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Volleyball tames Mizzou in Tiger Invitational
Friday, September 5, 2014
By Mark McGee
Volleyball tames Mizzou in Tiger Invitational

COLUMBIA, Mo.  – The Lipscomb volleyball team came away with a match win, but they may have also suffered a season loss.

In the second set of Friday’s 3-1 match win over Missouri in the opening day of the Tiger Invitational, middle blocker Jewell Dobson went down with what is being described as a lower extremity injury. She was evaluated at the tournament site, but will have a further evaluation by Lipscomb’s team doctors Monday.

“It is bittersweet, but it is part of the world we live in,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “We have been really lucky over the years in terms of a lack of injuries.

“I am proud of what Katie Bradley and the rest of the team did in stepping up. Anytime you lose a player like that it can change some things, but I thought our girls did a really nice job of understanding the team concept.”

Rosenthal expects to receive official word on Dobson’s status Monday.

“We are more than just one player,” Rosenthal said. “For right now we have to deal with it. Some people are going to get more playing time than they may have anticipated and they are going to get better by doing it.”

Dobson was the 2013 Atlantic Sun Player of the Year and was the 2014 Preseason Player of the Year.

The Lady Bisons are 3-1. Missouri, from the Southeastern Conference, falls to 2-2. The Lady Bisons have won three matches in row after losing their first match of the season to Creighton.

After winning the first set 25-21 the Lady Bisons dropped set two 25-20. They came back after the match break to win set three 25-20 and then closed out the match with a 25-23 set four victory at the Hearnes Center.

“We are playing really good teams,” Rosenthal said. “A week ago Missouri was ranked No. 15 in the country.

“A lot of it is our players believing in the process. I am proud of them for winning, but I am also proud that they believe in what we have set out to do.”

The Lady Bisons trailed in set two by scores of 10-1 and 20-10, but lost by only five points.

“We took the mindset that we have to take every opportunity to get better and not worry about the score. Between sets two and three I told them I loved what they did in the last part of the second set.

“I thought we did a much better job of just settling in and passing. We weren’t getting a lot of side-out points. We had to pass. We had to move our feet. We had to play our brand of volleyball.”

In set four the Lady Bisons fought off a late surge by Missouri. Leading 24-20 on a series of kills by outside hitter Lauren Ford and setter Kayla Ostrom, the Lady Bisons saw their lead dwindle to 24-23. A service error by Missouri sealed the set win and the match.

“If you go back and break it down the fourth set was pretty impressive,” Rosenthal said. “We had a two-or-three point lead. There were a series of side-outs on both sides. It is tough to hold on to a lead like that.

“Missouri tied it at 17-17 and we came back. We overcame adversity. We have a calm team.”

Ford posted a match-high 22 kills, also a season individual and team high for a match.

“Lauren was a little slow in the second set, but she really got going,” Rosenthal said. “I think a lot of that is we were passing well. Our middles established the middle. Lauren took care of what she was supposed to do.”

Ostrom was credited with 45 assists and four kills for Lipscomb.

“Kayla continues to get better and better,” Rosenthal said. “She had a huge solo block toward the end of set four.”

 Libero Bri McCombs made 10 digs.

Quick hits:

The Lady Bisons now have wins over a Big 12 school (Kansas) and an SEC school (Missouri).

Ford’s 22 kills in four sets are three short of her career-high 25 kills in five sets at ETSU Nov. 8 of last season.

For the second week in the row the Lady Bisons have beaten the host of a tournament with the 3-2 win over Kansas in the Kansas Invitational.

The Lady Bisons are even with Missouri overall at 1-1 in matches. Missouri beat the Lady Bisons 3-0 Aug. 31, 2012 in the Lipscomb Invitational at Allen Arena. Missouri won the 2013 SEC volleyball championship.

These will be the first volleyball matches with each of these schools. However, the Lady Bisons did scrimmage Illinois State this spring.

Next up:

The Lady Bisons continue play in the Tiger Invitational Saturday, They face Oakland at 10 a.m. and Illinois State at 4.

“Oakland is a high-energy team,” Rosenthal said. “It will be interesting to pit two high-energy teams against each other. I am interested to see what comes from that.

“Illinois State is a very physical team. They beat Ohio State last week and nearly knocked off Oregon.”