|September 08, 2017||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
Nettles - 13
MADISON, Wis. – The Lipscomb volleyball team fell 3-1 Friday evening to Texas A&M at the HotelRed Invitational inside the UW Field House.
Things looked good early on for the Bisons with a 25-22 win in the first set, but the Aggies responded with 25-17, 25-22 and 25-20 wins in the next three.
Behind a .300 hitting percentage, the Purple and Gold controlled the majority of the opening frame before Texas A&M found itself in front 20-17. After battling back level, head coach Brandon Rosenthal went to the bench in favor of freshman Ashley Maher for her serving skills. The move paid off as Maher constantly applied pressure on the Aggies with low-sinking serves to help Lipscomb win the final three points and the set.
“That is a tough position for her, to come off the bench in crucial situations and execute,” Rosenthal said. “It’s awesome for her. ‘Smash’, as we call her, is doing a fantastic job and making the most of her opportunities. Ultimately we need that from all 15 players.”
In the second set, the Bisons got three early kills from Carlyle Nusbaum to grab an 8-4 advantage and force the Aggies to call a timeout. However, it was Texas A&M who closed strong this time with a 21-9 run to send the teams into the break at 1-1.
The teams combined for 14 ties and seven lead changes over the final two sets, but getting outhit .357 to .018 over that span was too much to overcome for Lipscomb.
“In regard to the hitting errors, we can’t continue down this path and expect to be successful,” Rosenthal said. “In the last three matches, we have found ourselves trying to cheat the game of math. Just look at the third set. That was one most of us would say we should have won. They hit .368 and we hit -.065, so from the sheer numbers of it, there is no way that can happen.
“We have to pass better, set the ball better and take away the unforced hitting errors. Consistency in plays is a big thing for us right now and we have to get back to it. It’s tough as a coaching staff to figure out where we go from here.”
- Maddie Phillips and Nusbaum were named to the all-tournament team.
- Nusbaum posted her fourth double-double of the season and second of the weekend with 17 kills and 14 digs.
- Phillips hit a team high .333 with 10 kills.
- Brittany Thomas tallied a match-high 18 digs.
- Marcella Emmanuelli paced the Bisons with 22 assists.
- Chloe Rogers recorded two of Lipscomb’s five service aces.
- The Bisons hit below .100 as a team for the third straight match, all losses. (.055, .066, .092)
Lipscomb will play its first match at home in more than two weeks on Tuesday when Western Kentucky visits Allen Arena at 6:30 p.m. The match will be broadcasted on ESPN3.
“We are excitd to get a couple days off and then get back to work for another exciting week,” Rosenthal said. “It will be fun to get back home in front of our fans because their support was fantastic on opening weekend. We would love to have that same atmosphere, especially after the type of atmosphere we have been in the last two weeks.
“Western Kentucky is another great opponent and we have a ton of respect for them, but at the same time we love playing them because of what they do on a yearly basis and the competitiveness they bring each time out.”