|September 01, 2017||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th||Final|
- 33||Kills||Darien Bandel
- 32||Assists||Jordan Lentz
PHILLIPS - 1
THOMAS - 1
EMMANUELLI - 1
Darien Bandel - 1
Darrin Rice - 1
- 20||Digs||Darrin Rice
- 8||Blocks||Krysteena Davis
COLUMBUS, Ohio – In a thrilling back-and-forth affair, the Lipscomb volleyball team was able to come from behind in five sets to knock off the Oakland Golden Grizzlies, 3-2, Friday evening in the Sports Imports D.C. Koehl Classic hosted by Ohio State inside St. John Arena.
Things looked good for the Bisons early on after battling their way to a big 29-27 win in set one. From there Oakland took full advantage of multiple Lipscomb miscues to win the next two sets, 25-18 and 25-23.
Luckily for the Purple and Gold, its roster is full of experienced players who had been there before. They outhit the Golden Grizzlies in each of the final two sets to finish off the match, 25-16 and 16-14.
“Coming into the match we knew it would be a battle,” Lipscomb head coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “We’ve had some history with them (Oakland) so we knew they battle for every point, it’s in their DNA.
“This game was a wave of emotions and we saw both sides of that tonight. We could have easily laid down after losing that third set, but our girls found a way and I am so proud of them.”
Junior Carlyle Nusbaum, fresh off her seventh career ASUN Player of the Week honor, continued her dominant play with a career high 33 kills. She also had 15 digs for her second double-double of the season.
“I absolutely had no idea it was my career high,” Nusbaum said. “With a five-set match and how I was playing, I thought I had 20 kills, maybe.
“It’s a milestone for sure, but I have to continue to raise the bar and expectations for the team and myself.”
Another big performance from Lipscomb was from right side Carli Anderson. The junior from Apopka, Florida posted career highs in kills (11) and block assists (5), while also adding one dig to her line. Her final kill of the night set up match point for the Bisons.
“I knew my job would be to block tonight,” Carli Anderson said. “Oakland has a really good hitter, so my mindset going in was I had to play defense. I knew I also had to score, but stopping them was the priority.
“But I also had a lot of help from my teammates. I got really good sets back and Ca’Layci (Coffey) and Maddie (Phillips) were on my hip every time I went up to block.”
Carli Anderson and Nusbaum were the only two Bisons with double figures in kills.
“I thought Carli Anderson came up with some huge plays on both sides,” Rosenthal said. “She put some great swings on the ball and also had a few big blocks, key blocks.”
Sophomore setter Morgan Elmore notched her first career double-double with a career high 32 assists and 10 digs. Her counterpart, Marcella Emmanuelli, also chipped in a double-double with a career high 24 assists and 10 digs.
Senior libero Brittany Thomas just missed a fourth double-double of the match for the Bisons. She dug up a season high 20 balls to go along with eight assists.
The turning point in the match was set four. Lipscomb had just blown a 20-16 lead in the third to allow Oakland to go up 2-1 in the match. It would have been easy for the Bisons to lay down, but it would not have been any fun. After the Golden Grizzlies took an early advantage in the stanza, the Bisons used a 12-3 run to grab the lead and never look back en route to a 25-16 victory.
“I think five-set matches are always pretty tough, both physically and mentally,” Carli Anderson said. “Even though we started kind of slow I thought we pressed on the gas at the right time.
“It was fun. I think that is the biggest thing that changed in the fourth set, we had a blast out there. It took all 15 of us as a group. I am proud of what we did tonight.”
The biggest play of the night for Lipscomb came in a crucial moment. With the Bisons leading 11-10 in the fifth set, the two teams engaged in a rally that lasted one minute and 12 seconds and had 56 touches. Fortunately for Lipscomb, freshman Megan Kuper was finally able to register the kill and put the Bisons up two huge points. Kuper entered the match for the first time in the third set and came away with three big kills.
“I thought Kuper came in and did a fantastic job tonight,” Rosenthal said. “That is a tough position to be in when you are sitting on the bench for three sets, you are a freshman and it’s probably the biggest environment you’ve ever been in before and then all of a sudden you are asked to perform. That was huge.”
Oakland was led by outside hitter Darien Bandel’s 27 kills and 31 total points. Her kills are fourth most in a match in program history. Setter Jordan Lentz recorded a double-double with 52 assists and 16 digs, while Krysteena Davis tied a program record with 15 total blocks.
“We had a really tough time stopping Bandel, she is one heck of a player,” Rosenthal said. “Oakland has some really good players. They will be a hard team to play in the Horizon League.”
- After winning the opening set, the Bisons hit just .023 and .075 in the next two before torching the Golden Grizzlies with a .389 in a match-swinging fourth set.
- Nusbaum is just the fourth player in Division I this season to reach 30 kills. She has now recorded 20+ kills in back-to-back games for just the second time in her career. She went for 23 and 29 against USC Upstate and Kennesaw State as a freshman in 2015.
- Lipscomb tallied a .154 attack percentage in a match that lasted two and a half hours. Oakland hit .184
- Ca’Layci Coffey led the team with a career high seven block assists.
- The 14.0 total blocks by Lipscomb are the most in a game in the last three seasons.
- Lauren Anderson was the fifth Bison in double figures in digs with 11. She also added five kills and teamed up with Coffey for the game-winning block.
Lipscomb returns to the court Saturday for two matches against 2016 NCAA Tournament teams in the Koehl Classic. It opens at 9 a.m. against Missouri State before meeting No. 20 Ohio State in the nightcap and the tournament’s finale at 7 p.m.
“Rest, a lot of rest and taking care of our bodies as much as we can in the time that we have is going to be big for us with a short turnaround,” Nusbaum said.