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October 12, 20121st2nd3rdFinal
Florida Gulf Coast2825253
.272Hitting Pct..122
125Total Attacks148
KillsDOBSON - 11
MEYER - 25
AssistsDOTSON - 33
AcesDOTSON - 1
FORD - 1
REX - 1
DigsREX - 20
BlocksDOBSON - 3
Volleyball loses first conference match to FGCU
Friday, October 12, 2012
By Mark McGee
Volleyball loses first conference match to FGCU

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – There were no post-match theatrics or hysterics. No peel the paint off the wall speeches filled with vitriol. No dry-erase boards covered with all of the things that went wrong.

The Lipscomb Lady Bisons ended their seven-match Atlantic Sun Conference win streak for the season and also stopped their consecutive conference home match winning streak at 29 Friday night in a 3-0 loss to Florida Gulf Coast. Ironically, the last home match loss occurred on Oct. 4, 2008 against FGCU.

The last time the Lady Bisons were beaten 3-0 in a conference regular season match was Nov. 3, 2007 at former A-Sun member Gardner-Webb.

The Lady Bisons took the loss in stride, just like they have reacted to all of their victories.

“It was one of those matches that you hate to lose,” Lady Bisons coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “We were kind of playing catch-up the entire night. We will be ready next time.

“It was two good teams really going at it point-for-point. When you look back we haven’t really lost many conference matches over the past five or six years like this. As a baseball player would say you have to tip your hat to them and move forward.”

The rare loss at Allen Arena drops the Lady Bisons to 10-9 overall, 7-1 in the conference. Florida Gulf Coast remains unbeaten in the A-Sun with an 8-0 record, 13-7 overall.

The Eagles swept the match, but the combined margin of victory was seven points. The Lady Bisons fell 28-26 in set one, 25-22 in set two and 25-23 in set three.

“Sometimes when you don’t really show up it is a little bit easier to put your finger on what went wrong,” Rosenthal said. “But our girls played hard, and played a pretty good match. Unfortunately, Florida Gulf Coast played a better match.

“I thought Florida Gulf Coast did a nice job executing their game plan. Ultimately they made more plays than we did.”

In this key match it was truly the little things that counted.

“Adjustments were what this match was all about,” Rosenthal said. “We, as a team, didn’t make enough adjustments. We said before the match that the team that did the little things was going to be the team that wins.

“We have to execute. We played really well for about 90 percent of the match. It is on us to make some minor adjustments. We kind of got beat by our own game. They were able to make some of the smaller plays at crucial points.”

One of the individual bright spots for the Lady Bisons was middle blocker Claire Peterson who made a career-high 11 kills, tying middle blocker Jewell Dobson for the team lead in the match.  Peterson also had a .333 hitting percentage. 

“I give a lot of credit to Claire and the way she played,” Rosenthal said. “She did a nice job throughout the match. She made some nice adjustments.

“It was great to see. Claire works extremely hard. She deals with injuries on a daily basis. She is the ultimate teammate.”

Libero Stephanie Rex, with a match-high 20 digs, made her first kill of the season and only the second in her career.

Jill Hopper was credited with a match-high 13 kills for Florida Gulf Coast. Kaitlin Holm added 10 and also posted a .500 hitting percentage. Christine Pinder and Whitney Masters each made 19 digs.

The Eagles held a 62-54 team advantage in digs and outhit the Lady Bisons .272 to .122.

The attendance at the game was 638. Rosenthal would have liked to have given the boisterous fans something to celebrate.

“The atmosphere was so electric, not just for one point or one set of points or one part of the match,” Rosenthal said. “I thought it was tremendous throughout. I felt like they were living every point with us and that is an awesome feeling.

“I think they saw a high level of volleyball. From a selfish standpoint it was tough to send them away without a win. I give credit to Garner Goode (director of sales and marketing for athletics) and the Stampede and also to all of the athletic teams that came out, some even right after practice.”

The Lady Bisons will not have very long to dwell on the loss. Saturday afternoon they will face Stetson at 2 p.m. Stetson, 4-21, 0-8 in the A-Sun, was swept 3-0 at Northern Kentucky Friday night by scores of 25-14, 25-18 and 25-23.

“We can’t hang our heads,” Rosenthal said. “I’m sure some people are smelling blood in the water.”

Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.