NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It was a night to recognize the contributions of the seniors, but the match also proved to be a showcase of how bright the future is going to be.
“On nights like this you honor your seniors and rightfully so,” Lipscomb Lady Bisons volleyball coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “They have earned that honor.
“But you also look and see what you have behind them. There are a really good couple of classes coming in behind them.”
The Lady Bisons won 3-1 Friday night over Stetson at Allen Arena. After winning set one 25-14 and set two 25-15, the Lady Bisons dropped set three 25-20. The Purple and Gold took set four 25-17.
“The third set kind of got away from us,” Rosenthal said. “Stetson did a nice job of coming back and fighting and putting some pressure on us.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t focus extremely well in the third set. It wasn’t until late in the set that we really got things going.”
The Lady Bisons are 20-7 overall, 14-3 in the A-Sun. They have won 11 of their last 12 matches. Stetson is 18-14, 9-8 in the conference.
Rosenthal has spoken about this weekend being about wins, but more importantly about his players being dominating.
“I was frustrated in the third set because I would like to see us focus more in key moments,” Rosenthal said. “I thought there were two or three moments where we let it get away from us.
“I thought we were trying to do a little too much. We have to find that balance between imposing our will and also taking what they give us. I thought we did a real nice job of responding in the fourth set.”
Saturday afternoon at 2 at Allen Arena the Lady Bisons close out the A-Sun regular season when FGCU visits. The Eagles, 13-17, 9-8 in the conference, swept Northern Kentucky 3-0 Friday night.
Lipscomb middle blocker Jewell Dobson made a match-high 18 kills. She added one service ace, one solo block and three block assists. Her hitting percentage of .485 was also a match high.
“The last couple of matches Jewell has had some lower numbers,” Rosenthal said. “I wouldn’t say low numbers, but lower numbers for her.
“Some of it is a confidence issue. She is starting to realize how dominant a player she can be. With that comes the responsibility of taking care of things when they matter most.”
Right side Brittnay Estes continues to improve with each match. She finished with eight kills and a .462 hitting percentage.
“People want to talk about her big swings, but in this match it was some of her small plays…a couple of tips… that she made that were important,” Rosenthal said. “That is something we have been working on a long time with Brittnay. We all know she can hit the ball hard, but we need her to see the court and be a little more under control.
“Brittnay has played tremendous over the past four or five weeks. She has energy and passion. I am very proud of her and how hard she has worked and dedicated herself.”
Outside hitter Lauren Ford added 15 kills and one service ace.
Libero Bri McCombs made a match-high 20 digs for the Purple and Gold. Outside hitter Sophie Kellerman added 14.
Two Stetson players posted double-doubles. Tiffany Creamer led the Hatters with 11 kills and added 10 digs. Kaley Melville finished with 10 kills and 11 digs.
Alexa Drost led Stetson with 17 digs.
Rosenthal thought that the match was a fitting tribute to seniors Caitlin “Dot” Dotson, Claire Peterson and Stephanie Rex who were honored before the match.
“You always want to win on senior night,” Rosenthal said. “I give props to our seniors. Dot, Rex and Claire have earned the right for us to play as hard as we can because they have done it every day.
“For the past four years they have come out and given everything they had every day. We have to recognize that. The girls really wanted to win this one for them.”