|August 25, 2017||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
Rylee Milhorn - 7
EMMANUELLI - 1
COFFEY - 2
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb volleyball team opened 2017 in impressive fashion with a quick 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-17) sweep of East Tennessee State Friday night in the LUV Invite.
“I am really pleased with what we did tonight,” Lipscomb head coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “As a whole, this is exactly the way you want to start off a season. ETSU is a great opponent and they will have an extremely successful season.
“At times I felt we played really crisp, especially in the first and third sets. I think they all saw tonight what they are capable of when we continue to work.”
Junior Carlyle Nusbaum, the reigning ASUN Player of the Year, led the way in the opening set hitting .692 with 10 kills, a dig and a block. As a team the Bisons hit .343 and dug out 18 balls in the first.
The second set was a back-and-forth affair with neither team getting more than three points ahead until an ETSU error gave the Bisons a 19-15 advantage. Chloe Rogers, along with Nusbaum and Ca’Layci Coffey led the attack in the set with three kills apiece.
“The kills per set is what really jumps out at me,” Rosenthal said. “To get 20 and 22 kills in sets one and three is impressive, those are really high numbers.
“Our offense really spreaded the floor. When you have six players in double-digit attacks, the opponent can’t just focus on one or two specific players. Our setters also did a fantastic job distributing and managing the game.”
Following intermission, the Bisons (1-0) pounced ETSU (0-1) in the third set jumping out to a commanding 14-7 lead. Lauren Anderson registered four of her nine kills in the decisive set. The junior also added four digs while holding down the serve-receive like the veteran she is.
“Lauren Anderson received the bulk of ETSU’s serves and I thought she did exactly what she has been doing the past two years,” Rosenthal said. “She and Brittany Thomas locked down the serve-receive and allowed us to do the things we are capable of.”
The Bisons outmanned the Bucs on the attack end with 55 kills and a .410 hitting percentage, compared to just 27 kills and a .198 for ETSU.
“Our defense was also on-point,” Rosenthal said. “When you hold teams to just nine kills per set, you are going to do some good things. The defense was fantastic.
“I would like to see us block a few more balls, but I think that will take us a bit to dial that in because of the difference in style of opponents we are playing.”
- Nusbaum collected her first double-double of the season with 15 kills and 10 digs. She only committed four errors in 25 attacks for a .440 hitting percentage.
- Rogers finished second on the squad with 12 kills (2e, 18 ta) while hitting .556. Her season high in kills last season was 11.
- Marcella Emmanuelli led the way with a career high 23 assists. Morgan Elmore was just behind with 20.
- Lauren Anderson just missed double figures in kills with nine. She added six digs and finished third on the team with 10 points.
- Libero Brittany Thomas totaled six assists and seven digs in her final season opener as a Bison.
- Lipscomb totaled 40 digs compared to just 23 for ETSU.
- Freshmen Megan Kuper, Alyssa Zwolensky and Ashley Maher all saw their first collegiate action in the third set. Kuper registered her first career kill to put the Bisons on top 22-14 at the time.
- Houston transfer Megan Sullivan made her first appearance for Lipscomb in the final set, totaling one dig.
The Bisons will have their hands full on Saturday with two matches against 2016 NCAA Tournament teams. At 12:30 p.m. they will face Wichita State to cap the morning session of games before coming back at 7:30 to take on #24 Arizona in a match on ESPN3.
“Tomorrow will pose a different challenge,” Rosenthal said. “Both Wichita State and Arizona will be playing their first matches of the season in the morning, while we will be playing our second and third. There is potential for fatigue to set it, but Kelsey Ferguson and Sean Johnson have done a fantastic job of preparing these girls whether it’s in the strength and conditioning side of things or the training room.
“Our girls are ready to go. I obviously want them to enjoy tonight because they have worked hard for this, but at the same time we have to have a short memory. Both opponents tomorrow will present quite a test. This is what we’ve been preparing for all offseason so it will be fun to get the opportunities tomorrow.”