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Lipscomb (9-8, 6-0 A-Sun)
USC Upstate (6-11, 1-4 A-Sun)
10/5/2012 | Spartanburg, S.C. | Attendance: 347
Lipscomb (10-8, 7-0)
ETSU (12-8, 3-3)
10/6/2012 | Johnson City, Tenn. | Attendance: 221
Thursday, October 04, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn. –The Lipscomb volleyball team looks to extend its season-high five-match winning streak as it continues on the road against USC Upstate Friday at 6 p.m. and ETSU Saturday at 2 p.m.
The Lady Bisons are coming off two wins last weekend on the road against Kennesaw State Friday night, 3-0, and Mercer on Saturday, 3-1.
“I was impressed at the end of the match there,” Lipscomb head coach Brandon Rosenthal said on the Mercer match. “The team knew what was at stake of going five in a tough environment. We dug down deep and made something happen.”
This is the fifth consecutive season that the Lady Bisons have started 5-0 or better. The last time LU did not start 5-0 was in the 2007 season, where they started off with two losses.
“Going into this weekend, I’m excited to see how they build off last weekend,” Rosenthal said. “There’s definitely this excitement. There’s definitely a little extra pep in the step.”
Senior Kaycee Green is coming off her second consecutive Atlantic Sun Player of the Week. Green had at least 15 kills in each of the two matches and had 37 total kills, including a season-high 22 kills at Mercer.
The Cookeville, Tenn., native had an impressive 5.29 kills per set and had a hitting percentage of .310 on the week, including a .429 hitting percentage against Kennesaw State.
“She was kind of overshadowed by some other players in the past, but now she comes in and she’s able to take more of a leadership role,” Rosenthal said. “The leadership side of it has really benefited her game and her confidence and the way her teammates responded to her.”
Green’s back-to-back A-Sun Players of the Week was the first time that a volleyball player has capture the award in consecutive weeks since the 2009 season when Alex Kelly of the Lady Bisons won it on Oct. 5 and Oct. 12.
Lipscomb continues to be the only A-Sun team to have multiple players of the week as Ford (9/10) and Green (9/24 and 10/1) have won the player of the week honor.
The Lady Bisons (8-8, 5-0 A-Sun) have never lost to USC Upstate (6-10, 1-3 A-Sun) in the eight previous matches and have only lost two sets to the Spartans. Kayla McAvoy (170 kills), Emily Sanders (450 assists) and Morgan Page (210 digs) lead the Spartans.
“I’ve always been cautious about Upstate because they play pretty hard,” Rosenthal said. “Any team like that is dangerous because if you don’t come ready to play, they’re going to be very dangerous.
“We took a look at their last match against Florida Gulf Coast and they lost 3-0 at the end of that trip. If you look at it more closely, the first set they had Florida Gulf Coast down 21-19, the second set they had Florida Gulf Coast down 23-21.”
LU has a 9-4 edge over ETSU, but the Bucs won the last meeting last season. Prior to that loss, the Lady Bisons had won eight straight matches.
The Bucs are led by Megan Devine with 265 kills and 210 digs and Kayla Williams with 420 assists.
“ETSU is a really hard place to play,” Rosenthal said. “The gym in a little older and it’s tough. It’s a great environment. Their students come out and they get on top of you and they get after you.”
The Lady Bisons return home against Florida Gulf Coast, which enters the weekend as the only other undefeated A-Sun team, Friday night at 6:30 p.m. followed by Stetson Saturday at 2 p.m.