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September 02, 20161st2nd3rd4thFinal
LIPTeam StatsUM
.283Hitting Pct..094
120Total Attacks106
KillsOlga Strantzali - 15
AssistsAlyssa Basdavanos - 30
AcesOlga Strantzali - 1
Kolby Bird - 1
DigsAnna Haak - 9
Olga Strantzali - 9
BlocksSakile Simmons - 4
Volleyball finishes strong with 3-1 win over Miami
Friday, September 2, 2016
Volleyball finishes strong with 3-1 win over Miami

AUSTIN, Texas – Lipscomb volleyball coach Brandon Rosenthal was asked about the state of his team before the start of the match with Miami.

After losing a tough match Thursday to No. 3 Texas and experiencing another hard-fought loss earlier Friday against Army, it was a fair question.

“Paul Sunderland is doing the matches for the Longhorn Network and he asked me about the state of the team,” Rosenthal said. “I said, `Paul, I don’t know if I can answer that right now, but I am excited to see what it will be.”

Rosenthal got the answer he was hoping for from his players as the Lipscomb volleyball team finished the American Campus Classic, hosted by the University of Texas, on a strong note with a 3-1 win over Miami Friday night.

Lipscomb won set one 25-13 and set two 25-22 and then lost set three 25-23. Lipscomb closed out the match with a 25-12 victory.

Lipscomb had one hour to eat and regroup after dropping a 3-1 decision to Army.

“It was a tough spot to be in playing back-to-back matches and coming off of a tough loss,” Rosenthal said. “I am proud of the girls and the way they persevered through a challenging situation. I was proud of the way we responded.”

Some tough lessons were learned. Rosenthal asked some of the players about what they were taking home.

“The players said they have to take the name of the opponent out of it,” Rosenthal said. “Part of being a champion is playing everyone to the best of your ability and playing every point.

“This is a game of momentum. A lot of times teams create their own momentum. If you are down, and you continue to have that attitude, things aren’t going to go your way. But if you can look past the last point then you can create some good things.”

Outside hitter Lauren Anderson posted a team-high 14 kills. Right side Taylor Racich and outside hitter Carlyle Nusbaum each made 11 kills.

Middle blocker Maddie Phillips had a .500 hitting percentage followed by Racich at .455 and middle blocker Katie Bradley at .385.

Racich also made five service aces.

Libero Brittany Thomas finished with a match-high 14 digs.

Setters Kayla Ostrom and Morgan Elmore collected 25 and 18 assists respectively.

Lipscomb ended a two-match losing streak and is 4-2. Miami, picked to finish third in the Atlantic Coast Conference, is 3-2.

“It seems really weird talking about it and saying we wish we had done more here,” Rosenthal said. “Beating Miami is a great win. And it will be a great win at the end of the year.

“We have to put things in perspective. When you look at our schedule from an RPI standpoint I have no doubt this weekend is going to help us. It has been a good experience for us.”

Streaking stats: Nusbaum has double figures in kills in all six matches this season. She has finished with the match high four times.

Thomas has double figures in digs in all six matches. She has set the match high in all six matches, tying for the lead against Pepperdine.

Phillips posted .500 hitting percentages back-to-back against Army and Miami.

It is history: Lipscomb is 0-1 against Army and 1-0 against Miami.

“Truth be told we didn’t play bad against Army,” Rosenthal said. “Army played extremely well, and for a set-and-a-half we didn’t respond.

“We did some nice stuff, but we came up short. We scored points late in sets and we made some errors late in sets. We didn’t make a ton of mistakes, but we made mistakes at crucial points. It was a tough loss to swallow, but that is part of it.”

Play the ace: The 10 service aces against Miami marked the third time this season Lipscomb has made 10 or more service aces.

Racich made five against Miami tying Phillips for the team match high this season. Phillips finished with five against Pepperdine.

Racich has at least one service ace in every match this season.

Marcella Emmanuelli, playing her first set of the season, closed out the Miami match with a service ace.

“To get an ace like that at the end was a fun experience for her,” Rosenthal said.

Season debuts: In addition to Emmanuelli, Carli Anderson also made her season debut against Miami. Calayci Coffey played her first set of the season earlier Friday against Army.

“It is a tough situation for them to be in,” Rosenthal said. “They understand it is a team sport and not everybody can play in every match. The bench is a huge part of what we do.  I appreciate the girls and what they do.

"It is hard to be ready after sitting on the bench for an hour or an hour-and-a-half. I credit the girls for their focus. Everybody has had playing time now.”

Up next: Lipscomb is on the home court at Allen Arena for the first time this season for the LUV Invite. The Lady Bisons will play Ole Miss and Northwestern Sept. 9 and Virginia Tech Sept. 10.