|September 06, 2014||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
- 14||Kills||Sammy Condon
- 40||Assists||Ciara Schultz
- 2||Aces||Allia Knight
- 23||Digs||Taylor Humm
- 2||Blocks||Amanda Baker
Sammy Condon - 2
Cassie Pelloni - 2
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Much has been said about the offensive capabilities of the Lipscomb Volleyball team, but coach Brandon Rosenthal credited strong defensive play as the primary reason for a 3-0 match win over Oakland.
Lauren Ford and Brittnay Estes combined for 27 kills as the Lady Bisons won by scores of 25-20, 25-18 and 25-18 Saturday morning in the second day of the Tiger Invitational at the University of Missouri.
“I thought we did a real nice job applying a lot of pressure on Oakland,” Rosenthal said. “I thought played really disciplined defense throughout and that makes it tough on the other team. I thought the defense really set the tone.
“We are getting better on defense, becoming more and more disciplined with each match. There is a confidence that we play with when that happens. It is frustrating for the other team because they are trying so many different things and we are stopping them.”
Both Lipscomb and Oakland play a high-energy brand of volleyball. Rosenthal stressed that it was a matter of stopping their runs.
“Oakland does a good job of making runs,” Rosenthal said. “We tried to match their energy at the beginning of sets and creating leads. When they did make a run we answered back with a run of our own. It was an impressive way to go about it.
“We sided out at a really high percentage. In the second set it was 77 percent and in the third set it was 71 percent. When you side out like that good things are going to happen.”
Freshman Brittany Thomas made two service aces, a match high.
"I thought we served extremely tough again,” Rosenthal said.
It was the first three-set sweep for the Lady Bisons (4-1). They have won their last four matches in a row. Oakland fell to 2-5 on the year.
Ford led the Lady Bisons with a match-high 14 kills. Estes was close behind with 13. Setter Kayla Ostrom made 40 assists.
“There is no surprise with Ford and what she is and what she has become,” Rosenthal said. “She is a special player.”
Estes posted a .542 hitting percentage, a match high as well as a season high. Molly Spitznagle posted a .400 hitting percentage. Ford finished with a .387 hitting percentage.
With the Lady Bisons playing without the services of middle blocker Jewell Dobson they used a team effort on offense.
“We were challenged with how we are going to distribute the ball,” Rosenthal said. “I thought Kayla did a fantastic job of playing our game.
“We are trying to figure out how we are going to do it along the way. We are not saying we need to do this or that. We are going to let the game come to us. I though team-wise it was exactly what we needed. This is a very mature team. They know what is at stake.”
Libero Bri McCombs made a match-high 23 digs. Estes barely missed a double-double with nine digs.
This is the best start for the Lady Bisons after five games in the NCAA era. They opened the 2010 and 2013 seasons with 3-2 records.
Ostrom has 40 or more assists in all but one match. She had 49 in the 3-2 win over Kansas, a season and career high.
Katie Bradley’s six digs were both season and career highs.
“I think Katie has done a fantastic job of getting in and making adjustments,” Rosenthal said. “The games are little faster than practice. But she is making adjustments and that is what is important.”
The Lady Bisons face Illinois State this afternoon at 4 to close out the tournament.
Dobson was injured in set two Friday against Missouri. She will not play in the rest of the tournament.