|December 01, 2011||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Finding itself in a defensive battle in the opening round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament, the Lipscomb volleyball team dropped a hard-fought 3-1 (16-25, 16-25, 25-12, 22-25) decision to homestanding Texas A&M at Reed Arena.
Fighting with a Texas-sized heart, the Lady Bisons (20-11) refused to give up after losing the first two sets and came out roaring in the third set and gave the Aggies (23-7) all they wanted in the fourth stanza.
“The message was real simple coming into the break between two and three,” said Lipscomb head coach Brandon Rosenthal. “It was let’s just go and play our game. I thought we did a nice job of speeding up the tempo. We got after it on defense and made a couple of minor adjustments but nothing big.”
After hitting .029 in the first set and .057 in the second set, Lipscomb’s offense posted a .312 average in the third set and defensively, the Lady Bisons held the Aggies to a - .029 mark.
“We were fortunate, especially against a team that played so hard like gangbusters against us,” said Texas A&M head coach Laurie Corbelli. “I think that it’s a style that we’re not super familiar with. It caught us off guard in set three.”
The fourth set would be the determining factor in the contest. Despite falling behind 19-14, the Lady Bisons went on a 6-2 run to make it 21-21 and put the heat on the favored home team. A pair of attack errors opened the door though for the veteran Aggies and Texas A&M closed out the set and took the match.
“The credit really goes to this team,” said Rosenthal. “I’ve said all year long that I can’t really figure them out. There really is a lot of heart on this squad. To the three seniors, they gave me everything they had, not only the three seniors but the rest of the team.”
Freshman Jewell Dobson led the way for Lipscomb offensively with a match-high 13 kills. Fellow newcomer Lauren Ford finished in double figures as well with a 10-kill effort. Defensively, Lipscomb posted four players in double-figure digs led by sophomore Caitlin Dotson’s 17-dig effort.
Kelsey Black, an All-Big 12 first-team selection led A&M with 11 kills on the evening. The Aggies advance to take on Kentucky on Friday night for the chance to advance to the Lexington regional.
The loss ends a fantastic 2011 championship season for the Lady Bisons and the collegiate careers of Abby Fay, Katie Rose and Charlyn Ursell.
“I’m really, really proud of not only this team but this program,” said Rosenthal. “We talk about taking steps forward and I think that we really did. Throughout the match there was this feeling in me that we belong. There wasn’t this ‘I’m glad to be here’. We belong here. I think that’s a credit to the girls and the support staff that continue to take this program farther and farther.”