|November 18, 2016||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
HAAKE - 2
TELLSCHOW - 2
KOELLING - 2
|November 19, 2016||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For some teams certain things are expected and the Lipscomb volleyball is expected to play in the ASUN Conference Championship match.
The Bisons lived up to those expectations again Friday night with a 3-0 sweep of No. 5-seeded USC Upstate in the semifinals of the ASUN Conference Tournament at Allen Arena. It was the 11th straight match win for Lipscomb.
As the No. 1 seed the Bisons had a first round bye. Lipscomb is 21-7 and the Spartans end their season 14-19. The Bisons will face No. 3 seed FGCU, 27-5, a 3-2 winner over No. 2 seed Kennesaw State Friday night.
Lipscomb and FGCU split this season with the Eagles winning 3-0 at Allen Arena and the Bisons sweeping a 3-0 match in Fort Myers, Florida.
“It is part of the program,” Rosenthal said. “Since 2007 we have been in every championship match except for one.
“When you come into a program like this I think the expectation is to get to this point. It doesn’t make it any easier. The girls have been working for this all year long.”
Rosenthal, as always, credits the program.
“The program has created an environment where even as a recruit coming here you know what is expected of you and this is no surprise. Our freshmen have been hearing about this for three or four years.
“It is about creating opportunities. We have another opportunity Saturday.”
Lipscomb took set one 25-19, set two 25-15 and set three 25-18.
“We really did a nice job of getting into a rhythm and applying pressure at points we had talked about,” Rosenthal said. “We wanted to create some adversity at the service line for them and keep Madison Haake, their setter, out of position to be an offensive threat.
“The other part was defensively we were really disciplined. Our girls were extremely focused and dialed in.
The Bisons recorded 15 kills in set one, 19 in set two and 17 in set three.
“The third, and most important point, was our energy,” Rosenthal said. “We didn’t have to match Upstate’s energy. We just had to bring our own energy.
“It sounds simple, but when you have a talented team like that you have to create a couple of things for them to focus on. And they did the rest.”
Outside hitter Carlyle Nusbaum posted a double-double with a match-high 16 kills and 13 digs.
Libero Brittany Thomas added a match-high 18 digs.
Setter Morgan Elmore was credited with 22 assists and Kayla Ostrom had 20.
“There was great balance,” Rosenthal said. “In the first set there were a couple of balls on the right side that didn’t go down. Upstate did a nice job and we kept talking about applying pressure.
“In the second set we really did a nice job of getting our middles and right sides more involved. From there it was about allowing the offense to do its thing. And that goes to the setters for trusting and giving the hitters great balls. It was awesome.”
No Upstate players finished in double figures in kills. Kaleigh Kelly made 11 digs.
- Nusbaum has nine double-doubles in kills and digs.
- Nusbaum has 20 match highs, with one tie, in kills this season and this was her 27th match in double figures in kills. She has double figures in digs in nine matches.
- Thomas has double figures in digs in 24 matches.
- It was the 19th match high in digs for Thomas.
- The Bisons have a 15-0 record overall with USC Upstate.
- Right side Taylor Racich, the ASUN leaders in service aces, added three more for 47 for the season. It was a match high, her 11th of the season.
- This is the second time Lipscomb has faced FGCU in the championship match. In 2009 Lipscomb was the No. 1 seed and FGCU was No. 3. The Bisons won 3-0.