|September 15, 2018||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
Bastianelli - 2
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Lipscomb volleyball closed out its nonconference slate Saturday with a 3-0 loss to No. 8 Illinois in the Illini Classic at Huff Hall.
The Illini took the sets by scores of 25-14, 25-13 and 25-11. They improve to 10-0 on the season and are one of just six teams in the nation with an unblemished record. Lipscomb dropped to 5-7 with the defeat.
“There was a plan with our preconference schedule to play tough opponents, and that’s what we got today,” Lipscomb head coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “Illinois really brought about some elements of their game that we had not seen. Their serving was extremely tough and their blocking was fantastic.
“All of this is part of the growth process we’ve been talking about the last four weeks. Overall I like what we did in the preconference, despite a few losses. We went out and competed, but today Illinois was the better team.”
Illinois controlled the match with a precision offense that hit .518 with only three errors on 78 swings. It bested the Bisons’ season-low mark of .024. With a noticeable height advantage at the net, Illinois forced Lipscomb to go over the block, resulting in 23 miscues from the Bisons.
The Purple and Gold grabbed a 3-2 lead in the opening frame on consecutive kills from Carlyle Nusbaum and Ca’Layci Coffey, but from that point on it was all Illinois. A 7-1 run catapulted the Orange and Blue to a 17-9 lead and forced Lipscomb to call its second timeout. The Bisons got Megan Kuper and Maddie Phillips in on the action late before the Illini finished off the frame, 25-14.
Illinois was firing on all cylinders in the second set, jumping out to an 8-0 advantage before a timeout was called. Lipscomb recorded an ace from Lauren Anderson and back-to-back kills from Nusbaum to get back to within reach at 10-5, but Illinois responded yet again with five of the next six points to extend its lead. Behind a match-high .583 hitting percentage, Illinois was too much to handle for the Bisons as the home team took the frame 25-13.
The third and final stanza had the teams going back-and-forth early before a 6-1 run pushed Illinois’ advantage to 9-4. Following its first timeout, Lipscomb was able to get within a pair at 9-7 with kills from Nusbaum and Coffey, but the Illini mounted a 16-4 run to put the match away. The home team hit .519 in the set.
Nusbaum led the team with 11 kills.
- Maddie Phillips was second on the team with seven kills, while her .429 hitting clip was tops.
- Lauren Anderson posted a team-best nine digs and two service aces.
- Eight different players recorded a dig.
- Morgan Elmore had 11 assists, while senior Marcella Emmanuelli had 10.
- The Illini controlled the flow a defense that forced 15.0 blocks, compared to just one for the Bisons.
Lipscomb returns home Tuesday to open ASUN Conference action. They Bisons will kick things off at 6:30 p.m. against newest league foe, North Alabama. The match will be televised on ESPN3.
“Now as we go into conference play, we have to build off of the experiences and improve,” Rosenthal said. “We get another challenge as we have a quick turnaround to play North Alabama on Tuesday.
“Everything we do from here on out is preparing ourselves for the ASUN tournament. I love what this team is doing and the fight they bring. It’s fun to get to go to work each and every day with them.”