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USC Upstate (1-12, 1-3 A-Sun)
Lipscomb (9-5, 3-1 A-Sun)
10/4/2013 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 316
ETSU (11-6, 5-0 A-Sun)
Lipscomb (9-6, 3-2 A-Sun)
10/5/2013 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 254
Thursday, October 03, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb Lady Bisons have used their only “overlook” ticket for this season.
In their first road match of the season the Lady Bisons fell 3-1 at Jacksonville on Sept. 27. The loss ended an 11-game winning streak for the Lady Bisons against Jacksonville dating back to the 2006 season.
“It is a lesson learned and now we have to go out and do something about it,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “It is something that is on the girls’ minds.
“I still believe it never should have happened. I put that on us as coaches and I put it on the players.”
Friday night at 6:30 the Lady Bisons play the first of five straight Atlantic Sun matches at Allen Arena when USC Upstate visits. Upstate is 1-11, 1-2 in the A-Sun.
“You look at the standings and you look at the record and we could easily move to Saturday,” Rosenthal said. “But we can’t.
“We lost that opportunity (to overlook an opponent) last Friday. If you do it once…O.K. If you do it twice you have a problem. We have done it once. We have talked about it. Now it is time to move on.”
At the start of his head coaching career Rosenthal learned what it is like to be in Upstate’s shoes. He fully realizes how dangerous a team like Upstate can be.
“Any time you play against a team that maybe hasn’t had the season they wanted they are dangerous,” Rosenthal said. “If you get a group that is hungry then anything can happen.
“I know exactly how this is going to go down. They are going to come with a lot of fight. We have to stay calm, be disciplined and play our game. We have to let them know that we are not overlooking the team or taking them for granted.”
The Lady Bisons have never lost to Upstate with a 10-0 series record dating back to 2007. Rosenthal knows his team cannot rely on the past.
“If we are not focused anything can happen,” Rosenthal said. “I would not think for a second that our girls will be unprepared. They are going to be ready to go.
“I think they learned a huge lesson. They are upset with themselves. They are disappointed in themselves.”
Outside hitter Kayla Eversgerd leads Upstate with 131 kills and 133 digs. Middle blocker Emily Koelling is second with 107 kills.
Middle blocker Jewell Dobson leads the Lady Bisons in several categories including kills (201), hitting percentage (.370), points per set (5.30) and blocks (26). Dobson is eighth in the nation in kills per set (4.79) and ninth in points per set (5.30).
The Lady Bisons are first in NCAA Division I in kills per set with 15.45.
Libero Bri McCombs, this week’s A-Sun Defensive Player of the Week, leads the team with 167 digs.
Setter Caitlin “Dot” Dotson has posted 525 assists and is second in the nation in assists per set with 12.50. The Lady Bisons are third nationally in assists per set with 14.14.
After falling to Jacksonville, the Lady Bisons rebounded for a 3-0 win at North Florida. The Lady Bisons enter the weekend with an 8-5 overall record, 2-1 in the conference.
The Lady Bisons will once again be without the services of middle blocker Molly Spitznagle. She has missed the last three matches with an ankle injury.
“We have realized how important Molly is,” Rosenthal said. “We have also realized that making small changes can be harder than you may have anticipated.”
The match will be televised on ESPN3 and A-Sun TV.
The homestand continues Saturday at 2 when ETSU visits.
“We are in a good spot,” Rosenthal said. “We had a chance to give them a day off Wednesday. They should be fresh. They should be excited.”