NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Playing its first exhibition match in program history, the Lipscomb volleyball team showcased the 2017 Bisons Saturday afternoon inside Allen Arena and the fans in attendance were rewarded with an impressive performance.
Lipscomb’s smaller lineup battled from start to finish to knock off the Tennessee Volunteers 4-1 in a regularly scheduled five-set match.
“What an awesome crowd and atmosphere,” Lipscomb head coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “For those fans to show up in full force for an exhibition was great to see.
“On the court I thought our girls arose and met different challenges all match long, and it wasn’t just the experienced players, it was everyone from top to bottom. Overall it was a great experience and we learned a lot about some people.”
The Bisons took the first four sets – 25-21, 26-24, 25-22, 25-23 – before the Vols closed out the contest with a 15-5 decision in the fifth.
Leading the way offensively for the Bisons was senior right side Chloe Rogers with 15 kills. Not to be outdone, junior Carlyle Nusbaum added a double-double with 13 kills and a team-high 17 digs to give Lipscomb a stellar one-two punch. No other Bison reached double figures in kills. Junior setter Marcella Emmanuelli also posted a double-double with a team-high 31 assists and 13 digs.
”It is easy to look at the stat sheet and pull out Carlyle’s offensive numbers, even though it wasn’t her best match,” Rosenthal said. “But what impressed me most was her 17 digs. To get that from a front row player is unheard of.”
Play was tight in the opening set with Lipscomb trailing 16-14, but an 11-5 run and back-to-back kills from Carli Anderson lifted the home team to victory in the first.
“Our right side attack was tremendous all game long and it really opened up the match,” Rosenthal said. “It was awesome to see the diversity because you don’t want to be a one-trick pony. It makes you tough to defend when multiple attacks are coming at you from all angles.”
The second set played much like the first, with a back-and-forth tone throughout. Nusbaum paced the squad with four kills and five digs in the set to send the Bisons into intermission up 2-0.
Lipscomb totaled its highest hitting percentage of the afternoon in the third set at .375. Once again, it was Nusbaum (6) and Rogers (5) who led the charge, while Maddie Phillips tacked on three kills and two service aces to close out the Vols and secure a match victory.
The Bisons controlled most of the fourth set while building their biggest lead at 12-8. UT climbed into the lead with a 10-4 run, but the Purple and Gold perservered to claim the 25-23 victory. Freshman Megan Kuper led the team with six kills in the set. She also added a service ace and three digs.
The fifth and final set belonged to Tennessee from the onset. The Vols built a 6-1 lead, forcing Lipscomb to call a timeout. Back-to-back kills from Callie Williams gave UT the 15-5 victory.
- All 15 players saw action in the match for the Bisons.
- Lauren Anderson just missed a double-double with nine kills and 14 digs.
- Carli Anderson chipped in seven kills and two digs.
- Ca’Layci Coffey finished with a team high four assisted blocks.
- In only three sets of play, Brittany Thomas was credited with four assists and seven digs.
- Lipscomb finished with a .181 hitting percentage, while UT posted a .203.
- The Bisons recorded 10 services aces, compared to just two from the Vols.
Lipscomb will open its season next Friday, August 25 with a 6:30 p.m. match with ETSU. It will be the opening match of the LUV Invitational, which will see the Bisons play three matches over the weekend.
“When we play our brand of volleyball, we are tough to beat,” Rosenthal said. “This was a good test for us and now we have to get ready and focus on ETSU next week.”