JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It was Lipscomb against Jacksonville but in many ways it was a battle of the right sides.
Lipscomb’s Brittnay Estes and Jacksonville’s Emily Laskelle set the paces for their teams. In the end Estes and Lipscomb prevailed 3-2 Saturday afternoon at Swisher Gym to extend their winning streak to four matches.
Estes made a match-high 32 kills to Laskelle’s 29. Estes hit .417 for the match and finished with a triple-double with 15 digs and 10 assists.
“Laskelle is a prominent player in the A-Sun,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “We had the two best right sides in the conference going after it and both of them shined. To see that battle head-to-head was a lot of fun.
“I think everybody in the gym knew where the balls were going. I don’t think it was a shock by any means to see those two players scoring like they did.”
Estes had no idea what kind of stat total she was stacking up.
“Our matchups were perfect,” Estes said. “I was mad and I really wanted to play. I didn’t realize what my stats were.
“I just had to play no matter what. It was one of those things where that team had beaten us twice in the A-Sun championships. We weren’t going to lose a match without fighting. Being a leader it is about what I can do individually to help my team win.”
Estes, a tri-captain, also was once again an emotional leader on the court, With the Bisons struggling in the second set Estes shouted to Rosenthal that she and the team had everything under control.
“It is about having confidence in your team, “ Estes said. “Sometimes you get down on yourselves.
“Brandon tells us we can’t be both the gas pedal and the driver. We didn’t need Brandon to be both. We needed to drive ourselves.”
Rosenthal was encouraged by the attitude of Estes.
“She said for me to chill out because they had it,” Rosenthal said. “That was what I wanted to hear as a coach. It was good to see her be a leader like that. That is what we want our girls to do.”
The Bisons won set one 25-17 and then dropped set two 25-22 and set three 30-28. Lipscomb came back to win set four 25-22 and set five 16-14.
“We talked in the fourth set about just competing,” Rosenthal said. “I wanted them to know we had to out-compete Jacksonville.”
Middle blocker Jewell Dobson finished with a season-high 21 kills and a .543 hitting percentage.
Outside hitter Lauren Anderson finished with a double-double with 11 kills and 12 digs.
Middle blocker Molly Spitznagle made 10 kills and finished with a .444 hitting percentage.
The Bisons posted a .304 hitting percentage for the match and beat Jacksonville 85-58 in kills.
Libero Brittany Thomas made 24 digs to lead the Bisons and added 16 assists for her first double-double of the season.
Setter Kayla Ostrom added a balanced line with 44 assists, 15 digs, three kills and two blocks.
Lipscomb is 12-7, 5-0 in the A-Sun. Jacksonville is 6-11, 3-2 in the conference.
“It was what we expected out of the match in a lot of ways,” Rosenthal said. “There is a long team history.
“We just had a little bit more in us. Players coming off the bench made some key plays. It took everybody to win.”
- The Bisons had some surprise fans as the Lipscomb women’s soccer team, on a day off between matches in Jacksonville, attended the game and enthusiastically cheered on the volleyball team.
“That was a huge help for them to come and support us,” Rosenthal said. “It is such a big thing to have that support, especially on the road. It was fun to see how much the soccer team was into the match.”
- This was the first time this season the Bisons had lost a set in an A-Sun match.
- The 32 kills by Estes tie for second in program history in a five-set match. Sarah Snider finished with 32 at Mercer Sept. 22, 2007.
It is the highest number of kills in a five-set match since the regulation score was changed from 30 to 25 beginning with the 2008 season.
- The 85 kills are the second highest in a five-set match in program history and is also the most for the team in a five-set match since the regulation scoring was changed from 30 to 25. The Bisons had 86 kills in a match, the all-time high, against Jacksonville Nov. 3, 2006.
- Estes has posted seven double-doubles in kills and digs this season.
- Lauren Anderson has three double-doubles in kills and digs.
- It was the sixth time four or more players have finished in double figures in kills this season for the Bisons.
- It was the third time this season four players have been in double figures in digs in a match.
- Outside hitter Carly Nusbaum returned to the court for parts of one set after a three-week absence.
Lipscomb opens a four-game home stand, the longest of the season Friday night when USC Upstate visits Allen Arena at 6:30. Sunday afternoon at 2 the Bisons will face Kennesaw State.