|September 30, 2017||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
CARROLL - 16
RYAN - 1
VANLIEW - 1
PHILLIPS - 2
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb volleyball team suffered its first home loss in ASUN Conference action as the Bisons fell in four sets (18-25, 18-25, 25-19, 23-25) to Florida Gulf Coast Saturday evening at Allen Arena.
It marks the second straight season that FGCU came to Nashville and knocked off the home-standing Bisons.
Lipscomb (7-8, 1-2 ASUN) had a hard time figuring out the Eagles (10-6, 2-1 ASUN) through the first two sets. In fact, the match seemed eerily similar to a number of earlier outings this season with a slow start from the Bisons.
“I loved the fight we had in sets three and four, but we have to be better early in matches because we don’t seem to bring enough energy out of the gate,” Lipscomb head coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “We have to have the fortitude to get outside of our comfort zone and not play casual.
“We want to get a lead early and put pressure on the other side because everyone plays better when they are leading. But for some reason we just don’t do that. Energy is the biggest thing for us right now. Energy is going to drive this team, and it’s also going to be our biggest hurdle. The talent and potential is there and the good thing is we know what we have to do.”
Saturday’s outing marked the seventh time this season that Lipscomb went down 0-2 in a match. All seven have been losses.
The Bisons led for only a single point in the match through the first two sets, which came at 2-1 early in the second, so they were looking for any kind of spark out of the intermission.
After going down three points to open the third, the Bisons went on the attack. Seven different players recorded a kill in the set, led by Lauren Anderson and Carlyle Nusbaum’s three. The defense also came away with three blocks in the frame.
With the Eagles leading 12-11 midway through the set, Lipscomb mounted a 6-0 run and forced FGCU to call both of its timeouts. The five-point lead remained throughout until Maddie Phillips shut the door with her ninth kill of the night. The Bisons outhit FGCU .304 to .120 in the stanza.
“I love what we did between sets two and three, because that is hard to do after going down two sets,” Rosenthal said. “The girls need credit for that.
“I thought we had some good performances across the floor tonight. Lauren Anderson did a really nice job. We got good production from Carlyle and Maddie.”
The fourth period saw Lipscomb playing from behind once again, going down as many as four points, but the Bisons kept chipping away and eventually pulled to within one at 24-23 when freshman Megan Kuper served up an ace to the back right corner. That would be all the home team would get, as FGCU closed out the match on the very next play.
“The expectation is for us to win,” Rosenthal said. “That’s exactly what we signed up for, so we have to work through this. We are a championship program and there is no give up on this team. We will work through this and get better.”
- Lipscomb starts 1-2 in conference play for the first time in 10 years.
- FGCU outhit LU .316 to .254. The Eagles are the fifth team to hit over the .300 mark this season against the Bisons. It only happened four times all of last season.
- Nusbaum connected for a match-high 19 kills on 44 attacks. She hit .273 and nearly racked up another double-double with eight digs.
- Brittany Thomas eclipsed the 200-dig mark on the year with 12.
- Phillips hit .471 with 10 kills and three blocks. She has now recorded double-digit kills five times this season, including in three of the last four outings.
- Lauren Anderson had nine kills, eight digs and three assists.
- A night after piling up 12 service aces, Lipscomb totaled six on Saturday. Phillips and Kuper led the way with two each.
- Morgan Elmore paced the squad with 24 assists.
- FGCU was led by a pair of 16-kill performances from Amanda Carroll and Cortney Vanliew.
- Maggie Rick, the ASUN’s top setter, produced 38 assists in the match.
The Bisons hit the road next weekend for the first two of three straight games away from Allen Arena. Next Friday and Saturday, they will travel to the Sunshine State to take on North Florida and Jacksonville. The match with the Ospreys is set for 6 p.m., before a 3 p.m. tilt against the Dolphins.
“There is this ebb and flow right now of trying to figure out which player is going to step up,” Rosenthal said. “Once we get that straight, I think we will be able to perform at a high level. The conference is going to play out the way it’s supposed to. We just have to find our way into the tournament and go from there.
“We know what we have to do. I am excited to get back to work on Monday and try and turn this thing around. It should be a good week of practice.”