|November 08, 2014||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th||Final|
Kellerman - 14
Huston - 1
Thomas - 1
Stout - 1
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – To fully comprehend the importance of outside hitter Sophie Kellerman to the Lipscomb volleyball team you have to go beyond the stats.
As the Lady Bisons rallied for a 3-2 win in an Atlantic Sun match Friday night over UNF she was impressive enough with 11 kills, 13 digs, one service ace and three block assists. But it wasn’t the number of kills and digs, but when she made them.
“Sophie Kellerman really led this team, especially in sets four and five,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “Defensively, she was unbelievable. She really made some big plays at the end of the match.”
The Lady Bisons won set one 25-18 but dropped set two 25-23 and set three 25-11. The Lady Bisons rallied in set four for a 25-14 win and held on in set five for a 15-13 decision at UNF Arena.
Kellerman opened set four with three straight kills and then followed with points on three consecutive serves as the Lady Bisons took an early 7-3 lead.
She also set the tone in set five with a kill for the first point. She would add three more including the kill that decided the set and the match.
“She is a senior captain and some who has worked hard for years to get to this point,” Rosenthal said. “She does make big plays for us.”
Rosenthal classified set three as one of those sets that a team sometimes has to endure in volleyball. He liked the way his players responded to the challenge in the final two sets.
“Anybody who has played any amount of volleyball has been part of one of those sets where nothing goes your way,” Rosenthal said. “The big part for us was to remain calm and understand it was just one set.
“Regardless of what just happened you get a new set and a new start. I was proud of our girls for keeping their cool. They did such a great job of really settling in.”
Before the start of set five he told his players not to play to the score.
“We told them to play our brand of volleyball and the score will take care of itself,” Rosenthal said. “That was really the key.
“I thought we played really well in set five. I would to break free in a set five and cruise to a win, but that is not going to happen when we play North Florida.”
Both matches with UNF this season were 3-2 decisions for the Lady Bisons.
“That is a credit to UNF,” Rosenthal said. “They play really hard. They made some really nice plays.
“It was one of the most intense matches back –and-forth that I have been a part of. It is hard for both teams to keep going like that.”
Outside hitter Lauren Ford posted a match-high 23 kills to lead the Lady Bisons attack.
Libero Bri McCombs led with team-high 16 digs. Right side Brittnay Estes made 13 digs and defensive specialist Brittany Thomas added 12.
“Brittany Thomas was just on fire,” Rosenthal said. “Serving-wise both Brittany and Megan Stout served really tough, especially in set five. That is one of those sets where you can’t back off.”
The Lady Bisons are 17-7, 10-1 in the conference. North Florida falls to 11-16, 4-7 in the A-Sun.
“It was one of those matches where as a coach you believe in your team,” Rosenthal said. “We talked last week about embracing the grind and we had that tonight.
“We have been in these situations before. It was not how we drew it up, but everybody was on the same page. We just kept plugging away.”
- Ford has 20 or more kills in eight matches this season. Only two of those matches have been five sets. She has been in double figures in kills in her last 10 matches.
- Thomas set a new season and career high with 12 digs. She had 11 in her last outing against Florida Gulf Coast.
- Jordan Huston made her fourth consecutive start at setter finishing with 47 assists, her third highest total of the season.
- Kellerman has six matches with double-doubles this season.
- The Lady Bisons are 4-2 in five-set matches this season.
- McCombs has been in double figures in digs in seven of her last eight matches.
Saturday afternoon the Lady Bisons are back in action against Jacksonville in the last road match of the regular season. The Dolphins, 14-12, 5-6 in the conference, swept Northern Kentucky 3-0 Friday night. Jacksonville has won its last 18 A-Sun matches at home.
The Lady Bisons beat Jacksonville 3-1 Oct. 10 at Allen Arena.