NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Lipscomb volleyball coach Brandon Rosenthal was prompted to utter a four-letter word to his team in the wake of a 3-2 loss to Kennesaw State – “work”.
“The lesson is simple – work,” Rosenthal said. “We’ve got to work all the way to the end. In two sets we worked up to a certain point and got burned by it.
“This was a wake-up call, not that we needed one. It burns and I want it to burn. We have to recognize some of the things we have to do a little bit better.”
In match characterized by numerous momentum shifts the Lipscomb volleyball team did some it rarely does – lose an Atlantic Sun match at home.
It was the first A-Sun regular season loss for the Bisons at Allen Arena since 2013 when they were edged 3-2 by ETSU Oct. 5. It was the first A-Sun regular season loss overall for the Bisons since they fell 3-2 at Northern Kentucky Oct. 24 of last season.
Lipscomb dropped set one 26-24 and set two 25-18. The Bisons rebounded to take set three 25-14 and set four 25-15. The momentum appeared to have shifted but after taking a 4-1 lead in set five the Bisons let Kennesaw State rally to take a 12-11 lead and eventually win the set and the match 15-12.
Blocking was a key to the match for Kennesaw State with 33 total.
“We got a little flustered especially in the second set,” Rosenthal said. “I didn’t think we reacted well. Blocking is one of those things they obviously did well in sets one and two.
“We didn’t put enough pressure on them to change that so give credit to them. They are a good blocking team. I thought we got into a rhythm in sets three and four that really confused them. I think we worked a lot harder in those two sets.”
Rosenthal stressed that the key to winning a fifth set is to be able to follow all the way through. The Bisons were leading 11-8 and appeared to be in control.
“At that point Kennesaw State stepped on the gas and we took our foot off of the gas pedal,” Rosenthal said. “It is a great lesson to us. It is something we have been talking about and trying to prevent. Kennesaw State worked a little bit harder than we did at the end of set one and the end of set five.”
Outside hitter Carly Nusbaum had a career, season and match high with 21 kills. Her .349 hitting percentage was also a match high.
“Carly had a great match and that is exactly what we needed,” Rosenthal said. “We needed a spark. I thought she played fantastic.”
Right side Brittnay Estes and outside hitter Lauren Anderson each posted a double-double. Both had 13 kills and 12 digs.
Setter Kayla Ostrom also added a double-double with 63 assists and 13 digs.
Middle blocker Jewell Dobson finished with 10 kills. Defensive specialist Jenny Phelan added 10 digs.
The Bisons entered the match as the only A-Sun team without a conference loss. They still lead the conference with a 6-1 record, 13-8 overall. Kennesaw State is 4-3 in the A-Sun, 12-6 overall.
- It was the first win ever for Kennesaw State against Lipscomb in volleyball since the series began in 2006. Lipscomb holds a 16-1 advantage overall.
- Nusbaum’s 21 kills marked the first time in her career she has made more than 20 in a match.
- This was the seventh double-double of the season for Estes. She also has a triple-double.
- Lauren Anderson has recorded four double-doubles this season.
- Ostrom has two double-doubles in assists and digs. She tied her season-high in digs set against CSUN Aug. 28.
- It was the third time this season Ostrom has made more than 60 assists.
- This was the seventh time the Bisons have had four players in kills in a match.
- It is the second time this season they had five players in double figures in digs in a match.
The Bisons play round two of the “Battle of the Boulevard” Tuesday night at 6:30 at Allen Arena in the last non-conference match of the regular season.
“I would imagine our effort is going to be pretty high on Tuesday with something to prove,” Rosenthal said. “There are not going to be too many changes at this point. We have a very talented team. There is no panic at all.”