whole night and hit .400. Not only that but the number that really jumps out at me is the 52 digs.”
Outside hitter Meghan Hinemeyer set the pace for the Lady Bisons in set one with seven kills. Defensively, libero Stephanie Rex had four digs and middle blocker Alex Kelly added three.
Set two proved to be more difficult for the Lady Bisons. They started out the set 8-2 but never led by more than nine points. The Lady Bisons allowed Austin Peay to hang around, pulling within six at 23-17.
In set two outside hitter Kaycee Green stepped up with six kills. Rex added seven digs.
Green posted a match-high 16 kills and a .481 hitting percentage. Hinemeyer added 14 kills.
“Meghan did a really nice job of putting things together,” Rosenthal said. “I was proud of her. I think she really frustrated Austin Peay.
“On the other side Kaycee showed why she can be very good. She is hitting angles that other teams don’t usually see. We had addressed over the last couple of days that we needed more help from the outside.”
Pease makes the decisions where to pass the ball, but she doesn’t let the other team dictate her moves.
“I know Alex can do her job even when there are three blockers on her,” Pease said. “I don’t shy away from what the other team is doing with her.
“But Alex does a great job of pulling two blockers and so that gives our outside hitters a one-on-one block. The outside hitters performed like we want them to perform.”
Rex recorded a match-high 16 digs.
“It was a really big night for Rex,” Rosenthal said. “We had talked about the fact that she needed to step up her game. I thought she did.”
Middle blocker Alex Kelly added 10, and barely missed a double-double with eight kills.
“Defensively, all around, I thought we did a really nice job,” Rosenthal said. “It’s hard to look at it and see how Jake distributed the ball.
“And even on a night for Alex that was not her best night she is still giving you 10 digs, two blocks and one ace. She still finds ways to contribute. Every team is game planning for her and when she is not on her game offensively she knows she has to bring it defensively.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.