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September 27, 20131st2nd3rd4thFinal
LIPTeam StatsJU
.207Hitting Pct..241
145Total Attacks145
FORD - 16
KillsNYQUIST - 13
AssistsCOURTNEY - 30
LUV falls to Jacksonville for first conference loss
Friday, September 27, 2013
LUV falls to Jacksonville for first conference loss

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Lipscomb Lady Bisons found out dolphins can smell blood in the water just as effectively as sharks.

Friday night at Swisher Gym the Lady Bisons fell 3-1 to the Jacksonville Dolphins in an Atlantic Sun Conference volleyball match. The loss ended an 11-game winning streak for the Lady Bisons against Jacksonville dating back to 2006.

“We hadn’t lost to Jacksonville in a long time, but when you play with a lack of focus like we did then it is going to happen,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “I thought Jacksonville played a great match.

“They worked hard. We got them into some trouble and they found ways to get out. They played a well-balanced match. Give credit to them.”

Rosenthal is not one for “I told you so’s” but he had an uneasy feeling about his team following practice earlier in the day.

“Our girls were caught off guard,” Rosenthal said. “I am not really sure why. We keep stressing the idea that teams are going to make bigger pushes against us.

“I didn’t think we had a great practice. I warned our team that we had to come in focused. We have done a good job of focusing all year long but we were on the short end this time.”

The Lady Bisons are 1-1 in the conference, 7-5 overall. Jacksonville is 11-2 overall, 2-1 in the conference.

The Lady Bisons lost 25-22 in set one and bounced back to win set two 25-20. But Jacksonville won set three 25-22 and closed out the match with a 25-13 win.

“In the third set we out-hit them by more than 80 points, and that is a lot of points to out-hit a team by,” Rosenthal said. “But there were mental mistakes all night.  There are countless examples of the players not knowing what was happening on the other side of the net.

“We were out of rotation. One mental mistake turned into another. We didn’t do enough to stop it and we paid the price for it. There was just a lack of focus and a lack of drive. And we had a hungry team on the other side of the net.”

This was the first time the Lady Bisons had lost a regular season A-Sun four-set match since a 3-1 decision at North Florida Oct. 19, 2012. The Lady Bisons lost to ETSU in the 2012 A-Sun Tournament 3-1 on Nov. 16.

The Purple and Gold will be out to get back on the winning track Saturday at 2 when they visit North Florida. The Lady Bisons hold an 8-3 series edge against the Ospreys. The Ospreys swept Northern Kentucky 3-0 Friday night to raise their record to 4-9, 1-2 in the conference.

Outside hitter Lauren Ford led the Lady Bisons with 16 kills, her third match high of the season. Middle blocker Jewell Dobson added 13. Outside hitter Sophie Kellerman finished with 11, tying her season and career high.

Defensively, setter Caitlin “Dot” Dotson made a season-high 15 kills. Libero Bri McCombs added 14 and setter Kayla Ostrom made 10.

For the first time this season the Lady Bisons allowed three opposing players to finish in double figures in kills with Taylor Nyquist making 13 and Gabriela Roman and Sammie Strausbaugh chipped in 12.

Strausbaugh completed the double-double with a match-high 17 digs. Rachel Miller was credited with 10.

It is a short turnaround for the Lady Bisons. Rosenthal liked what he heard from his players in the dressing room after the game. Now he has to wait and see if they put their talk into action.

“We talked about motivation as coaches,” Rosenthal said. “We can do some of it, but at some point it has to come from within. This is their team.

“There was a lot of conversation after the match among the players. It was great to hear that but it is unfortunate they were doing it after the match. We move forward. There is no need to sit on this. What was said among the players was good. We will see what they can do with this.”