|September 13, 2014||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
Cygan - 17
Thomas - 2
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – No matter the situation when the Lipscomb volleyball team goes into the dressing room after the first two sets of a match, coach Brandon Rosenthal usually prefers to take a low-key approach.
That changed Saturday night after the Lady Bisons lost the first two sets to Utah in the final match of the Lipscomb Invitational at Allen Arena.
“I had a lot to say,” Rosenthal said. “It was not a calm tone. It was what we needed to step up our game and the seniors needed to get after it in terms of playing and leadership. I thought they did that in sets three and four.
“The talk after the match was, `I liked what I saw’. There was a little chewing out between sets two and three but after the match I told them they gave me everything they had in sets three and four and that is all I can ask for.”
After losing set one 25-18 and set two 25-17 the words of Rosenthal made an impact as the Lady Bisons took set three 25-15 win before losing set four 25-22.
Lipscomb, 6-4, lost the match 3-1 and finished 1-2 in the tournament. Also finishing 1-2 were Georgia Tech and ETSU.
“We would have liked to have won a little more in the tournament,” Rosenthal said. “The girls got challenged. It is their responsibility to go after it.”
They have shown they will not give up. It is one of the expectations the Lady Bisons have set as a team.
“I told them the expectations are there because they have set them,” Rosenthal said. “When they set it to fight for every ball and things like that then that is what I expect every time.
“That is what I wanted to see in set three and they did exactly that. In set four it was just a matter of a couple of points.”
Right side Brittnay Estes posted a double-double with a match-high 13 kills and 10 digs.
Outside hitter Lauren Ford finished with 12 kills.
Libero Bri McCombs led Lipscomb in digs with 13. Also in double figures in digs was Sophie Kellerman with 10.
There were untimely errors for the Lady Bisons in the match with Utah as well as in the tournament overall.
“We will address that,” Rosenthal said. “Today it was more about aggressive errors and going for it. Against good teams you have to take those risks.
“Friday we just played too safe. We played not to lose. I want to play to win.”
The strong finish against Utah gives Rosenthal confidence as the Lady Bisons begin preparations Monday to face Kentucky and Xavier on the road next week.
“I thought what we did in the last two sets are really important for us moving forward,” Rosenthal said. “As we got into the fourth set I told them this was another opportunity for us to get better and I thought we did.
“We did some really good stuff. Obviously, we are doing some reconfiguring. The preconference schedule is all about getting better and trying to dial things in.”
- Lipscomb middle blocker Molly Spitznagle was named to the all-tournament team.
- The Lipscomb volleyball team did something only one other team has done this season against Utah – they won a set.
- The Utes, 9-0, had only lost two sets in its previous eight matches and had not lost a set in the last six matches.
- The double-double by Estes was her fourth of the year. She has previous ones against Georgia Tech (10 kills, 10 digs), Illinois State (19 kills, 15 digs) and Kansas (11 kills, 13 digs). She has one triple-double against Creighton to open the season (12 kills, 12 digs, 10 assists).
- The Lady Bisons have lost three matches at home this season. They lost three matches at home in both 2008 and 2006. They lost four matches at home in 2007 and 2005.
The Lady Bisons hit the road this next week with back-to-back matches. They face Kentucky Sept. 18 in Lexington and Xavier Sept. 19 in Cincinnati.