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August 26, 20161st2nd3rd4thFinal
Cal State Northridge142225101
.221Hitting Pct..416
104Total Attacks113
Owens - 12
KillsNUSBAUM - 16
Conati - 34
AssistsOSTROM - 30
Sato - 10
DigsTHOMAS - 13
Eaglin - 3
BlocksBRADLEY - 5
Volleyball opens season with 3-1 win over CSUN
Friday, August 26, 2016
Volleyball opens season with 3-1 win over CSUN

MALIBU, Calif. – Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal was looking forward to seeing his team play an opponent and he was happy with what he saw.

The Lipscomb volleyball team opened the season with a 3-1 win Friday afternoon over CSUN in the first day of the Pepperdine ASICS Classic.

It marked the second year in a row Lipscomb has opened the season with CSUN. Last year Lipscomb won 3-2 at the Utah Classic.

“The main thing I take away from the match is we were really able to apply pressure as a team,” Rosenthal said. “We did a great job defensively.

“Service-wise we are going to be able to do some things in the future. We had 13 aces and 15 errors. A lot of people are going to immediately look at the errors and say that is a lot of points. Of the 13 aces you are talking about another seven where the serve directly led to a point.”

Lipscomb won set one 25-14 and set two 25-22. CSUN prevented the sweep with a 25-23 victory in set three. Lipscomb came back to dominate in set four with a 25-10 decision.

“It is early on in the season and we are learning how to apply pressure and to keep pressure on the other team,” Rosenthal said. “Being able to do that, and come back in the fourth set, is something I am excited about.

“All of us this weekend are in that phase where we are trying to figure it all out understand what we are doing. Anytime you can build on momentum, like we had in the fourth set, it is a great opportunity for us.”

Lipscomb is back on the court tonight at 9 to face host Pepperdine in the Firestone Fieldhouse.

Outside hitter Carlyle Nusbaum set the offensive pace for Lipscomb with a match-high 16 kills, one short of her career match high. Also in double figures in kills were Taylor Racich, making her Lipscomb debut back on her old court at Pepperdine, and Lauren Anderson. Both were credited with 11 kills.

“When you start to play you get a better idea of the distribution,” Rosenthal said. “I was pleased with the numbers when I looked across the board.

“More than that, I am really happy with the hitting percentage. When you can hit .416 as a team the first match out is very good.”

Freshman Maddie Phillips, making her collegiate debut, finished with nine kills.

Kate Bradley made a match-high five blocks. Brittany Thomas added a match-high 13 digs.

Setter Kayla Ostrom made a team-high 30 assists.

Feels like home: Racich was comfortable returning to her old campus and the Firestone Fieldhouse. She posted a .391 hitting percentage and added two service aces. This season is a chance for her to play one more season she was not expecting after four years of beach volleyball.

“For her to have one more year is probably a breath of fresh air for her,” Rosenthal said. “She can continue the dream.

“Her Mom (Linda) stopped me and told me how neat it was to see Taylor play one more time. “

Freshman debuts: Phillips started at middle blocker and Morgan Elmore shared time with Ostrom at setter.

Phillips hit .538 and tied with Nusbaum for the match high in service aces. Elmore made 20 assists.

“It is going to be fun to watch those two,” Rosenthal said. “Maddie did a nice job.

“Setting as a freshman is the most difficult thing to do. We were able to get Morgan into the rhythm. There is a bright future for her as well.”

No sophomore slump: Nusbaum and Lauren Anderson started where they left off last year as they combined for 27 kills. Nusbaum hit .429 and made a match-high three service aces.  Anderson hit .370 and added two service aces.

“They are going to be forces to be reckoned with for many years to come,” Rosenthal said.

Stuck in the middle: Rosenthal thought both Phillips and Katie Bradley put in strong performances in the middle.

“We were a little slow getting them involved early on, but ultimately both of them did a great job,” Rosenthal said. “I was really pleased with the fourth set because in the third set we didn’t block anything.”

Up next: Pepperdine lost to Lipscomb in Nashville last season and the series is tied 1-1.

“Pepperdine is a big team,” Rosenthal said. “We are going to have to combat their height, but that had never been an issue for us.

“We have to keep the pressure on them, especially at home, and keep them out of rhythm a little bit.”