JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – When he called a timeout with his team trailing 22-17 in set one Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal calmly told his team he was confident they would win.
He proved to be prophetic. After coming back for a grueling 33-31 set one win the Bisons took set two and set three, both by scores of 25-17 to sweep North Florida 3-0 at UNF Arena Friday night.
“It was just a good volleyball match especially at the end of that first set,” Rosenthal said. “They made plays. We made plays. It was kind of like one of those deals where one team was eventually going to put two plays together.
“When I called the timeout I told the girls I think we can do this, but we are going to have to work for it. I wanted to give them a sense of calm. Then it was 23-19 and we caught them at 23-23. It was pretty high level volleyball. You just have to keep encouraging them and give them one or two pieces of information and let them go out and do it.”
Middle blocker Jewell Dobson, who also serves as a co-captain, said the team simply took a point-by-point approach in set one.
A kill by outside hitter Chloe Rogers gave the Bisons a 32-31 edge. Right side Brittnay Estes closed the set out with a kill.
“We came out a little shaky in the very beginning of the match and we were making some mental errors,” Dobson said. “At one point it was 23-21 and we knew if we got the next point we were going to get the momentum going.
“We really battled for those points and it paid off. It was like let’s get the next point to tie it, the next point to get ahead and the last point to finish it. That is the mindset you have to have.”
Dobson tied for the match high with 16 kills. Rogers added 12 and Estes finished with 10.
Dobson posted a .600 hitting percentage and Rogers hit .455. As a team the Bisons hit .364 for the match.
“Our defenders, our passers and our setter, Kayla Ostrom, all contributed to my 16 kills,” Dobson said. “You can’t do that unless you have a good pass and good set to work with. Everything was working well.”
Outside hitter Lauren Anderson led with a match-high 10 digs.
The Bisons are 11-7 overall, 4-0 in the conference. UNF is 15-5, 2-2 in the A-Sun.
“I thought our serving and our defense really picked up in the match,” Rosenthal said. “The biggest thing between sets two and three was I told them we knew what UNF was capable of. We needed to keep our focus at the beginning of each set and not have to play from behind.”
- This is the first time Lipscomb has won a set that reached the 30-point level for both teams since the scoring for a match was changed to 25 for a regulation win. In 2010 they lost 32-30 to Kansas in the first set of the season.
- Ostrom made 46 assists, three kills, five digs and one service ace.
“I thought Kayla did a tremendous job,” Rosenthal said. “She was really aggressive in the first set. When you have all the hitters we have and you add in Kayla it is an extra for us. She took the leadership role and ran with it.
“It is funny because Billy Ebel (assistant coach) and I had a conversation the other day about getting Kayla more involved in the offense but we never talked with her about it. Kayla figured it out from the beginning of the match and that is a credit to her.”
- The Bisons have swept all four A-Sun matches this season.
Lipscomb makes a quick turnaround and plays Jacksonville Saturday at Swisher Gym at noon.
Jacksonville is 6-10, 3-1 in the conference after beating NJIT 3-2 Friday night.
“We understand what we need to do,” Rosenthal said. “The focus is on our side on things like taking care of the ball.
“It is a matter of getting some rest. We have a pretty good game plan for Jacksonville. We are prepared for them.”