Friday, September 06, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – One of the major themes for the Lipscomb Lady Bisons volleyball team this season is once you have an opponent on the ropes hit them with a knockout punch.
The Lady Bisons did just that Friday afternoon in their opening match of the Lipscomb Invitational sponsored by the Marriott Courtyard-Brentwood. The Lady Bisons swept Jacksonville State, an opponent from the Ohio Valley Conference, 3-0 by scores of 25-20, 25-13 and 25-15 at Allen Arena.
The Lady Bisons evened their record at 2-2. Jacksonville State slipped to 1-4.
““I thought our girls did a great job of extending leads and being in control the whole time,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “That is something that is not easy to do. I am proud of the girls getting out to a lead and controlling the match.
“When you play different styles and different levels of teams there is a challenge of how do we keep our focus? It is something we touched on last weekend and we have been working on all week. Our girls kept their focus and pushed. We have to continue to step on the gas. As the match went on we got more and more aggressive.”
The Purple and Gold are back in action tonight at 7:30 against Samford, a 3-0 winner over South Alabama Friday morning. Samford, from the Southern Conference, is 3-1.
“Samford is going to be a tough match,” Rosenthal said. “They are one of the top teams in the SoCon. They have a lot of options.
“Samford is one of those teams that we have always kind of watched. They have a high energy team. That is hard to play against. There is going to be a lot of trading kill for kill. I think it is going to come down to passing and defense.”
Lipscomb junior middle blocker Jewell Dobson was the match leader in kills with 16. She also posted a .362 hitting percentage. Junior outside hitter Lauren Ford added 11 kills with a .364 hitting percentage.
The middles continue to carry their share of the offensive load for the Lady Bisons. Sophomore Molly Spitznagle was credited with six kills and senior Claire Peterson added five.
“The middles made 40 sets and the outsides had 48 so we were right on track,” Rosenthal said. “I was really pleased with the distribution of the ball.”
Sophomore transfer Bri McCombs started all three sets at libero and was credited with a match-high and season-high 20 digs. Junior outside hitter Sophie Kellerman chipped in with 13 digs.
Senior setter Caitlin Dotson made five kills for a .556 hitting percentage. She also made 39 assists.
Sophomore outside hitter Brittany Estes, junior opposite Jordan Huston, freshman outside hitter Maggie Allen and freshman middle blocker Katie Bradley all played in their first sets of the season. Allen earned the first kill of her college career.
“Any time you can get your players in it is fun,” Rosenthal said. “They work hard day-in and day-out. It is nice to have the opportunity to play them and have a little bit of the hard work pay off.
“We would have liked to have put some subs in earlier, but we wanted to give our starters the chance to work through plays. The communication has to be there and they are still working through that. We are doing some things we have never done before so we have to give them the opportunity to work together as much as possible.”