NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal claims he has the best seat in the house.
He certainly liked what he saw Sunday afternoon at Allen Arena as the Bisons ran their Atlantic Sun record to 3-0 with a match sweep of Florida Gulf Coast. The Bisons won set one 25-14, set two 25-19 and set three 25-15.
“I have the closest seat,” Rosenthal said. “It is really a lot of fun to watch. We work so hard during the week so that hopefully they can just go out and play in these matches without having to overthink on things.
“It is awesome just to see the girls doing what they do best. We see it every day in practice, but to see it in match form against a good team is the best.”
Lipscomb started set one with an 8-3 lead, set two with a 6-2 advantage and set three with a 3-1 edge. Rosenthal thought those early strong starts were a key to the match.
“I didn’t think Gulf Coast had been tested yet,” Rosenthal said. “Our goal was to get on them early.
“We put a lot of pressure on them right from the get-go. Our girls really executed the game plan.”
Outside hitter Chloe Rogers and right side Brittnay Estes tied for the match-high in kills with 13 each. Middle blocker Jewell Dobson made 11.
“Chloe is a front row player,” Rosenthal said. “The biggest thing for her is she has to score consistently. She doesn’t have to score on every ball but there is a certain number she has to get to in order for the rest of the offense to work and she has been doing that.
“Jewell Dobson and Molly Spitznagle are getting doubled. Do we force it in there or go somewhere else? We have been able to go somewhere else. All of a sudden there are decisions that have to be made and that makes it tough for the other team because we have so many options.”
Outside hitter Lauren Anderson just missed making double figures with nine kills. She led the team with a .615 hitting percentage. Dobson hit .562 followed by Rogers and Molly Spitznagle at .455 each.
Libero Brittany Thomas made 16 digs, a match-high. Estes finished with 11 to record a double-double.
Lipscomb is 10-7 overall. FGCU is 10-7 overall, 2-1 in the A-Sun.
“We know that every time we go out it is going to be a tough test just because of some of the history we have created here,” Rosenthal said. “Gulf Coast is a great team.
“Matt Botsford is going to have them ready the next time we play them. They are going to be right there in the mix at the end of the season.”
- The Bisons have won all three of their A-Sun matches in straight sets.
- The win was a birthday present for Rosenthal’s wife, Kate.
“As I walked out the door she said all she wanted was a `W’ today,” Rosenthal said. “And Kate doesn’t say that very much so it was kind of fun to be able to give her that.”
- Lauren Anderson set a new season and career high for hitting percentage for the second match in a row. Rogers also had a new season and career high with a .400-plus hitting percentage for the second time this season.
Dobson has hit .500 or more in the last two matches and in four matches this season.
- Estes has recorded five double-doubles this season.
- Setter Kayla Ostrom made 49 assists and led the team with two service aces.
- Lipscomb has a 13-4 series record against FGCU, 7-2 at Allen Arena.
- This was only the second true road loss for FGCU so far this season.
- Rosenthal didn’t really enjoy his first experience playing matches on Friday and Sunday.
“It was hard Saturday to focus on just enjoying life when you have a match coming up the next day,” Rosenthal said. “I was watching football, but I was zoned out. I was watching it, but my mind wasn’t there.”
Lipscomb heads south to Jacksonville, Florida for a pair of A-Sun matches. They will face UNF Friday night and then play Jacksonville Saturday afternoon.