|August 27, 2016||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
PHILLIPS - 3
BUDINICH - 1
SELF - 3
MALIBU, Calif. – Like most coach Lipscomb’s Brandon Rosenthal had a few questions about his volleyball team heading into the first matches of the season.
He got his answers and he likes what he found out. The Lipscomb volleyball team swept Rhode Island 3-0 Saturday to close out the Pepperdine ASICS Classic undefeated.
“We thought we had a lot of potential, but a lot of our thoughts were about our ability to score,” Rosenthal said. “In our gym, during practice, it is hard to score. We wondered if it was our defense or our offense causing that.
“We are making kills. We are doing it against multiple teams and against good teams. I am really proud of the girls. We worked extremely hard to finish it.”
Lipscomb, 3-0 on the season, beat Rhode Island 28-26, 25-19 and 25-18. Rhode Island ended the Classic at the Firestone Fieldhouse with an 0-3 record.
It wasn’t an easy afternoon for Lipscomb. In the first two sets Rhode Island took commanding early leads of 8-2 in set one and 8-3 in set two. Lipscomb was forced to launch a series of comebacks in both sets.
“Mostly is was our errors,” Rosenthal said. “I think in the first set we had four net calls, four service errors and at least one ball handling error. Situations like that make it harder on us than we need it to be.
“It is hard to get out of those holes. I was really impressed with what we did. We were down 24-21 in set one and came back to win. That shows a lot of character. In the second we had trouble getting over the hump until close to the end. The third set was close for the first 10 points and we broke away and never looked back. Ultimately we got the job done.
Lipscomb placed three players in double figures in kills. Outside hitter Carlyle Nusbaum led the way with 15 followed by outside hitter Lauren Anderson with 12 and right side Taylor Racich with 11.
“I thought early in the day we were over swinging on balls,” Rosenthal said. “That is going to happen, but I also thought we made great adjustments.
“A lot of times it is not the number of kills, but when we get the kills. Chloe Rogers only shows up on the stat sheet with four kills, but she came up with some really big ones. I thought Lauren Anderson was steady.”
Libero Brittany Thomas was credited with a match high 14 digs.
Philips and Thomas each made three service aces to tie for the match high. She also tied for the match high in blocks with three.
Kayla Ostrom made 27 assists. Morgan Elmore added 15.
All-Tournament: Nusbaum was named to the ASICS Classic All-Tournament Team.
For the record: Lipscomb opened with three straight wins for the second year in a row. The Lady Bisons were 3-0 in the Utah Classic in 2015.
They are 2-0 overall against CSUN. They lead the Pepperdine series 2-1. This was the first meeting with Rhode Island.
“It was a good weekend,” Rosenthal said. “We might have to keep coming out West.”
Double trouble: Nusbaum was in double figures and was the match leader in kills all three matches.
Racich was in double figures in kills in all three matches as well.
Lauren Anderson finished in double figures in kills against CSUN and Rhode Island.
Thomas was the match leader in digs in all three matches, tying for the lead in the stat against Pepperdine.
It takes a staff: Rosenthal credited his staff – associate head coach Billy Ebel, assistant coach Justin Beachy, volunteer assistant Courtney Harnish, trainer Kelsey Ferguson and strength and conditioning coach Sean Johnson for making the first trip of the season so successful.
“Kelsey and Sean prepared the players physically,” Rosenthal said. “It was Justin’s first time to plan a trip and I thought he did a great job. Billy and Courtney did a great job with the scouting reports.
“The first trip is always an anxious one for everyone. I thought they all did a great job.”
Dealing the ace: Phillips recorded 11 aces in the three matches with three each against CSUN and Rhode Island and five against Pepperdine.
Thomas finished with nine in the three matches. She tied Phillips for the match high twice.
“I would imagine we are near the top of the country in aces,” Rosenthal said. “It is early, but it is fun to watch. We have added another element to a pretty diverse offense.
“What is kind of cool is it isn’t just one person. We have five or six players scoring aces at a high level which adds to the pressure we put on the other teams. It is going to be something we can utilize throughout the season.”
Next up: Lipscomb heads to Austin, Texas next week for the Texas Classic. Their opponent will be the host, Texas, along with Army and Miami.