MACON, Ga. – Lipscomb’s 1,000 kills class has a new addition.
Heading into Saturday afternoon’s match with Mercer, junior middle blocker Jewell Dobson needed only five kills to reach 1,000 in her career. She finished with nine to go along with 3.5 blocks.
Dobson is the sixth Lady Bisons player in the NCAA era to reach 1,000 kills and the seventh overall in the program. Outside hitter Lauren Ford, also a junior, broke the 1,000 kills mark in October.
“Jewell didn’t have any idea,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “It is a credit to both Jewell and Lauren. For them to do it within about two weeks of each other, at two different positions, is somewhat odd.
“Their numbers are up this year over last year. Jewell is having a very special season. It wasn’t her best offensive day but I thought she did a nice job of finding ways to score and she did that through blocking.”
The Lady Bisons, 18-6 overall, 12-2 in the A-Sun, won their ninth straight match. It was the eighth time this season they have swept a conference opponent. Mercer dropped to 1-24 overall, 0-15 in the conference.
“It was good to get a win there,” Rosenthal said. “It is a tough environment. It is obviously a small gym. It is really loud.
“We did a nice job of distributing the ball. I wouldn’t say that we played our best. I thought we did a good job blocking, especially in the second set. I thought we put a lot of pressure on Mercer with our serve.”
The Lady Bisons won by scores of 25-21, 25-17 and 25-23. Mercer, after taking Northern Kentucky to five sets before losing Friday night, came out strong in set one against the Purple and Gold. They led 17-12 and then the Lady Bisons went on a 7-1 run.
“We struggled a little bit with communication,” Rosenthal said. “They got us out of our rhythm. Mercer went hard after us defensively and put us in a spot where we had to really settle in and play.
“That is part of it. We didn’t do a great job in the first 15 points of settling in. After that I thought we did a nice job of continuing to put pressure on them.”
Rosenthal praised Megan Stout for her serves at key times in the match. She had one service ace. The Lady Bisons had seven for the match with setter Caitlin “Dot” Dotson and libero Bri McCombs each adding three.
“Megan came in and did a great job serving and defending,” Rosenthal said. “She has done a great job of understanding her role. She has really worked hard.
“We just had a meeting this week about it. She said she loves the idea that she can change the game with her serve. And she did that today.”
Ford made a match-high 12 digs for the Lady Bisons.
McCombs was credited with a match-high 17 digs.
Ellie James led Mercer with nine kills. Molly Locke paced the team with 15 digs. Emily Rochefort added 12.
The Lady Bisons are back on the road Nov. 7 in Johnson City to face ETSU. On Nov. 8 they travel to Spartanburg, S.C., to play USC Upstate.
A stop in Kennesaw
The Lady Bisons planned to make a stop in Kennesaw tonight to watch the women’s soccer team make its first ever appearance in the A-Sun Tournament against Kennesaw State.