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October 28, 20161st2nd3rd4th5thFinal
USC Upstate2725191782
.259Hitting Pct..127
174Total Attacks142
KillsKOELLING - 15
AssistsHAAKE - 36
AcesHAAKE - 2
DigsKELLEY - 14
Volleyball makes three-set rally to beat Upstate 3-2
Friday, October 28, 2016
By Mark McGee
Volleyball makes three-set rally to beat Upstate 3-2

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal paused in thought trying to remember if he said any magic words to his volleyball team after two set losses.

“There was a quick minute talking about the adjustments we needed to make tactically,” Rosenthal said. “The next three or four minutes I told them we have to win the next three sets to win the match. I told them we all came in wanting to win the match in three sets. We had to forget about the last two sets we played.

“I told them we had a job to do. We had to win it in three so let’s do it. It was matter of getting everybody to refocus and get their minds right. Upstate did exactly what we expected them to do and they did it very well.”

Rosenthal recalls no special words that were uttered but whatever he said hit home. The Bisons came back in a big way winning the final three sets for a 3-2 win Friday night against USC Upstate in the Hodge Center.

It was the first 3-2 match win for the Bisons this season. They are 15-7 overall, 7-2 in the ASUN. Upstate drops to 11-15, 3-6 in the conference.

It is the fifth win in a row for Lipscomb.

Lipscomb lost the first two sets by scores of 27-25 and 25-22. They came out of the dressing room after the match break and took set three 25-19 and set four 25-17.

Rosenthal summed up the first two sets with one word – bad.

“Most of the adjustments had to come from the way we were carrying ourselves and the way we were going about our business,” Rosenthal said. “Our body language was bad. Our energy was bad. Our location was bad.

“We had to look each other in the eye and realize we all have a responsibility to ourselves and to each other to play the way we know how to play. It was nothing more than that.”

In set five the Spartans regained the momentum jumping out to a 5-1 advantage. After Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal called timeout the Bisons went on a 6-1 scoring run. Lipscomb and Upstate would tie at 7-7, but the Bisons would go on an 8-1 run for a 15-8 win.

“I was impressed with the way we composed ourselves to stay in that last set,” Rosenthal said. “We were down 5-1 and I called the timeout. We went on a 14-3 run to win the match.

“Our backs were against the wall. We made the decision this was going to be about us. This happens all over the country with matches going to five sets. There is great parity in college volleyball. Upstate played a fantastic match.”

Outside hitter Carlyle Nusbaum led the way with a match-high 21 kills and 12 digs for a double-double.

She was one of four Lipscomb players in double figures in kills. Right side Taylor Racich added 15 followed by Lauren Anderson with 14 and Katie Bradley with 10.

Racich tied for the match-high with a .407 hitting percentage.

Libero Brittany Thomas was credited with a match-high 24 digs.

Setter Kayla Ostrom made a match-high 42 assists.

Rosenthal was impressed with the individual performances of his players. He also was energized by the crowd.

“Upstate had a fantastic crowd,” Rosenthal said. “There were moments where they were right on the rail over us. There were instances where we had to have a cocoon with just us inside it.

“We had a great crowd too. Jim Allen was there. Philip Hutcheson (athletic director) was there. The cross country teams were there. Everybody is playing as hard as they can against us. We did a great job down the stretch.”

With the win Lipscomb clinches a berth in the ASUN Tournament scheduled for Allen Arena Nov. 17-19.

Quick hitters:

  • Nusbaum’s double-double was her fourth in a row and the fifth of the season.
  • It was Ostrom’s first match with more than 40 digs this season.
  • The digs total by Thomas was also a season match high. She has been in double figures in digs in 19 matches this season.
  • Bradley tied her season match-high for kills. She also had 10 against Belmont Oct. 18.
  • Nusbaum has finished in double figures in kills 21 times.
  • Lipscomb leads the series with Upstate 16-0.
  • This was the 11th five-set match for Upstate this season.

Next up: Lipscomb travels to Newark, New Jersey Sunday for a noon ASUN match with NJIT. The Highlanders, 9-18, 1-8 in the conference, lost 3-1 to Kennesaw State Friday night.