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#22 Kansas (1-1)
8/29/2014 | Lawrence, Kan. | Attendance: 1281
Friday, August 29, 2014
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Lipscomb Lady Bisons spotted No. 22 Kansas a 2-0 match lead on its home court and then roared back with three set wins for a 3-2 victory Friday night in the Kansas Invitational on ESPN3.
The victory was the first by the Lady Bisons over a ranked program.
“We talked before the match about having the opportunity to leave something special,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “Banners and trophies are great, but this is a special part of the legacy.
“We used the analogy that we have been chopping at this huge tree forever. We had come close, but it took the final chop. I thought the girls rallied behind that.”
A crowd of 1,281 was present in the Horejsi Center.
The Lady Bisons lost set one 25-17 and set two 25-18. But after the match break the momentum changed and the Lady Bisons took control taking set three 25-14 and set four 26-24 to set the stage for a 15-12 win in set five.
“I really called on the upperclassmen like Sophie Kellerman, Lauren Ford and Bri McCombs,” Rosenthal said. “I thought they needed to pick up their game and lead this team. It wasn’t a big rah, rah speech.
“My message to them between sets two and three was we had a lot of volleyball left, not only tonight but in the season. I thought it was important to continue to take every opportunity to get better. Whether it is one set, or a whole match, we have to continue to push.
The Lady Bisons appeared to be tentative in the first set and unforced errors caused problems. The problems continued in set two. But as the match continued the Lady Bisons got into a rhythm that led to success.
“We warmed up great and thought the girls were in the right frame of mind,” Rosenthal said. “We let down pretty quickly and I was a little disappointed in that.
“In the first set, and even in the second set, we just didn’t have the fight we needed. I knew once we started playing our style of volleyball we would be all right. We don’t worry about the score. We have to go out and play regardless who we are playing, especially early in the season.”
When the sides switched in the fifth set the Lady Bisons held an 8-4 lead.
“The fifth set was a tough set,” Rosenthal said. “Neither team was exceptionally sharp. But it had been a full day of competition for both teams. I was proud of the girls. They really stuck with it.
“We took opportunities to build on the lead. We made some plays down the stretch. If you have a cushion one bad play is not going to kill you. Our girls went and made it happen in the fifth set.”
The Lady Bisons used the triple threat offensive attack of middle blocker Jewell Dobson, outside hitter Ford and right side Brittnay Estes to spark the win.
Dobson recorded a match-high 20 kills. Ford made 14 kills and posted a .364 hitting percentage. Estes posted a double-double with 11 kills and 13 digs. Estes also contributed a team-leading two service aces.
“We recognized early we had to get our middles going more,” Rosenthal said. “That was part of our game plan. I thought we executed it better in sets three, four and five.
“Jewell is a special player. Once she gets going it is hard to stop her. We kept giving her the ball and she had some good opportunities. She made a lot of plays that you can’t tell from the stat sheet. That is why she is such a special player. She found a way.”
Dobson and Ford connected for some power shots to keep the Lady Bisons in the thick of the fight.
“Lauren and I had a talk about playing with confidence,” Rosenthal said. “In the second set, and even in the first set, I thought there was some hesitation.
“I reminded her this is why she puts in all of the time. Lauren is arguably one of the hardest working players on the team. She started believing in herself.”
Estes gave Kansas a headache with her strong play on the back row.
Defensively, McCombs made a match-high 20 digs. Also in double figures in digs was Kellerman.
Setter Kayla Ostrom was credited with 49 assists.
Sara McClinton led Kansas with 13 kills and Chelsea Albers added 12. Albers finished with a double-double as she added 11 digs.
Ainise Havli and Cassie Wait tied for the digs lead for Kansas with 17 apiece.
Kansas drops to 1-1 on the season.
Saturday the Lady Bisons, 1-1, will face Utah Valley, 0-1, at 11:30 a.m. in the final match of the tournament.
The win also was the 199th for Rosenthal in his 12-year career at Lipscomb.
The Lady Bisons are 1-2 all-time against Kansas, including two losses in Lawrence, Kansas. The previous matches were 3-1 defeats.
They lost 3-1 earlier in the day to No. 23 ranked Creighton.
Dobson, who failed to finish in double figures early in the day against Creighton, bounced back with 20 kills against Kansas.
Dobson posted double figures in kills in all but one match last season.
Freshman Jenny Phelan and redshirt freshman Kaitlyn Teeter each made their collegiate debuts against Kansas. Phelan played in parts of four sets and Teeter played in one.