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October 11, 20161st2nd3rd4th5thFinal
LIPTeam StatsWKU
.304Hitting Pct..238
158Total Attacks147
AssistsLUCAS - 49
AcesENGLE - 2
DigsENGLE - 15
BlocksANDERSON - 6
Volleyball goes all in but falls short of upset
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
By Mark McGee
Volleyball goes all in but falls short of upset

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Sometimes when you go all in, it doesn’t translate into victory.

The Lipscomb volleyball team left it all on the floor of E.A. Diddle Arena and came close to beating a top 25 team.

Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal asked his players to “go all in” Tuesday night against No. 25-ranked Western Kentucky. That is exactly what his players did, but they fell short of the upset falling 3-2 at E.A. Diddle Arena.

“It was a great match,” Rosenthal said. “I am completely proud of our girls to come back on a short rest and have short memories. I don’t have any problems with what anybody on the team did. We fought hard and came up short.

“I asked them to give me everything they have got and they did. Unfortunately, as I told them going into it, sometimes when you go all in it is not going to work out but at least you know where you stand.”

The Bisons won set one 25-15 and lost set two 25-23 and set three 28-26. Lipscomb rallied in set four for a 25-16 win. The fifth set went to Western Kentucky 16-14.

The failure to close the deal in close sets is something Rosenthal will continue to emphasize with his team.

“We are not in the business of close,” Rosenthal said. “We have to find a way to challenge a little more later in sets. We obviously had plenty of opportunities to do that.

“But I believe these experiences will pay off for us. Losing close sets obviously gives you a little of pause, but it helps you understand the margin of victory is small.”

Lipscomb is 10-7 overall. Western Kentucky, from Conference USA, is 18-2.

“Western Kentucky is a fantastic program and as good as they are billed,” Rosenthal said. “I can’t say enough about our girls and the way they fought from the very start.

“I thought the staff did a nice job coming into this match. We had a lot of conversations. We recognized we were going to have to serve tough and I thought we did a fantastic job of that throughout the match.”

Four Lipscomb players finished in double figures in kills. Outside hitter Carlyle Nusbaum made 22 kills followed by right side Taylor Racich with 14, outside hitter Lauren Anderson and right side Chloe Rogers with 11 apiece.

Rosenthal was pleased with the performance of each player but the fiery, gutsy performances by Nusbaum, Racich, Rogers and Lauren Anderson did stand out for him.

“We had to have people with the willingness to say whatever happens, happens,” Rosenthal said. “They were going to go for it. That is high level college athletics.

“What you saw from them was a willingness to go for it. Carlyle put on a show. Alyssa Cavanaugh was across the net and she is all she is billed to be and Carlyle went toe-to-toe with her. Chloe also did a nice job.”

Libero Brittany Thomas made 22 digs for the Bisons.

“I thought our back row was fantastic with Brittany, Lauren and Jenny Phelan. Maddie Phillips also made some plays when she was back there.

“Lauren Anderson was unbelievable. She was rock solid. She passed well, defended well and blocked well all night and also attacked well.”

Setter Kayla Ostrom made 34 assists and just missed a double-double with nine digs. Setter Morgan Elmore added 26 assists.

Quick hitters:

  • It was only the third time this season Western Kentucky had lost a first set in a match.
  • Nusbaum had a match-high in kills and ran her string of double figures in kills to 17 matches.
  • Lipscomb entered the match ranked No. 21 in the Mid-Major Poll. Western Kentucky was third.
  • Thomas recorded the match high in digs. She has been in double figures in digs in 15-of-17 matches.
  • Middle blocker Katie Bradley had a match-high .636 hitting percentage, her season high.
  • Rogers finished with a .400 hitting percentage for the third time this season. She tied her season-high for kills in a match.
  • Thomas has 22 or more digs four times this season.

Next up: The Bisons are back home this weekend at Allen Arena to face NJIT at 6:30 Friday night and USC Upstate at 5 p.m. Saturday.