NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Double, double, when Lipscomb’s Brittnay Estes gets going defensively she is trouble for opponents.
Just ask the Belmont Bruins.
The volleyball version of the “Battle of the Boulevard” was renewed after a two-year hiatus with the Lipscomb Lady Bisons sweeping Belmont 3-0 Tuesday night at Allen Arena.
Estes made a match-high 13 kills and tied for the match-high in digs with 11 for a double-double. She also had a team-high .333 hitting percentage and a match high in blocks with five block assists. She has double-doubles in eight matches, including her last four. She also has one triple-double.
“When you look at what she did early defensively blocking-wise it was just unbelievable,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “She also was digging early, but the real show got going when she started attacking.
“When she gets going defensively you have to watch out because she can really turn it up. These last nine or 10 matches have been fun to watch her.”
Rosenthal has worked on building Estes’ confidence, but he doesn’t avoid putting pressure on her to perform.
“We are pushing her hard,” Rosenthal said. “We recognize how great she can be. We want her to understand that and not settle for just good enough.
“They key is the passion and fire she plays with. She is awesome. We push her which may be a little uncomfortable for her, but she pushes back which is exactly what I want.”
An enthusiastic crowd of approximately 1,200 was on hand.
“It was unreal,” Rosenthal said. “It was one of those matches where you are in it and you are like, `man this is what it should be’. Twelve hundred people at a match with a band and cheerleaders was a great atmosphere. When you talk about college athletics this is what it should be.”
The Lady Bisons won by set scores of 25-19, 25-17 and 25-21.
“The question I had was how our girls were going to respond going back out of conference,” Rosenthal said. “We don’t typically do that, especially this late into the season, but it was the only time we could play the match.
“I give our girls a lot of credit for staying focused. We have had three tough weeks of travel and tough matches. That didn’t make it any easier to play midweek, but it was on the schedule and I think we did a great job.”
Outside hitter Lauren Ford added 10 kills and outside hitter Sophie Kellerman made 11 digs to tie Estes for the match high.
“Sophie was steady in passing and defensively she was doing some good things,” Rosenthal said. “Eleven digs and eight kills are not going to jump out at anybody but she is so steady.
“She is really dialed in. That is neat because she and Lauren and Jewell Dobson are leading this team. And they get it.”
The Lady Bisons have won their last eight matches and are 14-6 overall. Belmont drops to 10-12.
- The Lady Bisons take a 12-11 edge in the overall series with Belmont in the NCAA era.
“Our seniors are the last group that played against Belmont,” Rosenthal said. “They know what the rivalry is about. It is good for the communityto see these two teams play again.”
- Ford, the A-Sun Player of the Week, extended her double figures string in kills to six matches.
- This was the first time Belmont and Lipscomb had played a volleyball match since Belmont joined the Ohio Valley Conference.
Lipscomb is back in action Friday night at 5:30 at Northern Kentucky in an Atlantic Sun match. It will be the only match of the weekend for the Lady Bisons.
“The hard part of this is we come off the road, have a short practice Monday and then we play Tuesday,” Rosenthal said. “We have a short practice Wednesday and Thursday we travel. It is more involved than just playing two matches.”