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September 19, 20141st2nd3rd4thFinal
LIPTeam StatsXU
.045Hitting Pct..258
155Total Attacks128
Estes - 11
KillsBESSLER - 15
Ostrom - 35
AssistsSMITH - 32
Kellerman - 2
EARL - 2
McCombs - 18
DigsEARL - 21
Spitznagle - 1
Kellerman - 1
Bradley - 1
BlocksBLAIR - 11
Volleyball closes out preconference with 3-1 loss to Xavier
Friday, September 19, 2014
Volleyball closes out preconference with 3-1 loss to Xavier

CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Lipscomb volleyball team wants to win the Atlantic Sun regular season and the tournament championship.

The preconference schedule hasn’t been as successful as they would have liked, but now it all changes.

“We have an opportunity to refocus,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “Now we can narrow our focus. The tough part now is to continue to believe in what we set out to do.

“Are we prepared for the conference? Absolutely.”

The Lady Bisons have completed arguably one of the toughest preconference schedules in the country. They closed out the preconference portion of the season Friday night with a 3-1 loss to Xavier.

“We do that for a reason,” Rosenthal said of the toughness of the schedule. “It didn’t all go good for us, but there is a lot of good that came out of it.

“It is one of those deals where once you set the schedule you understand there is a chance if everything doesn’t go as planned there could be some rough spots. But rough spots are also good indications of what we need to work on.”

After winning set one 25-23, the Lady Bisons fell 25-18 in set two, 25-12 in set three and 25-19 in set four.

“We are continuing to adjust and continuing to emphasize our type of play,” Rosenthal said. “It was a rough night hitting. It was hard in this match to get any momentum when we were making so many hitting errors.

“Right now it is about playing a consistent match where we don’t let up. Some of it is on us. We have to find ways to put balls away. Some of it is on Xavier. They played great defense.”

Right side Brittnay Estes led the Purple and Gold with 11 kills.

Setter Kayla Ostrom made 35 assists, five kills and added six digs.

Libero Bri McCombs was credited with 18 digs. Outside hitter Sophie Kellerman made 16 digs.

The Lady Bisons are 6-6. Xavier is 7-4.

One of the goals is for the Lady Bisons to dispel all doubts, both within and without, about the team. Rosenthal is most concerned with those outside of the team’s inner circle.

“There are going to be doubters out there…those who aren’t in the gym every day and don’t know the kind of grind we go through,” Rosenthal said. “It is our job right now to keep everything close to the vest and continue to rely on each other.

“Everybody is accustomed to winning and I like it that way. Losing to good competition doesn’t make it any easier.”

Quick hits:

  • It was the third loss in a row for Lipscomb. The last time the Lady Bisons lost three matches in a row was in 2012 when they opened the season with losses to Long Beach State, Kentucky and North Carolina.
  • Kellerman’s 16 digs were both season and career highs.
  • Kellerman led the Lady Bisons with two service aces.
  • It was only the second time this season outside hitter Lauren Ford has failed to finish in double figures in kills.

Next up:

The Lady Bisons return home to open the A-Sun portion of the season when Northern Kentucky visits Allen Arena Sept. 26 for a 6:30 p.m. match.