|November 14, 2014||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
Ford - 11
EVERSGERD - 1
ARNOLD - 1
Thomas - 2
By MARK MCGEE
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb Lady Bisons swept USC Upstate 3-0 Friday night at Allen Arena to earn the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic Sun Volleyball Tournament and at least a share of the A-Sun regular season championship.
It is the fourth regular season conference title for the Lady Bisons and their first since 2011.
The Lady Bisons also celebrated “Senior Night”.
“It was fun to see the girls come out and execute,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “There were some outside circumstances. It was cold. We had a little bit of a delay. It was Senior Night and there were emotions.”
The Lady Bisons won set one 25-17, posting a .515 hitting percentage. Outside hitter Sophie Kellerman set the pace for the Lady Bisons in set one with five kills and three digs and .500 hitting percentage.
“To come out and do what we did in the first set really set the tone,” Rosenthal said. “We had 17 kills and zero errors.”
In set two the Lady Bisons prevailed 25-13. They closed out the match with a 25-19 victory in set three.
“In the second set I thought we did a great job of extending the lead and putting ourselves in a position where we could get some people in.”
Right side Brittnay Estes and outside hitter Lauren Ford tied for the match high with 11 kills each.
Outside hitter Sophie Kellerman made a match-high 12 digs. Libero Bri McCombs added 11. Estes also had 11 to record a double-double.
“Our offensive was sharp, but our defense was really sharp,” Rosenthal said. “We didn’t let a whole lot fall.
“There was not a lot Upstate could do with what we were doing defensively, blocking and digging balls.”
Setter Jordan Huston made her sixth consecutive start and finished with 23 assists in two sets. Kayla Ostrom returned in set three at setter after missing the last five matches and made 17 assists in set three.
“It was good to get Kayla in and get her going,” Rosenthal said. “It is hard. Jordan has done so well for us in such a tough spot.
“I love what Jordan represents and all that she is. She is true teammate and a true professional.”
No USC Upstate player was in double figures in kills.
The Lady Bisons are 19-7, 12-1 in the conference. USC Upstate slipped to 10-19, 1-12 in the A-Sun.
- The Lady Bisons honored five seniors prior to the start of the match – middle blocker Jewell Dobson, Ford, Huston, Kellerman and defensive specialist/libero Megan Stout.
“Any time we have senior night it is a fun night and bittersweet night,” Rosenthal said. “I think the best way we can honor our seniors is to go out and play the way we are supposed to play.
“We have five tremendous seniors who have done so much for this program, not just in winning but taking the program to the next level. I can’t say enough about who they are and what they have done for me and this program. It truly is a special group.
It marked the sixth time in 12 seasons that the volleyball team has honored five seniors.
“I am so proud to have six groups of five seniors in 12 years,” Rosenthal said. “This speaks volumes for what this program is. Girls come here and stay here. That is special to me.”
Dobson, who redshirted this season due to an injury, will return for the 2015 season.
- Estes has 10 double-doubles and one triple-double this season. She has back-to-back matches with double-doubles after posting 10 kills and 11 digs at Jacksonville.
- Ford has 23 matches where she has finished in double figures in kills.
- Freshman Chloe Rogers earned her first career kill.
- The Lady Bisons are 14-0 all-time against USC Upstate.
The Lady Bisons close out the regular season Saturday at 2 p.m. at Allen Arena when Kennesaw State visits. The Owls are 10-17, 4-9 in the A-Sun after losing 3-0 at Northern Kentucky Friday night.
The Lady Bisons will out to seal their eighth consecutive 20-win season.