|September 02, 2017||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th||Final|
ANDERSON - 1
PHILLIPS - 1
THOMAS - 1
ROGERS - 1
Irwin - 5
COLUMBUS, Ohio – If there is one thing that is for certain in the second week of the 2017 volleyball season, it is this Lipscomb Bisons squad never quits.
Down two sets to none (25-23, 25-11), against a very good Missouri State team that beat No. 20 Ohio State Friday night, Lipscomb pulled together and mounted the comeback of the season by winning the last three sets (25-19, 26-24, 15-10) to knock off the Bears 3-2 Saturday in the Sports Imports D.C. Koehl Classic.
“Missouri State is a team that is very competitive and scrappy,” sophomore middle blocker Maddie Phillips said. “They will come back and fight, but I thought we fought harder and outplayed them. I am so proud of this team, what a win.”
After dropping a back-and-forth decision in the first, the Bisons played their ugliest game of the season in set two, hitting -.030 with 10 attack errors.
“At that set, it just came down to having pride in the name on our chests and holding each other accountable,” junior middle blocker Ca’Layci Coffey said. “It becomes less about the technicality and the plays that we are making and more about the heart and fight. We were able to pull together and help each other through it.”
Coming out of the locker room Lipscomb (4-1) turned things around early in the third with a nice run that built its lead to 17-7 before Lauren Anderson completed the win with a kill.
“It’s interesting because I wasn’t really sure where we were at between sets two and three,” Lipscomb head coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “We did say in the locker room that we had to be a little more prideful of who we are and what we are trying to do. We can talk about it all we want, but at some point we have to challenge them.
“I actually left the room a little early and allowed them be by themselves and take the rest of it. Ultimately it was an awesome showing against a very quality opponent. Missouri State is going to be in the mix for the NCAA Tournament.”
The momentum carried over into the fourth for the Bisons as they raced out to a five-point lead four different times. Missouri State (3-2) fought its way back in front 22-21, but the Bisons had come too far to give in. Riding the energy being brought from the Lipscomb bench, also known as “The Jungle”, the Bisons came through with five of the final seven points to win the frame and force a deciding fifth set.
“There were some key points we have to be mindful of when looking at this match,” Rosenthal said. “One is the insertion of Jenny Phelan in set three, it was key. Jenny always brings great energy, she is kind of the President of the jungle, as we call it. She was really passionate between sets two and three and as a coaching staff it was our chance to get her in there and give her that opportunity and she really ran with it.”
The final set went just like the previous two, with the Purple and Gold jumping out to an early 6-1 lead to force a Bears timeout. Missouri State never got closer than three points before Carli Anderson sealed the comeback and the match with her fifth kill of the day.
“Today’s win shows exactly what this team is all about, we never back down from a fight,” Coffey said. “When we get in those situations and things get tough and it looks like we won’t get out of it, we fight together. That’s our best friends out there, we are a family. That just makes it that much more worthwhile when we win.”
One area Rosenthal has preached to his team all season to get better in is blocking. Against Missouri State, the Bisons had their season high with 15 blocks. Phillips and Coffey combined for three solo blocks and 12 assisted blocks. The duo also chipped in 19 kills.
“As a team we continue to push each other to be better,” Phillips said. “For me personally though, I just had to trust my athletic ability because I have great teammates and great coaches and they need to know they can depend on me.”
Another key ingredient in helping the Bisons grind out the win was their ability to serve the ball
“A turning point for sure was our serving,” Rosenthal said. “Carli Anderson and Chloe Rogers were fantastic. That is a tough position because when we are allowing them to serve, we are playing without a setter and that it a little tough for most teams.
“But I thought we handled it extremely well and put the pressure on Missouri State.”
- The victory was the first for Lipscomb after being down 2-0 since coming from behind to take down USC Upstate on the road on October 28, 2016.
- Carlyle Nusbaum led the team in kills with 18.
- Phillips and Rogers also finished in double figures with 10 kills apiece.
- Coffey tallied a career high nine kills.
- Senior libero Brittany Thomas added a team high 16 digs to go along with four assists.
- Lauren Anderson collected seven kills, 15 digs and a service ace.
- Marcella Emmanuelli and Morgan Elmore recorded 28 and 27 assists, respectively.
- Carli Anderson chipped in seven kills, five assisted blocks and four digs.
- Missouri State outhit Lipscomb .211 to .177.
Lipscomb will close out the weekend’s action at 7 p.m. Saturday against host No. 20 Ohio State. The Buckeyes (2-2) lost to Missouri State on Friday and will play Oakland later today.
“Ohio State is another great team,” Coffey said. “Right now we want to celebrate this win, but we know we have to get on to the next one. We have to get some rest and get ready to go because they are going to put up a fight.”