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September 12, 20141st2nd3rd4th5thFinal
Georgia Tech25142524153
GTTeam StatsLIP
.198Hitting Pct..167
167Total Attacks156
Teegan Van Gunst - 25
KillsFord - 15
Rebecca Martin - 50
AssistsOstrom - 44
London Ackermann - 3
AcesEstes - 1
Kellerman - 1
Thomas - 1
London Ackermann - 19
DigsMcCombs - 20
Sydney Wilson - 7
BlocksSpitznagle - 7
September 13, 20141st2nd3rd4thFinal
.185Hitting Pct..289
130Total Attacks159
Briana Allmon - 13
KillsFord - 21
Jamie Rutledge - 22
AssistsOstrom - 54
Bethany Gesell - 1
Katie Muey - 1
AcesFord - 2
Katie Muey - 19
DigsMcCombs - 21
Ivey Rice - 4
Jessica Schafer - 4
BlocksSpitznagle - 3
Ford - 3
Bradley - 3
September 13, 20141st2nd3rd4thFinal
.198Hitting Pct..130
121Total Attacks138
Schofield - 11
KillsEstes - 13
Kirby - 17
Cygan - 17
AssistsOstrom - 40
Dalton - 3
AcesEstes - 2
Thomas - 2
Dalton - 14
DigsMcCombs - 13
Bateman - 6
BlocksBradley - 3
Volleyball set to host Lipscomb Invitational
Thursday, September 11, 2014
By Mark McGee
Volleyball set to host Lipscomb Invitational

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It may sound simple but coach Brandon Rosenthal has one prime instruction for his team – play Lipscomb volleyball.

“I think we did that extremely well until Tuesday night in our loss to Western Kentucky,” Rosenthal said. “After a loss like that you just want to get back out there.

“I think if you polled the girls 30 minutes after the loss and asked them if they wanted to go back out and play Western Kentucky again they would have all said, `yes’. Athletes are wired that way. I think we have a great group of athletes and a great group of competitors.”

The Lady Bisons, 5-2, will get three chances to compete this weekend. They are set to host the Lipscomb Invitational Friday and Saturday at Allen Arena.  They face Georgia Tech (3-3), from the Atlantic Coast Conference, Friday night at 6:30. Saturday they play ETSU (3-4), their former Atlantic Sun rival, at 12:30. They close out the tournament facing Utah (6-0), from the Pac-12 at 6:30.

“We broke down video with the team on Georgia Tech,” Rosenthal said. “We take it one match at a time and that is not coach talk.”

Rosenthal and his staff may be learning about Georgia Tech’s players, but they know the coach, Michelle Collier, and she knows the Lady Bisons.  Collier, in her first year at Georgia Tech, is the former coach of Jacksonville, the team that beat Lipscomb in the championship match of the Atlantic Sun Tournament in 2013.

“She did a fantastic job at Jacksonville,” Rosenthal said. “We know that the Georgia Tech team is really going to buy into her vision and they are still working at that.  They are getting better and better.

“They are a dangerous team right from the start, more so because she knows our offense and knows how to play it. She knows our gym.”

Collier is also known for managing her teams well. Rosenthal’s mission is for his team to rattle Georgia Tech, but he knows Collier can keep her teams on an easy pace forcing opponents to make adjustments.

“They have a couple of nice middles,” Rosenthal said. “They can pose a problem blocking-wise for us.

“Their outsides are solid players. They are not susceptible to a whole lot of errors. They do a good job of moving the ball around and finding ways to score.”

The  3-0 loss to Western Kentucky  wasn’t an example of Lipscomb volleyball.

“I am not upset with the girls,” Rosenthal said. “It has been a good week. We have been able to learn a little bit about ourselves and the processes we are going through. We talked about things we think we can control. We completely trust in our girls.

“Only one match ends your season and that is the last match you play. By no means is the match against Western Kentucky our last match. Western Kentucky is a good team and we paid the price for being unfocused against a team that was ready to go and executed its game plan.”

With the loss of middle blocker Jewell Dobson sophomore Katie Bradley has seen her playing time increase.

Against Western Kentucky she made seven kills and posted a .385 hitting percentage, both season and career highs.

“If there were an bright spots it was the way Katie played against Western Kentucky,” Rosenthal said. “She works extremely hard. The girls believe in her. I believe in her.

“It is just a matter of giving her an opportunity. I think we have done some good things with her.”



Lipscomb Invitational schedule

Sept. 12

ETSU vs. Utah   4 p.m.

Lipscomb vs. Georgia Tech  6:30 p.m.

Sept. 13

Utah vs. Georgia Tech  10 a.m.

Lipscomb vs. ETSU  12:30 p.m.

ETSU vs. Georgia Tech  4 p.m.

Lipscomb vs. Utah  6:30 p.m. 

Scouting Georgia Tech

This will be the first meeting between the Lady Bisons and Georgia Tech in volleyball. Georgia Tech, from the Atlantic Coast Conference, is 3-3. They are coming off a 3-0 match win over Texas Southern.

Georgia Tech depends on its setter Rebecca Martin who averages 9.42 assists per set, 179 total. Teegan Van Gunst has 60 kills. Annika Olsen is the leader in digs with 50.


Scouting ETSU

Lipscomb doesn’t have to face ETSU, 3-4, anymore in Atlantic Sun matches, but the rivalry between the two programs remains strong.

