|September 22, 2018||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
NEWARK, N.J. – The Lipscomb volleyball team finished off a perfect week with a 3-1 win over NJIT (25-23, 22-25, 25-12, 25-16) in an ASUN road meeting at the NJIT Wellness and Events Center Saturday evening.
With the victory the Bisons are now 7-7 overall and 2-0 in league action. NJIT fell to 1-14 and 0-2.
“I thought we made too many unforced errors in the first two sets,” Lipscomb head coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “Defensively we hesitated a little bit, but at the same time we are now playing conference games and the teams come at you.
“NJIT continues to get better as a program and they did some nice stuff. We have to tip our hat to them, but ultimately we made some adjustments and found a way to win on the road.”
Individually, Lipscomb’s balanced offensive attack featured five players totaling at least five kills. Senior Carlyle Nusbaum topped the list with 15 kills, while Megan Kuper added 12 of her own. The duo also recorded a pair double-doubles for the Bisons.
Nusbaum matched her season high with 14 digs in the second-straight contest, while Kuper dug out a career high 15.
The Bisons fortunes were buoyed by the production from their middles. Maddie Phillips registered 11 kills and hit .421 while Ca’Layci Coffey chipped in seven. The duo also finished with seven combined blocks.
Lipscomb struggled out of the gate, hitting just .132 in the opening set, but back-to-back kills from Kuper helped the Bisons build a 12-5 lead. The Highlanders fought back to grab a two-point lead 23-21, but the Purple and Gold scored the next four points to take the frame.
“I would like to see our effort from the start to be a little better, but you have to remember, we did lead by five or six points in all four sets,” Rosenthal said. “Now the opportunity is we have to capitalize on that.”
NJIT outhit Lipscomb .375 to .211 in the second set to get past the Bisons in a set for the first time in series history.
Over the final two sets, Lipscomb looked like Lipscomb. Rosenthal’s squad outhit NIT .327 to .045, served up five aces and blocked seven balls. The Highlander has zero aces and blocks over the stretch.
“I thought we did a nice job spreading the ball around and really settling into our offense,” Rosenthal said. “This was a good road win and we will enjoy it. We now get some rest and that’s good for the girls and their recovery.”
- The win moves Lipscomb to 7-0 all-time against NJIT, including a 21-1 set advantage.
- The Bisons start 2-0 in league play for the first time since the 2015-16 season.
- Lipscomb’s 71.0 total points were its second most of the season (74.0 vs. Iowa).
- The 14 service errors were just one shy of matching the Bisons season high total of 15 at Purdue.
- Kuper gets double-digit kills in back-to-back matches for the first time in her career after totaling 14 Tuesday versus North Alabama.
- Ashley Maher paced the team with 16 digs. That matches the second highest total of her career.
- Coffey recorded at least seven kills for the seventh time this season.
- Phillips’ .421 hitting clip was her second best mark of the year, as was her 11 kills.
- Morgan Elmore orchestrated the Bisons attack with 46 assists and nine digs from her setter position. The junior also chipped in three kills.
Lipscomb is back in action next weekend when it hosts a pair of ASUN matches. On Friday, North Florida visits Allen Arena for a 6:30 p.m. first serve, while Stetson comes to town Saturday at 2 p.m.