|November 04, 2017||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
ELMORE - 3
COFFEY - 3
RUBAL - 3
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Coming off a disappointing decision the night before, the Lipscomb volleyball team responded with one of its most complete games of the season on Saturday as the Bisons caged the North Florida Ospreys in straight sets (25-23, 25-22, 25-14) in the home finale at Allen Arena.
“I thought our girls really brought a lot of energy tonight and it was fun to watch,” Lipscomb head coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “It was good to see us focus and execute. We’ve been doing some great things all year, but some of that has been lost in our results.
“But tonight I thought we were the ones making plays, especially at crucial points in the match. I really feel like we are hitting our stride and it is fun to watch.”
Once again, the Bisons offense was led by Carlyle Nusbaum. The junior outside hitter slammed home 24 kills and dug up 16 balls for her 13th double-double this season. She only committed six errors on 45 attacks to swing .400.
Her hitting partner, Lauren Anderson, played outstanding on both sides of the net. The junior finished with 14 kills to only two errors, swung .400, dug five balls and blocked a season high three.
“What a great match from Carlyle and Lauren, neither had many errors,” Rosenthal said. “Carlyle only had one error over the last two sets and was able to hit .400 with a high number of attacks, that’s crazy. And Lauren was fantastic on the pins. Her defensive play in the second was kind of a spark for us. That’s fun to see because we are going to need that kind of production from them both down the stretch.”
Sophomore setter Morgan Elmore seemed to make the right decision every time as she put up 45 assists in only three sets, just one night after notching a career high 55.
“You can see how well she’s playing, not just number wise, but her style of play,” Rosenthal said. “Morgan is a really quite individual, but she’s really starting to gain her voice and some moxie out on the court. At times you forget she is still a sophomore. It’s fun to see that come to fruition.”
Despite hitting just .130 with 10 errors in the first set, the home team was able to ride Lauren Anderson down the stretch to erase a 4-point deficit and grab the win. Anderson recorded kills on four of the last six points for Lipscomb.
Game two never felt as close as the score actually was, but nonetheless, the Ospreys pulled even at 22-22 on an ace from Ashley Laborde. Nusbaum rallied the team and slammed the door with the next three points to lock up the win and give her 10 kills in the frame.
Lipscomb put the match away early in the third set after building a quick six-point lead at 9-3. The attack was too much to handle for the Ospreys, as the Bisons recorded the final four points to hit .464 in the set.
- The Bisons have now won 10 straight meetings with UNF, extending their all-time record to 18-3 in the series.
- Elmore notched 15 assists in the first, 17 in the second and 13 in the third.
- Nusbaum eclipsed 20+ kills for the eighth time this season and the 18th time in her career.
- After only reaching double figures in kills once in her first 16 matches, Anderson has now achieved the feat in six straight and in eight of her last nine.
- Chloe Rogers added seven kills in the win.
- Both squads recorded eight blocks.
- Lipscomb outhit UNF .316 to .123.
- The Bisons clinched a spot in the ASUN Championship on Friday.
The Bisons make its last road trip of the regular season next weekend to the Sunshine state for a pair of ASUN matches. They will trek to Fort Myers to take on Florida Gulf Coast at 6 p.m. on Friday before heading north to DeLand for the season finale at Stetson on Saturday at 5 p.m.
“Last night we got the asterisks,” Rosenthal said. “I still remember the first time we ever got the asterisk, knowing we were going to the tournament. It was 2005 and we all were celebrating in the locker room. So it was kind of fun to sit here 12 years later with the same exciting feeling.
“We have to build on the win tonight and get better over these next couple weeks. There is still a lot of season in front of us. Things haven’t gone the way we hopes this season, but now we are focused on finding that stride and making the best of our situation.”