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September 13, 20131st2nd3rdFinal
Virginia Tech2525283
LIPTeam StatsVT
.179Hitting Pct..278
134Total Attacks108
KillsSamantha Gostling - 13
AssistsJordan Fish - 27
REX - 2
AcesJordan Fish - 1
Amanda McKinzie - 1
Victoria Hamsher - 1
McCOMBS - 18
DigsKenedy McGrath - 8
Megan Beckwith - 8
BlocksKathryn Caine - 6
LaTasha Samson-Akpan - 6
Lady Bisons ready to move on after gritty loss
Friday, September 13, 2013
By Mark McGee
Lady Bisons ready to move on after gritty loss

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Lipscomb volleyball coach Brandon Rosenthal was in no mood to discuss what could or should have happened.

In the dressing room after a 3-0 match loss to Virginia Tech Rosenthal made it clear to his players that there was no need to dwell on what had happened.

“We talked about it being a long weekend and that we needed to have short memories,” Rosenthal said. “What I meant by that is I didn’t want anybody walking out of the locker room saying what could have been.

“What could have been happened. We didn’t maximize our opportunities. I don’t want us talking about what could have been. Talking about what could have been is dangerous.”

The Lady Bisons played a gritty match losing 25-21 in set one, 25-23 in set two and 28-26 in set three Friday night at Cassell Coliseum in the Hokie Invitational. The Lady Bisons ended a three-match winning streak and slipped to 4-3. Virginia Tech raised its record to 8-1.

“The girls are showing tremendous fight and I love it,” Rosenthal said. “They have shown tremendous moxie.

“They are not afraid. Virginia Tech is a really big blocking team. We showed a lot of guts going in there and saying we know what you do best and here is what we do best so let’s see what happens.”

The Lady Bisons are back in action Saturday morning against Duquesne, 4-3, at 9:30. They play William & Mary, 3-5, at 4. William & Mary beat Duquesne 3-2 Friday.

“The message is real simple,” Rosenthal said. “They had to walk out of that dressing room door with a `can’t wait’ mentality. They can’t wait to play again. They can’t wait to take what they learned against Virginia Tech and apply it to the next match.

“One of the big things we learned is how consistent we can play. I don’t know if we have ever played this consistent against high quality teams in the preconference season. That is really promising.”

Rosenthal stresses his players have been consistent in the first seven matches of the season in virtually every area.

“We are consistently creating the pace,” Rosenthal said. “We are consistently playing solid defense. We are consistently serving tough.”

One problem that the Lady Bisons have to work on is cutting down on errors. They made 27 attack errors compared to only nine by Virginia Tech.

“It’s the unforced errors that we have to really lessen,” Rosenthal said. “When I say unforced errors I am talking about balls that we have no business putting into the net or that are going out of bounds. We are going to get blocked and miss the lines here or there. Those are going to happen.

“It’s the unforced ones that continue to happen. They add up.”

Middle blocker Jewell Dobson continued her domination in the middle with 16 kills and a .414 hitting percentage, both match highs.

Middle blocker Molly Spitznagle and outside hitter Lauren Ford each finished with 11 kills. Spitznagle posted a .313 hitting percentage.

“Molly continues to grow in confidence,” Rosenthal said. “We need to continue to get her a couple of more open swings.”

Libero Bri McCombs finished with a match-high 18 digs. Defensive specialist Stephanie Rex had five digs and two services aces. Rosenthal points out the contributions of Rex went beyond the stat line.

“Stephanie had a tremendous match,” Rosenthal said. “She was solid in her serving and passing and in defending. At times when things got tight, and we needed some good passes, Rex stepped up.  She has done that a lot over her career.

“She owned it. She had that `this is what I have to do’ mentality.”

Setter Caitlin “Dot” Dotson recorded 43 assists and added nine digs.

Outside hitter Samantha Gostling led Virginia Tech with 13 kills.

Rosenthal planned to spend a long night going over video with assistant coaches Ann Armes and Billy Ebel. He is confident that his Lady Bisons will be ready to go.

“We are doing what we are doing because we are good,” Rosenthal said. “But we can’t allow a set to get ahead of us. We did that against Virginia Tech, but we also did a good job of fighting back.

“It is hard as a coach to not look back, but we really have to push forward on this. That is something we are being deliberate about. We are real close.”