|September 14, 2018||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
EMMANUELLI - 1
KLOTH - 1
COLE - 1
COLE - 13
ANDERSON - 2
NUSBAUM - 2
COFFEY - 2
PHILLIPS - 2
COLE - 3
BALLENGER - 3
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Lipscomb volleyball went toe-to-toe with No. 10 Creighton Friday night in its second match of the day in the Illini Classic, but in the end it was the Bluejays who captured the victory in straight sets (25-23, 25-19, 25-23) at Huff Hall.
“Tonight we asked our girls to compete, put a little urgency into each set and add some defensive pressure,” Lipscomb head coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “They did those things and laid it all out there on the floor. If there is any disappointing part of tonight, it’s that we don’t get another chance to play them again.
“I am really proud of what our girls did tonight and this match was just fun to be a part of. That’s exactly how it should be when you play a top-10 team.”
The loss drops Lipscomb to 5-6 on the year, while Creighton improves to 7-3 with the win.
On a night where two-time ASUN Player of the Year Carlyle Nusbaum simply did not have her best stuff, the squad as a whole picked her up. Megan Kuper posted a team-high 11 kills, but it was the passing and the play in the middle that sparked Lipscomb on both sides of the net.
Middle blockers Ca’Layci Coffey (9) and Maddie Phillips (8) combined for 17 kills and just five errors while also adding a pair of blocks each.
“Any time we can get our middles going at a high rate like they were tonight, we become a really tough team to compete against,” Rosenthal said. “The difference in this match and the one this morning was our passing. Because we passed the ball so well, we were really able to go after the middle.”
Coffey led the team in hitting at .368 (9k, 2e, 19ta), while Phillips was next best at .250 (8k, 3e, 20ta).
The Bisons were hurt by errors. They combined for 18 attack errors and nine miscues at the service line, allowing them to match a season-worst .158 hitting percentage.
In a back-and-forth opening set, it was the Bluejays who started strong with four consecutive kills, three of which came off the arm of All-American Taryn Kloth. At that point, Lipscomb began stringing together a few two-point rallies to trim its deficit. Trailing 16-13, the Purple and Gold ran off a 6-1 spurt with a pair of kills from Coffey and another from Kuper to make it a 19-17 lead for the Bisons. Creighton’s other All-American, Jaali Winters, recorded a trio of kills, including the set-clinching spike at 25-23.
Creighton carried the momentum into the second set, opening on a 5-1 run. Deciding not to call a timeout, Rosenthal allowed his girls to weather the storm and it paid off. The Bisons used a stingy defense to force four five Creighton errors in the midst of a 6-2 to make it 8-8.
Down 16-11, Coffey provided the spark once again with bookend kills to cut Creighton’s lead to 17-15 and force a timeout. The Bluejays never trailed in the frame and eventually built their lead to as large as 24-16 before Winters converted CU’s fourth set-point chance to send the Bisons into the break, down 2-0.
Like it did in the morning session, Lipscomb was finally able to grab the first point of a set in the third frame. Creighton immediately responded, however, by running off the next four points before a service error halted the rally. The 1-2 punch of Coffey and Kuper was at it again as the duo combined for six kills in the midst of a Purple and Gold 15-6 run to help them to their largest lead of the match at 16-10.
The 10th-ranked Blujays then went on the attack, putting together a trio of 3-0 runs and another 4-0 spurt to give them a chance at match point, up 24-20. Showing their true grit, the Bisons reeled off the next three points and staved off defeat behind kills from Lauren Anderson and Maddie Phillips. In the end, Naomi Hickman sealed the victory for CU with her first kill of the night.
- Kuper paced the Bisons in kills for the first time this season while also adding 10 digs for her first-career double-double. Kuper was also one of five players to record a pair of blocks.
- Lauren Anderson collected a team-high 32 attacks in the loss. She contributed with seven kills, 13 digs and two blocks.
- Nusbaum managed only four kills, but was one of four players to record double figures in digs with 10.
- Ashley Maher paced the team with 14 digs. She has reached double figures in five of the last seven matches.
- For the third consecutive outing, setter Morgan Elmore provided 30 assists. She was also one dig shy of a double-double with a career high nine scoops.
- Nusbaum and CU’s Kloth trained together in May on the U.S. Collegiate Nationa Team in China. Kloth recorded eight kills and a season high 13 digs. It was just the second time in CU’s 10 matches that she didn’t collect double-figures in kills.
- Creighton outhit Lipscomb .230 to .158. It also had the advantage in digs (70-60) and blocks (8-6).
- The Bisons have recorded at least six blocks in seven of their 11 matches.
- The first set was not pretty at the service line as the teams combined for nine of the match’s 17 errors. Five of those came from the Bisons and almost always
- Creighton put together a match-sealing run in the third set, outscoring Lipscomb 19-7 to end the night.
Lipscomb finishes the Illini Classic Saturday at noon when it takes on the host and No. 8 team in the nation – Illinois. The match will be streamed on BTN+, but a subscription is required to view.