|September 03, 2011||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
Szypulski - 11
FORD - 2
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Sometimes games are won or lost by a mere matter of inches or just a play or two and that was the case on Saturday afternoon as Lipscomb dropped a hard-fought 3-1 (15-25, 24-26, 25-16, 23-25) decision to Arkansas State in the final game of the inaugural Lipscomb Invitational at Allen Arena.
"We played tough competition and we haven't found a way to pull it out," said Lipscomb head coach Brandon Rosenthal. "The good is, the fight that I see and the competition that we're playing and what we're doing against that competition. When you walk away from this match, (sometimes) you lose close matches and that's what it really came down to. Two good teams going at it and (the difference is) a point here, a point there."
The first and third sets of the contest were on opposite ends of the spectrum with Arkansas State taking the opener easily and Lipscomb claiming set three with no problem, but the second and fourth deciding sets were incredibly intense.
Trailing 20-18 in the second set Lipscomb got a monster kill from senior opposite hitter Charlyn Ursell that brought an eruption from the Purple and Gold faithful in the stands. Senior middle blocker Katie Rose then made a big-time block and followed it up with a lethal kill of her own to knot the game at 20 and force the Red Wolves to call a time out. Rose then made one of her game-high, eight solo blocks to give the Lady Bisons the lead. ASU quickly tied the game back up on the next serve however, but the Red Wolves made a pair of attack errors and freshman outside hitter Lauren Ford delivered a kill to put Lipscomb one point away from making it a 1-1 contest with a 24-21 lead. Arkansas State regrouped however and rattled off five straight points to earn the win and put Lipscomb in a deep hole.
"The girls shouldn't hang their head,” said Rosenthal. “They did a fantastic job. I love what our team did this week. We worked hard and it showed here."
Despite being two sets down, Lipscomb showed the fight that Rosenthal was talking about, got in rhythm in the third and quickly won the game. The fourth set saw the Lady Bisons get out in front 18-14 but the resilient Red Wolves would again pull back even behind a pair of kills and a pair of attack errors by Lipscomb. Arkansas State managed to slip ahead just at the end of the set and leave the “Music City” with the win.
The loss snaps the nation’s third-longest home winning streak ending the Lady Bisons’ run at Allen Arena at 29 games.
A day after setting the Lipscomb record for service aces in a match with seven, Rose more than doubled the previous solo block record of three in a match with her eight-block effort. The Lexington, Ky. native also tied the total block mark of nine in a match held by Alex Kelly. Rose added a team-high 11 kills and was joined in double figure kills by junior Kaycee Green and freshman Jewell Dobson, who each had 10. Sophomore libero Stephanie Rex paced Lipscomb with 14 digs, while fellow classmate Caitlin Dotson notched a baker’s dozen to go along with 33 assists for a double-double.
Rose and Rex’s efforts landed them selections on the Lipscomb Invitational All-Tournament team. They were joined by Arkansas State’s Kayla Fielder, the tourney MVP, Jasmine Terry and Allison Kearney. Charlotte’s Amanda Videmsek and Tennessee Tech’s Kelsey Gray were also honored for their play this weekend.
The Lady Bisons continue home play on Tuesday night hosting Western Kentucky at 6:30 p.m. at Allen Arena.