|November 02, 2012||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
STRACHAN - 4
GREEN - 3
NASHVILLE, Tenn.-There are vaccinations for a variety of maladies, but rarely do athletes find themselves immune to what is known throughout sports as the “sophomore slump”.
Fortunately, the “sophomore slump” is something that can be cured. Usually the proper treatment is found in a change in playing style, a different mental mindset or a shift in habits.
Lipscomb sophomore hitter Lauren Ford shook off the “sophomore slump” in a big way Friday night at Allen Arena with a career-high and match-high 23 kills, 10 digs and a .442 hitting percentage. It also marked her seventh double-double of the season. She also added four service aces, a season-high that also ties her career-high.
Ford’s numbers helped propel the Lady Bisons to a 3-1 match win over Kennesaw State.The Lady Bisons won set one 25-19 and set two 25-16 before dropping set three 25-22. LU held off a determined the Owls team in set four to gain a 25-20 victory.
“Lauren’s kill numbers are up this season and her hitting percentage is probably a little bit down,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “That is a little bit of what sophomores experience, especially sophomores who have as much playing time as she had her freshman year.
“Teams are able to game plan for her. Sometimes Lauren just wants to hit the same shot harder and harder, but that isn’t going to work. She has to mix it up. She has to understand what the other team is giving her and then she has to take it, I thought she did a great job of that."
Senior outside hitter Kaycee Green added 14 kills and three blocks.
“Everybody is keying in on Lauren and Kaycee, and rightfully so,” Rosenthal said. “We just want them to be a little bit more aggressive with their shots.
“I thought Lauren really did a nice job of that. She really put them back on their heels.”
Also in double figures in kills was sophomore middle blocker Jewell Dobson with 12.
Fittingly, the set and match point in the fourth set was the result of a kill by Green. The lone senior on the team, Green was honored before the start of the match on “Senior Night”.
“I was talking to Jewell on the bench as the play was going on,” Rosenthal said. “But out of the corner of my eye I could kind of feel what was going to happen. I thought Dot (Caitlin Dotson) did a good job of mixing it up to create some of those things.
“Kaycee got a little frustrated through the middle of the match. We just encouraged her to keep playing her game. Kaycee really put away some balls. They were statement balls.”
Libero Stephanie Rex led the Lady Bisons in digs with 14. Also in double figures in digs were Megan Stout with 13 and outside hitter Sophie Kellerman with 11.
“They all three really did a bang-up job,” Rosenthal said. “The dig numbers are awesome, but more importantly we are seeing better communication and a better understanding and executing of the game plan.
“I thought our defensive crew kind of spear-headed the first set and made it real nice for us in the second set. In the third set we didn’t do a great job passing and our offense got a little predictable. Quite honestly, in the third set we didn’t play hard. But in the end we got the victory and that is the important thing.”
Baylee Strachan paced Kennesaw State in kills with 16. Turea Jones chipped in with 11 and added 16 digs. Camille Pedraza was credited with a match-high 19 digs.
Kennesaw State dropped to 5-10 in the conference, 16-14 overall. The Lady Bisons are 13-2 in the conference, 16-10 overall. With the win the Lady Bisons clinched a first round bye in the A-Sun Conference Tournament which will be held at Allen Arena Nov. 15-17.
Mercer, a 3-0 loser at Northern Kentucky Friday night, is next for the Lady Bisons Saturday at 2 p.m. The Bears are 5-10 in the A-Sun, 9-16 overall.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.