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Belmont (13-7, 4-1 A-SUN)
Lipscomb (11-6, 5-0 A-SUN)
10/6/2011 | Nashville, TN | Attendance: 1053
Thursday, October 06, 2011
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- All of the puzzle pieces for a drama were there on the Allen Arena floor: two teams unbeaten in the Atlantic Sun Conference, an intense rivalry and a conference win streak on the line.
Thursday night at Allen Arena the first meeting of the season between the Lipscomb Lady Bisons and the Belmont Lady Bruins volleyball teams provided every bit of the drama that was expected. Adding to the atmosphere was a boisterous crowd of 1,053 fans on hand to watch the Lady Bisons 3-2 match win.
“I can’t say enough about the atmosphere,” Lady Bisons’ coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “I can’t tell you how much that means to me. I was ecstatic about our fans and their fans.
“People have to really take notice that both teams are tremendous teams. Both teams deserve that type of atmosphere, not just for this match but for every match. “
The Lady Bisons prevailed in this edition of the “Battle of the Boulevard”, but it was a come-from-behind effort. Belmont won the first set 25-20 and the Lady Bisons evened the match at 1-1 with a 25-23 second set. Belmont bounced back to win set three 25-20. But the Lady Bisons came back in a big way in set four with a 25-13 decision. In set five the Lady Bisons held a 10-5 lead but had to hold on at the end for a 15-13 decision.
The Lady Bisons are 11-6 overall, 5-0 in the A-Sun. Belmont is 13-7, 4-1. It was the 40th straight conference win for the Lady Bisons.
“We obviously knew that they were a good team,” Rosenthal said. “We obviously knew that they had a lot of weapons.
“They did a great job early on of creating problems for us. I thought we couldn’t get into a rhythm and that had a lot of to with what Belmont was doing. It wasn’t that we weren’t expecting it. Belmont just did things really well.”
In their two victorious sets the Lady Bruins posted hitting percentages of .429 and .464. The Lady Bisons best hitting percentage was .317 in their third set win.
“You look at the numbers and we just weren’t executing,” Rosenthal said. “We had way too many errors. After the second set it came back to the fact we weren’t executing even though we did come back.
“We talk about being disciplined. We are a really good team because of the ability in tough times to understand what we are trying to do and be able to do it. No matter what the sport the good teams are disciplined. We have to be reminded to play our game.”
As the match continued the Lady Bisons aggressiveness also increased with each set.
“In the fourth set I thought our serve was tremendous,” Rosenthal said. “I thought we came out and were really the aggressor.
“In the fifth set it is about keeping the pressure on the other team. There were a couple of plays late in the fifth set that were outstanding defensive plays by Belmont. Even with a lead you have to be aggressive.”
On the bench Rosenthal became less vocal as the match continued at the suggestion of assistant coaches Samantha Sullivan and Jake Pease.
“It was great coaching by Sam and Jake who told me I needed to dial it back,” Rosenthal said. “That is really hard to hear as a coach but my outbursts were less and less as the match went on.”
Middle blocker Katie Rose, the reigning A-Sun Player of the Week, led the Lady Bisons with 20 kills and a match high .474 hitting percentage notching her fifth double-double of the season. Outside hitter Lauren Ford and middle blocker Jewell Dobson each had 15 kills. Outside hitter Kaycee Green pitched in with 13.
Libero Stephanie Rex and Rose each were credited with 19 digs. Setter Caitlin Dotson made 18.
Maggie Johnson led Belmont with a match-high 21 kills. Jan Myer added 12.
Jamie Lundstrom posted a match-high 28 digs Myer added 14 and Hannah Miranda chipped in with 12.
After taking this weekend off from competition, the Lady Bisons hit the road to the “Sunshine State” the following weekend for key A-Sun contests at Jacksonville on Friday and North Florida on Saturday.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.