|August 31, 2018||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
TUCSON, Ariz. – Lipscomb closed out the first day of the Cactus Classic on a bad note, losing 3-1 to Pacific Friday night at the McKale Center in Tucson, Arizona.
Just a few hours after being swept by Arizona in the tournament opener, the Purple and Gold bounced back in set one with a 25-22 victory. However, the Tigers reeled off wins in the next three sets (25-16, 25-16, 25-22) to take the match.
"The way the match finsihed, it was hard to stomach because I thought we did such a great job of fighting back in set four," Lipscomb head coach Brandon Rosenthal said. "The entire match Pacific did a fantastic job of applying pressure to us defensively as they had 30 more kills.
"They just kept chipping away at us and at points we did a nice job of managing that, but we lost focus. They were the better team tonight and that is hard to say."
Midway through the first frame after Pacific extended its lead to 16-9 and seemed to be in control, Lipscomb made its largest run of the day.
Helped by three blocks and an ace from Lauren Anderson, the Bisons made an 8-1 run to pull even at 17-17. After trading nine straight points, Carlyle Nusbaum and Megan Kuper recorded back-to-back kills to secure the victory.
"At the time, it was big to get the victory in set one when we weren't playing our best," Rosenthal said. "But then losing the next three sets, that is what is dissapointing."
The second set was back and forth with each squad responding to every punch thrown. After a kill from Nusbaum evened the line at 13-13, Pacific used a pair of aces and kills from four different players to close the frame on a 12-3 run. Both offenses were humming in the set with a match high in hitting percentage. Pacific swung .441 while the Bisons hit .320.
Set three was all Tigers. They led by as many as 12 points and hit .293 in the set compared to .088 for the Purple and Gold.
The final stanza was even throughout, and the Bisons even held a 15-13 lead after Ca’Layci Coffey’s second kill of the match.
Rosenthal called both of his timeouts within a three-point span as he tried to keep Pacific’s momentum at bay despite a 5-0 run. Lipscomb pulled to within a single point on two occasions after a kill and an ace from Lauren Anderson, but the Tigers recorded three of the final four points to get the win.
"We were in pretty good positions at times, but an area I would like to see us improve in is being able to score when not attacking," Rosenthal said. "We got our hands on a lot of balls at the net blocking wise, but a lot of Pacific's 30 more kills, I would estimate 75-percent of them were off our block."
- Pacific outhit Lipscomb .318 to a season low .178.
- The Bisons blocked a season high 11 balls. They had just three against Arizona.
- Nusbaum led the team with 16 kills.
- Coffey, Megan Kuper and Lauren Anderson finished second on the squad with five kills. Anderson played double duty while also adding 12 digs at libero.
- Coffey paced Lipscomb with seven stuffs at the net.
- Anderson finished with a team high three aces. Nusbaum recorded two.
- Morgan Elmore led the Bisons with 24 assists.
Lipscomb finishes up the Cactus Classic at Noon Saturday when it takes on San Diego State. The match is scheduled to have both a live stream and live stats.
"Our effort and battle mentality has to get better, not only when we are playing great, but also when we are struggling to make plays," Rosenthal said. "We don't have to change a lot, we just need to get better at some of the small things we should be doing. Teams are going to play us tough and we have to be able to answer."