September 23, 20161st2nd3rd4th5thFinal
Kennesaw State15282325153
Lipscomb25262522132
KSUTeam StatsLIP
.200Hitting Pct..246
59Kills69
25Errors25
170Total Attacks179
57Assists64
2Aces3
72Digs76
9.5Blocks12.0
KSULeadersLIP
BOYER - 17
KillsNUSBAUM - 17
PIEDIMONTE - 49
AssistsOSTROM - 35
PIEDIMONTE - 1
CANNON - 1
AcesANDERSON - 1
RACICH - 1
NUSBAUM - 1
MORTON - 18
DigsTHOMAS - 22
JOHNSON - 6
BlocksPHILLIPS - 6
Volleyball falls short 3-2 in ASUN opener
Friday, September 23, 2016
By Mark McGee
Volleyball falls short 3-2 in ASUN opener

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Before all of his players were dressed and out of the locker room Lipscomb Coach Brandon Rosenthal was certain that the results were being read all around the ASUN Conference.

Lipscomb and Kennesaw State opened the ASUN portion of the season Friday night in front of 685 fans at Allen Arena. The Lady Bisons fell 3-2 to Kennesaw State.

“There is blood in the water,” Rosenthal said. “We have 13 conference matches left. Everyone has already heard what happened in this match. It isn’t going to get any easier for us.

“Ultimately, it was a great volleyball match. We are not accustomed to being on this side of it.”

Lipscomb took set one 25-15 and dropped set two 28-26. The Lady Bisons rebounded in set three for a 25-23 win, but fell 25-22 in set four and 15-13 in set five.

 “Credit Kennesaw State for what they did and how they rebounded after set one,” Rosenthal said. “Kennesaw State made the plays down the stretch when it counted most.

“Kennesaw State has a senior-laden team. They also got some great production out of some of their new girls too. Maddie Johnson did a great job in the middle and that is something we didn’t anticipate.”

Execution, especially late in matches, has been a concern for Rosenthal. In set two Lipscomb lead 23-19, but allowed the Owls to score four straight points to tie. The rest of the way the two teams traded points until the final two by Kennesaw State.

“That was a big turning point when we had opportunities to close out set two and we didn’t do it,” Rosenthal said. “But we responded well in three.

“We had a little bit of a slow start in set four. We couldn’t find ways to score and some of that was the defense on Kennesaw State’s part. They made some tremendous plays.”

Lipscomb placed four players in double figures in kills for the first time this season. Outside hitter Carlyle Nusbaum led with 17 followed by right side Taylor Racich with 15, outside hitter Lauren Anderson with 12 and middle blocker Maddie Phillips with 11.

Nusbaum tied for the match high in kills with Kennesaw State’s Anaiah Boyer.

Libero Brittany Thomas made a match-high 22 digs.

 Setter Kayla Ostrom added 20 digs. Ostrom made a team-high 35 assists for a double-double.

Phillips tied for the match-high in blocks with six, one solo.

Lipscomb is 7-5, 0-1 in the conference. Kennesaw State is 7-8, 1-0 in the ASUN.

“It is hard to swallow this loss,” Rosenthal said. “But it is a good jumping off point for what we want to do. We have to be deliberate and remain focused.

“I was proud of our girls with the way they fought. But the execution at points was not what we want or expect. It is something we have to keep working on. We have to be more resilient.”

Quick hitters:

  • Nusbaum has double figures in kills in all 12 matches this season.
  • Ostrom set a career high for digs in a match. This was her third double-double of the season in assists and digs.
  • Racich finished in double figures in kills for the eighth time this season.
  • Phillips posted a career and season high in blocks.
  • Lipscomb leads the series with Kennesaw State 18-2. Lipscomb’s lone conference loss last season was to the Owls at Allen Arena, a 3-2 decision. The Lady Bisons beat Kennesaw State 3-0 in the ASUN Tournament Championship, also at Allen Arena.
  • Phillips finished in double figures in kills for the second time this season, one short of her season high.
  • Thomas has been credited with double figures in digs in 11 matches. This was the third time she has made 22 or higher.
  • Lipscomb beat Kennesaw State in two sets. In their previous five matches Kennesaw State had only lost two sets.
  • Lipscomb has lost its last three matches. Kennesaw State has a six-match winning streak.

Next up: Lipscomb returns to ASUN action in Jacksonville, Florida facing North Florida Sept. 30 and Jacksonville Oct. 1.