OXFORD, Miss. – The Lipscomb volleyball team didn’t bask in the glow of a match win, but the team is beginning to see the light.
The Lady Bisons dropped a 3-1 decision to Ole Miss Wednesday night.
Lipscomb lost set one 25-21 and set two 25-19. The Lady Bisons fought back in set three for a 25-18 victory. Ole Miss closed out the match with a 25-21 win in set four.
“We decided we were going to compete in sets three and four,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “That is kind of what we have been looking for in quite a few matches now. We lost a match but we won a set when we decided to play.
“In sets one and two, spare me. What it comes down to is we have to compete and we didn’t do that in the first two sets. Ole Miss took the fight to us in one and two and we didn’t punch back hard enough. When we start a match the way we did we are always going to be playing behind and it is hard.”
Rosenthal challenged some of his seniors, especially in set two, and was forced to make some changes.
“The problem is they are relying on the coaching staff to motivate them,” Rosenthal said. “It has got to come from them. It is a tricky situation especially with the schedule we have.
“It is about getting ready. I am looking for somebody. It would be ideal if it was the captains, but it could be a freshman. We have to find our way.”
Rosenthal stresses that chemistry is one of the main keys for success and the Lady Bisons haven’t yet developed the correct formula.
“There is too much talent and too many options out there for us,” Rosenthal said. “We are talented and deep.
“I have said it all along that chemistry is a big part of the game, part of the experience and the journey. There is no manual for it.”
Four Lady Bisons finished in double figures in kills. Outside hitter Carly Nusbaum led with 13. Right side Brittnay Estes and middle blocker Jewell Dobson each had 12. Middle blocker Molly Spitznagle added 10.
Spitznagle led the team with a .389 hitting percentage.
Libero Brittany Thomas led the team with 18 digs. Lauren Anderson made 16.
Setter Kayla Ostrom had a double-double with 56 assists and 10 digs. Nusbaum made 11 digs for a double-double.
The Lady Bisons are 5-5. Ole Miss is 11-1.
“I know it is going to sound crazy, but we are really close to putting it together,” Rosenthal said. “I think we turned a really big corner. I have no doubt this is going to pay dividends.
“We have been in a dark room stumbling around and bumping into a lot of things. I promise we are getting closer to turning on the lights and running with it.”
- Ostrom recorded more than 50 assists for the fifth time this season tying her record for all of last season.
- Lipscomb is 0-2 overall against Ole Miss and 2-10 against teams from the Southeastern Conference.
- Nusbaum finished with a double-double for the second match in a row.
- This is the fifth time this season the Lady Bisons have had four players in double figures in kills.
- Nusbaum has 104 kills.
Lipscomb heads to Evanston, Illinois Friday and Saturday for the Wildcat Challenge. They face host Northwestern Friday at 7 p.m. and Milwaukee Saturday at 2 p.m. This is the last tournament of the preconference schedule.
The Lady Bisons were busing to Memphis after the match. They are flying to Chicago from Memphis.