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November 06, 20151st2nd3rdFinal
JUTeam StatsLIP
.162Hitting Pct..330
111Total Attacks106
KillsNUSBAUM - 17
AssistsOSTROM - 41
AcesESTES - 1
DigsTHOMAS - 16
Seniors are showcased in volleyball win
Friday, November 6, 2015
By Mark McGee
Seniors are showcased in volleyball win

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Winning a match on “Senior Night” is not an unusual event for the Lipscomb volleyball team, but this time around coach Brandon Rosenthal got to do something he has never had the opportunity to do.

With the Bisons winning 24-16 in set three against Jacksonville at Allen Arena Friday night Rosenthal substituted for all three of his seniors allowing middle blockers Jewell Dobson and Molly Spitznagle and right side Brittnay Estes to leave the match as appreciative fans cheered for them.

“What a cool moment,” Rosenthal said. “Volleyball doesn’t lend itself to allowing your seniors to leave a match to applause like that because of the game and the scoring. I have always loved it in basketball.

“We didn’t talk about it ahead of time. I wanted to give that to them. I can’t say enough about the three of them. They mean so much to me, not just as players but as individuals.”

On the next play freshman outside hitter Carly Nusbaum made the kill to close out the set and the match as Lipscomb swept Jacksonville 3-0 in Atlantic Sun play.

Nusbaum led the way for the Bisons with a match-high 17 kills, with 12 in the first two sets, while posting a .323 hitting percentage. When Nusbaum started to attract more attention from the Dolphins the three seniors came on strong.

Dobson added 13 kills and a .500 hitting percentage. Estes finished with 12 kills and a .435 hitting percentage. Spitznagle made five kills to go with a .455 hitting percentage.

“You can see how hard we are to play,” Rosenthal said. “It is great to see. We have so many options and when we play hard it is very tough for our opponent. There were times where we slowed down to their style of offense and played into their hands.

“Whoever is on the other side of the court we need to keep their style of play out of the match. That is hard to do. I am not saying we have to do it all the time, but we have to be conscious of it.”

Lipscomb won set one 25-19, set two 25-22 and set three 25-16.

“I loved what we did at the end of set two (tied 22-22 and made the next three points),” Rosenthal said. “We kind of let it get away from us, but what we did at the end of set two was fantastic.

“Set one was perfect and really set the tone. What I liked about set three was we did a great job of getting the job done. It is not just the kills but the way we are pressuring the other team.”

The Bisons lead the A-Sun with a 10-1 record, 18-8 overall. However, Rosenthal thinks many people are watching the team closely with the belief they can’t sustain their success with three regular season matches left before the conference tournament.

“There are still plenty of people out there questioning if we are for real,” Rosenthal said. “We have a bunch of young players and some of the doubters are wondering if those younger players are going to hold up.

“We have a great mix of talent and classes and that is what makes it tough for other teams. But we are not by any means just running over people. We are working on a killer instinct. I don’t know if we are quite there yet, but we continue to address it and work on it.”

Quick hits:

  • Jacksonville slips to 9-14, 6-5 in the A-Sun. The Bisons swept the regular season with the Dolphins including a 3-2 win on the road Oct. 10. Lipscomb leads the series 16-7.
  • Dobson sang the National Anthem before the start of the match.
  • Nusbaum has led Lipscomb in scoring in five of the last six matches.
  • Libero Brittany Thomas was credited with a match-high 16 digs.

Next up:

Sunday Lipscomb plays its last regular season conference match when North Florida drops by Allen Arena at 2 p.m. The Ospreys are 19-9, 5-6 in the conference after sweeping NJIT 3-0 Friday night.

Lipscomb swept UNF 3-0 on the road Oct. 10. The Bisons lead the series 13-3.

“Now UNF is the big match for us,” Rosenthal said. “Every match from this point on has special meaning.”