|August 25, 2018||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th||Final|
NASHVILLE – In a gripping back-and-forth affair Saturday night inside Allen Arena, the Lipscomb volleyball team took a step forward in growth by finding a way to rally from a two-set deficit to knock off the University of Iowa, 3-2 (25-13, 20-25, 16-25, 25-18, 15-10), in the final match of the 2018 LUV Invite.
“This was a great team win, it was a lot of fun,” Lipscomb head coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “We got to see and do different things tonight, and that’s what this preconference portion is about.
“Iowa was on the bubble last year and we know they will be competing for a NCAA Tournament spot this season. I think it builds confidence among our group. I love it and this is why we schedule matches like this here.”
The Bisons earned a hard-nosed victory in the opening set behind a .310 hitting percentage where only four errors were committed. Senior Carlyle Nusbaum and sophomore Megan Kuper each collected four kills in the frame, while Maddie Phillips added three. They combined for no errors on 15 attacks.
Things flipped in sets two and three. Iowa took advantage at the net and blocked eight balls to Lipscomb’s two. The Hawkeyes also outhit the Bisons .384 to .128 and made just one error on 30 attacks in the third frame.
Rosenthal felt changes were needed and moved Lauren Anderson from libero back to outside hitter, where she has played the previous three seasons.
“We talked about it going in that I was going to be the libero, but if we needed something different I would be ready to switch,” Lauren Anderson said. “He told us to switch and I was ready to go. Our team came together and we fought hard to get the win.”
The move paid off as Anderson, who finished with a team-high 18 digs, chipped in five kills and hit .400 over the last two sets.
“This was nothing new,” Rosenthal said. “Lauren has always been an excellent defender. She’s done some great stuff for us the last three years on the outside, so we didn’t expect anything different than what she gave us.
“The thing I liked about it the most was her composure through it.”
The Bisons and Hawkeyes traded points through the first half of the fifth set, eventually tying at 7-7. From that point on the Bisons built a four-point lead behind kills from Megan Kuper and Anderson and never looked back before Nusbaum spiked the final point of the match.
“The environment here the last two nights has been incredible,” Rosenthal said. “Not only were we having fun, but so was the crowd and that’s awesome to see and feel that. There is no doubt in my mind that it helps what we are trying to do with this program and what Lipscomb athletics is doing as well.
“You have to give credit where credit is due and it all goes to our fans. I hope they continue to come out and support us.”
Nusbaum aced the squad with her second double-double in as many matches. The Overland Park, Kansas native spiked 21 kills and scooped up 13 digs. She hit .356 with just five errors in 45 attacks.
Kuper finished with 13 kills, a .321 hitting percentage and eight digs. She also added three block assists.
“Megan Kuper’s steadiness and her ability to jump into serve-receive like she did was huge for us,” Rosenthal said.
- Lipscomb is now 1-0 all-time against Iowa.
- The Hawkeyes out-blocked the Bisons 13-9.
- Six players recorded at least five kills for the Bisons.
- Setter Morgan Elmore was credited with a team-high 31 assists.
- Ca’Layci Coffey notched eight kills, and a team-high four block assists and two solo stuffs.
- Senior right side Carli Anderson and junior middle Maddie Phillips each totaled six kills and three block assists.
- Freshman Logan Gish made her collegiate debut with action in two sets. She had one kill on three attacks.
- Marcella Emmanuelli finished with 19 assists over three sets.
- Lauren Anderson had two aces and Ashley Maher had one.
Lipscomb travels to Tucson, Arizona for the Cactus Classic where it will play three games in the desert. On Friday, the Bisons play host Arizona at noon before taking on Pacific later in the day at 6:30. On Saturday they close out the trip with a noon match against San Diego State.