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October 10, 20141st2nd3rd4thFinal
JUTeam StatsLIP
.145Hitting Pct..178
145Total Attacks163
KillsFord - 19
AssistsOstrom - 48
AcesOstrom - 2
Spitznagle - 2
McCombs - 2
DigsKellerman - 19
McCombs - 19
BlocksOstrom - 4
Spitznagle - 4
Ford - 4
Bradley - 4
Volleyball downs JU to stay unbeaten in A-Sun play
Friday, October 10, 2014
By Mark McGee
Volleyball downs JU to stay unbeaten in A-Sun play

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb Lady Bisons Volleyball team remained unbeaten in Atlantic Sun matches with a 3-1 win over Jacksonville Friday night at Allen Arena.

The Lady Bisons won set one 25-19, but fell 25-17 in set two. They came back strong with 25-19 decisions in sets three and four.

“I was a little disappointed with our effort in the second set, but I thought we really picked it up in the third set and in the fourth set as well,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said.

The Lady Bisons jumped out to a 13-2 lead over Jacksonville in the fourth set. But the Dolphins fought back pulling to within two points at 20-18 but could not catch the Lady Bisons. Right side Brittnay Estes ended the set and the match with a kill.

“There was a little let down after building that lead, but that is going to happen,” Rosenthal said. “We lost our focus a little bit. But I loved the way we finished.

“At the end of the day that is what you have to do…you have to finish sets. That last play was kind of indicative of what we did in the last half of set four. We were just making plays. We had to do what we needed to do.”

Outside hitter Lauren Ford posted a career-high 19 kills for Lipscomb. Also in double figures in kills were Molly Spitznagle with 13 and Estes with 10.

“I was encouraging Lauren to transition harder and go harder,” Rosenthal said. “We wanted her to go after the ball instead of trying to finesse it. We saw some good things from her.”

Spitznagle had a strong stat line that also included two service aces, two digs, four blocks and a team high .265 hitting percentage.

“Molly doesn’t get a lot of opportunities to serve,” Rosenthal said. “A lot of people might have thought that one ace was a mistake but it was a ball that I called. I wanted her to serve short and she executed it perfectly.

“Molly did a nice job overall. We would like to continue to get her more involved in the offense. When she does get blocked she just has to continue to have confidence. She is a great, great player.”

Outside hitter Sophie Kellerman and libero Bri McCombs tied for the team lead in digs with 19 each. Kellerman set a career high with her total.

“The defense was tremendous,” Rosenthal said. “We really put Jacksonville in a tough spot. You have to give credit to Jenny Phelan who came in off the bench and made some great plays. Megan Stout made some tremendous plays.

“It was definitely led by Bri and Sophie. Sophie is that unsung hero who makes so many clutch plays and gets points when we need them. Bri did a fantastic job of passing the ball and really leading the defense.”

Sammie Strausbaugh was the kills’ leader for Jacksonville with 14. Rachel Miller made a match-high 31 digs.

The Lady Bisons are 10-6 overall, 4-0 in the A-Sun. Jacksonville drops to 9-9, 1-3 in the conference.

It was the first time the two teams had met since Jacksonville beat Lipscomb 3-2 in the finals of the A-Sun Tournament last season.

“We talked about that a little bit,” Rosenthal said. “We spent nine months thinking about that match.

“There is no doubt we wanted to send a message to them. I liked what our girls did tonight.”


Quick hits:

  • With 1,383 career kills Ford is seven away from tying former Mercer player Katie Plummer for sixth on the A-Sun all-time kills list and three away from tying Kaycee Green for second on Lipscomb’s all-time list.
  • Estes has double figures in kills in eight of her last nine matches.
  • Spitznagle has back-to-back matches with 13 kills. She had 13 against Kennesaw State Oct. 4.
  • The Lady Bisons celebrated alumni weekend with 17 former players in Allen Arena for the match with Jacksonville.

“It is unbelievable to see their faces,” Rosenthal said. “I talk to them quite a bit via texts or on the phone, but to see them in person is amazing.

“I can’t say enough about it. To say I was proud would be an understatement. To see such a big group is so special to me. It speaks volumes to what the program is all about. I told our current plays that these girls are the cornerstone of everything we are doing now.”


Next up:

Saturday the Lady Bisons return to action at 2 when North Florida visits Allen Arena. North Florida lost 3-2 Friday night at Northern Kentucky. The Ospreys are 5-13 overall, 0-4 in the conference.

“North Florida is a young team,” Rosenthal said. “It is a team that is hungry.

“It is dangerous because they are coming in so hungry. They are going to be aggressive against us. We have to play our game. It is important for us to come out early and establish our offense and defense.”