Last season the two teams played twice during the regular season with ETSU prevailing in both by 3-2 scores. The Lady Bisons won when the two met in the A-Sun Tournament, also by a 3-2 margin.

Rylee Milhorn leads with 61 kills. Katie Muey leads defensively with 147 digs.


Scouting Utah

This will be the first time the Lady Bisons have faced Utah, representing the Pac-12 Conference.

The two schools have had one common opponent in Utah Valley. The Lady Bisons beat Utah Valley 3-1 in the Kansas Invitational Aug. 30. Utah swept Utah Valley 3-0 Tuesday night.

Utah, led by outside hitter Chelsey Schofield-Olsen, has swept its last four opponents in a row and five overall. They are second in the Pac-12 in kills per set with 14.60.


Tournament history

The Lady Bisons are 6-3 overall in the Lipscomb Invitational. Last season they finished 3-0 with wins over Jacksonville State, Samford and South Alabama.

They were 2-1 in 2011 and 1-2 in 2012.


The poll, the poll

The Lady Bisons earned 35 votes this week in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Top 25 poll.

It marks the second week in a row they have received votes for the top 25. Marquette with 50 votes was the only team outside of the top 25 ahead of the Lady Bisons.


Lady Bisons in national stats

The Lady Bisons are in the top 50 as a team nationally in three categories in the first NCAA statistics report of the season.

They are rated 37th in team assists with 321, 42nd in team kills with 341 and 45th in match won-loss percentage at .833. They are 56th in assists per set with 12.84.

Individually, senior outside hitter Lauren Ford is ranked 16th in total kills with 107, 29th in kills per set with 4.28 and 50th in points per set with 4.62.

Sophomore setter Kayla Ostrom is rated 36th in total assists with 268 and 47th in assists per set with 10.72.

(Stats from the Western Kentucky match are not included).


Lady Bisons in the A-Sun

As a team the Lady Bisons lead the Atlantic Sun Conference in kills (375), assists per set (12.61), kills per set (13.39), assists (353), total blocks (50) and solo blocks (18).

They are second in digs (411), hitting percentage (211), service aces (39) and total attacks (1023).

Individually, Kayla Ostrom leads in assists per set (10.64).

Libero Bri McCombs is first in total digs (109) and second in digs per set (4.36).

Lauren Ford is second in kills per set (4.00) and total kills (112).

Ostrom is first in total assists (298) and first in assists per set (10.64).

 Middle blocker Molly Spitznagle is second in total blocks (26), third in hitting percentage (.317) and third in blocks per set (.93).


Best start ever

The Lady Bisons opened the season with a 5-1 record, the best after six matches in the NCAA era for the program. They opened both the 2010 and 2013 seasons with 4-2 records.


Weekly winners

Outside hitter Lauren Ford was named Atlantic Sun Player of the Week.

Ford led the Lady Bisons in kills in all three weekend victories. She set a new season-high with 24 kills against Illinois State. In the match against Missouri Jewell Dobson, the reigning A-Sun Player of the Year, was injured and did not return the rest of the weekend. Ford stepped up her game and hit a season-high .425, while also leading Lipscomb in kills in all three matches. For her efforts, she was named the Tournament MVP of the Tiger Invitational.  

The senior exercise science major from Lenexa, Kansas earned her second career A-Sun Player of Week award.  She averaged 5.00 kills per set in the three victories.

Libero Bri McCombs was named A-Sun Defensive Player of the Week.

McCombs led the defensive effort for the Lady Bisons as she totaled 56 digs. She averaged 7.67 digs in a win over Oakland, and was named to the All-Tournament team. Lipscomb has now won five straight matches, giving them their best six-game start in the NCAA era. 

The junior libero from Franklin, Tennessee is majoring in Pre-Law. It is also her second career Defensive Player of the Week award. She had a season-high 23 digs in two matches as the Lady Bisons finished 3-0 in the Tiger Invitational.

Right side Brittnay Estes opened the season as the first A-Sun Player of the Week. Estes was also named Tennessee Sportswriters Association (TSWA) Player of the Week.


Moving on up

Senior outside hitter Lauren Ford is the active career leader in the A-Sun with 1,251 total kills.

Sophomore setter Kayla Ostrom is seventh among active players in career assists with 325.

Junior libero Bri McCombs is seventh among active players in career digs with 578.


Tournament awards

The Lady Bisons finished the Tiger Invitational hosted by Missouri with a 3-0 record that earned them first place.

Lauren Ford was named the tournament’s most valuable player. Bri McCombs and Brittnay Estes were named to the all-tournament team.

In the Kansas Invitational Estes was named to the all-tournament team.


Up next

Lipscomb is back on the road next week with stops at Kentucky and Xavier.

Middle blocker Molly Spitznagle is second in the A-Sun in total blocks. Her 26 blocks trail UNF's Cameron McGuire by two.
- Lauren Ford and Bri McCombs earned conference player of the week awards for Sept. 8th. Ford has 112 kills on the season, leading the Lady Bisons on offense at the Tiger Invitational. McCombs stood out defensively as she collected a season-high in digs on two occasions with 23.

Next Opponent Scouting Report: Georgia Tech heads to the Lipscomb Invitational with a .500 record. They swept Texas Southern last time out as Rebecca Martin controls the tempo from the setter position. She averages 9.42 assists per set, which ranks seventh in the ACC.