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October 18, 20131st2nd3rd4thFinal
Florida Gulf Coast232523201
.323Hitting Pct..270
155Total Attacks152
KillsPINDER - 17
AssistsMEYER - 48
AcesPINDER - 2
McCOMBS - 25
DigsMASTERS - 21
BlocksMAMBUCA - 4
Total team effort, strong defense keys to win for LUV
Friday, October 18, 2013
By Mark McGee
Total team effort, strong defense keys to win for LUV

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Coaches say it all the time - it takes a team to build success.

The Lipscomb Lady Bisons used a total team approach Friday night to extend their Atlantic Sun winning streak to four matches. The Purple and Gold overcame the dreaded “second set jinx” to beat Florida Gulf Coast 3-1 Friday night in front of a record 2,234 fans at Alico Arena.

“It requires everybody to not play with a `how am I doing?’ type of mindset, but “how are we doing?’” Lipscomb volleyball coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “They have to put themselves in check and say it is not about me, but it is about this team. I thought all of the girls did a great job of that.”

The Lady Bisons won set one 25-23 and then dropped set two 25-22. They bounced back to take set three 25-23 and finished strong with a 25-20 advantage in set four.

“We made minor adjustments all during the match,” Rosenthal said. “I thought the girls were really focused all day.

“There was a noticeable difference. I was really pleased with the mental approach. We hit some moments where there were some bad plays but I thought our girls really fought through it.”

The Lady Bisons are 13-6 overall, 7-2 in the conference. FGCU slipped to 9-12, 5-3 in the A-Sun.

Rosenthal credited Billy Ebel and Ann Armes, his assistant coaches, for the way they prepared the team for this road trip.

“From the beginning of the week our coaching staff did a great job of setting this trip up,” Rosenthal said. “We started coaching for this match on Monday. We didn’t take a day off.

“We were building and building all of this week. And we have another match Saturday.”

Middle blocker Jewell Dobson finished with a match-high 22 kills. She posted a .452 hitting percentage. It was the fourth time this season Dobson had made 20 or more kills in a match.

She set a strong pace in the first set with 10 kills and .643 hitting percentage.

Outside hitter Lauren Ford made 19 kills and hit .326.

“Lauren was great at challenging their block,” Rosenthal said. “She did a fantastic job at the end.”

Right side Brittnay Estes posted career highs in kills with 10 and also in hitting percentage with a match high .500. 

“It is so hard to talk about Brittnay and just talk about her numbers,” Rosenthal said. “What she brought to the court was that energy and passion we have all seen from her.

“She did it in so many ways with her blocking and attacking. She came up with some huge kills at the end.”

Setter Caitlin “Dot” Dotson was credited with 56 assists. She is tied in the school record book for fifth in assists in a four-set match. Samantha Sullivan twice made 56 assists in 2006, the first time against Mercer on Sept. 29 and again in a match with Tennessee Tech Nov. 7.

Libero Bri McCombs made a match-high and a season-high 25 digs. It was her fifth match this season with 20 or more digs. It was her 11th match high of the season, including two ties.

Dotson added 12 digs. Three other Lady Bisons gave strong defensive efforts. Outside hitter Sophie Kellerman chipped in with nine digs while defensive specialist Stephanie Rex and setter Kayla Ostrom posted eight apiece.

“I thought the key was our defense,” Rosenthal said. “It was phenomenal. I am proud of the girls.

“We would pull away and they would come back. I told the girls we had to create more pressure with our block. We had to make a defensive attitude change and go all in with our defense and in transition.”

As a team the Purple and Gold made 62 assists, also the fifth best in school history in a four-set match.

Middle blocker Molly Spitznagle started the match. She had nine kills to go with a .368 hitting percentage.

“Molly is still working her way back in to the every play type of mode,” Rosenthal said. “She made a big difference at the end of the match.”

Christine Pinder paced FGCU with 17 kills. She finished with a double-double as she added 16 digs. Whitney Masters led FGCU with 21 digs.

The Lady Bisons are back in action Saturday at 1 p.m. when they play Stetson in Deland, Fla.

The Hatters swept Northern Kentucky 3-0 Friday and improved to 15-8, 6-2 in the A-Sun.