|November 01, 2014||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
Huston - 1
Bradley - 3
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For the 10th time in a row the Lipscomb Lady Bisons volleyball team has earned a berth in the Atlantic Sun Tournament.
Despite the long streak of success, Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal always makes sure he addresses the achievement with his players.
“I think it is something worth talking about,” Rosenthal said. “You have to embrace the history. “
The Lady Bisons took over first place in the Atlantic Sun and became the first team to earn a berth in the conference tournament with a 3-1 win over Florida Gulf Coast Saturday afternoon at Allen Arena.
It was the second win this season for the Lady Bisons against FGCU. After losing the first set 25-23, the Lady Bisons rallied to win the next three sets by scores of 27-25, 25-21 and 25-16.
Rosenthal pointed to the many adjustments that were made in the game, some so subtle that most spectators wouldn’t have noticed.
“At the beginning we talked about this match being one where adjustments were going to have to be made,” Rosenthal said. “The winner was going to be the team that executed those adjustments the best.
“It was definitely more of a chess match at times how we were moving players and where we were putting players. I thought our girls did a fantastic job with that. They allowed the system to work and trusted what we told them.”
Lipscomb outside hitter Lauren Ford made a match-high 20 kills. Also in double figures in kills were outside hitter Sophie Kellerman with 15 and middle blocker Molly Spitznagle with 13.
Spitznagle posted a match-high .444 hitting percentage. Ford hit at a .381 clip followed by setter Jordan Huston at .333 and Kellerman at .306.
Ford set the pace for the Lady Bisons offensively in the early going with 13 kills in the first two sets. Spitznagle and Kellerman came on stronger as the match progressed.
Kellerman made a number of key plays offensively and defensively including the kill close out the fourth set and the match.
Libero Bri McCombs led the Lady Bisons with 17 digs. Brittany Thomas added 11.
Rosenthal praised Thomas and Megan Stout for their performances in serving.
“What they did doesn’t necessarily show up on the stat sheets, but what they did at the service line was very impressive,” Rosenthal said. “Both Brittany and Meg did a nice job of continuing to apply the pressure.”
The Lady Bisons are 16-7, 9-1 in the conference. Florida Gulf Coast is 15-9, 8-2 in the A-Sun.
“Our girls really focused and settled in on what we were trying to do,” Rosenthal said. “I was really pleased overall.”
- Huston’s 55 assists is the second highest total in that category for the Lady Bisons this season. Kayla Ostrom had 59 in four sets against Northern Kentucky Sept. 26.
- This was the third straight start for Huston who has replaced Ostrom as she recovers from an illness.
- In those three starts Huston has been in the 50s in assists twice.
“Jordan did an awesome job of not trying to do too much,” Rosenthal said. “We have talked about some parameters and some things we think will make her a better player. She really trusted us and went with it.”
- Ford has 20 or more kills in a match seven times this season, all but one in four-set matches.
- She has been in double figures in kills in her last nine matches.
- The first time the Lady Bisons earned a berth in the A-Sun Tournament was in 2005 when they beat ETSU 3-1.
“I know exactly what I was wearing … a light blue shirt and a pink tie,” Rosenthal said. “We were just happy to get in.”
- The Lady Bisons have won 10 of their last 11 matches.
The Lady Bisons head to Florida for the final regular season road trip. They will be in Jacksonville to face North Florida Nov. 7 and Jacksonville Nov. 8.