|September 30, 2016||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
THOMAS - 2
- 2||Blocks||VAN ALSTINE
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – For Lipscomb’s volleyball players it was time to get back to playing up to their talent level. And they did it with an exclamation point.
The Bisons got back on the winning track with a 3-0 sweep of North Florida in ASUN Conference play Friday night at the UNF Arena.
It was the 250th career victory for Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal.
“I love my family,” Rosenthal said. “I love these girls. I love this program and the university and I appreciate the support that has allowed me to get to this point.
“I realize 250 is an unbelievable number, but it is all about all of them. They have allowed me to run with a vision. I am proud to be a part of such an awesome thing. It is not about me.”
Lipscomb won set one 25-18, set two 25-20 and set three 25-22.
“I thought we were playing really well, but North Florida was making unbelievable plays,” Rosenthal said. “It was strong defense on their part, but we were doing everything we should have been doing. I told our girls in the first set I didn’t think North Florida could keep up the defensive pressure.”
The Bisons stopped a three-match losing streak and are 8-5 overall, 1-1 in the ASUN. North Florida, 10-7 overall, 1-1 in the conference, failed to extend its winning streak to three matches.
“We lost a tough one with Kennesaw State (last week),” Rosenthal said. “It goes back to the scenario we were in during the tournament in Texas where we lost to Army and had to see how the team would respond and we came back and beat Miami.
“This was a long week. It was very long for me. I wanted to play the next day after the Kennesaw match. We had a real productive week of practice, but we wanted to get back out there and play.”
Right side Taylor Racich led Lipscomb with a match-high 13 kills. Outside hitter Carlyle Nusbaum added 12.
“We realized the pressure we were putting on our outsides so we decided we needed to spread the ball out a little more,” Rosenthal said. “That is what makes us special. The other team has to decide who they are going to focus on. It is pretty special when you have so many offensive threats.”
Setter Kayla Ostrom was credited with a match-high 30 assists. Morgan Elmore made 11.
Libero Brittany Thomas made a match-high 19 digs.
Lipscomb had six service aces with Racich and Thomas serving up two apiece. Phillips and Nusbaum each had one.
“I thought our serving was a huge factor in keeping them out of system,” Rosenthal said. “Our serving was tremendous. It shows in the number of kills North Florida had in the first two sets (five and nine).
“We settled in and played our brand of volleyball. I told the team we had to stop with the excuses and get the job done. I thought our players responded amazingly.”
Phillips had a match-high .538 hitting percentage. She also added two blocks.
“We have been working hard on getting Maddie the ball more,” Rosenthal said. “More than that we want her to focus on putting herself in a position where she can score.”
- Phillips tied her season-high hitting percentage set against CSUN to open the season. She has posted a .500 or high hitting percentage four times this season.
- The Bisons made 24 hitting errors, an uncharacteristically high number for the team.
“I didn’t want us to take our foot off the gas,” Rosenthal said. “I wanted us to be aggressive. I was willing to accept those errors.”
- Nusbaum has finished in double figures in kills in all 13 matches this season.
- Thomas has double figures in digs in 12 matches.
- Racich has double figures in kills in nine matches.
- Setter Morgan Elmore earned her first kill in a college match.
Up next: Lipscomb remains in Jacksonville to face the Dolphins at 4 p.m. Saturday at Swisher Gym.
Jacksonville fell 3-2 to Kennesaw State Friday night. The Dolphins are 3-11 overall, 0-2 in the conference. They have lost their last 10 matches.