Volleyball sees a lot of positives but falls short
Saturday, September 12, 2015
By Mark McGee
Volleyball sees a lot of positives but falls short

OMAHA, Neb. – The Lipscomb volleyball team can’t wait to see Omaha in the rear view mirror.

Saturday night the Lady Bisons closed out the Bluejay Invitational hosted by Creighton with a 3-2 loss to CSU-Bakersfield at the D.J. Sokol Arena. Lipscomb fell to 5-4 for the season after losing all three matches in the tournament.

CSU-Bakersfield is 2-8 overall.

“It was a tough loss,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “It was obviously not what we wanted for the weekend, but we have to go through these.

“It is hard a thing to make good strides, but not come away with a win. We have to go back to work on Monday. I think they understand that and are ready for that.”

The Lady Bisons won set one 25-20 and then lost set two 25-19 and set three 28-26. Lipscomb came back to take set four 25-17, but lost set five 16-14.

“There were a couple of plays here and there, especially at the end, that we didn’t execute,” Rosenthal said. “At this point we were looking for that fight and we brought it back. That is what we were looking for.

“It was fun to be a part of. It was a big step for us right now. ”

The Lady Bisons are still in a learning curve as they deal with the additions of new players and the elevation of some players to playing bigger roles.

“I think some of it is just believing in our style of play and what they are capable of doing,” Rosenthal said. “When they do that, and play all out, we are tough to compete against. But when we let our foot off of the gas we become very average in some sense.

“We made some defensive adjustments we desperately needed to make. We had been toying all weekend long on making them but we couldn’t pin down what we were looking for. We found that today and we will take that as we move on.”

Right side Brittnay Estes was named to the all-tournament team.

“Brittnay does a lot of things that don’t show up in the stats,” Rosenthal said. “We have to be cautious of just looking at the numbers. She started slow tonight but she made some huge plays.”

Outside hitter Chloe Rogers had a career match performance leading the team with 16 kills and a .379 hitting percentage.

“A lot needs to be said about the road Chloe has to go through,” Rosenthal said. “It is hard when you don’t necessarily start out as a starter. We have told her to keep working.

“We are looking for consistency from her. We really got that from her tonight. That was great. I am proud of her sticking to it.”

Also in double figures in kills were outside hitter Carly Nusbaum with 15, middle blocker Jewell Dobson with 13 and middle blocker Molly Spitznagle with 10.

Libero Brittany Thomas made a match-high 23 digs. Nusbaum completed a double-double with 14 digs. Estes added 16 digs and missed a double-double by one kill.

“We got some great production out of some people,” Rosenthal said. “It is hard to have so many positives and have the loss there.”

Quick hits

  • Rogers had a season and career high in kills. It was her first ever double figure performance in kills.
  • Estes set a new career-high in digs.
  • Setter Kayla Ostrom made 60 assists, the fourth time this season she has made 50 or more. She was one assist short of tying her career high.
  • It was the first college double-double for Nusbaum. It was also the first time she has finished in double figures in digs.
  • The 23 digs by Thomas were a career high.
  • It was the first meeting in volleyball between Lipscomb and CSU-Bakersfield.
  • Lipscomb has had four players in kills in a match four times this season.

Up next

Lipscomb heads to Oxford, Mississippi Sept. 16 for a mid-week match with Ole Miss at 6:30 p.m.