|October 18, 2019||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
NASHVILLE – Senior Maddie Phillips recorded 14 kills and junior Megan Kuper added eight to help power the Lipscomb volleyball team to its fourth-straight ASUN Conference sweep (25-11, 25-19, 25-16) over Jacksonville Friday night inside Allen Arena.
The win improved the Bisons to 9-9 overall and 5-2 in league play, and just one game behind ASUN leaders FGCU and Kennesaw State in the conference standings. Jacksonville fell to 7-14 and 3-4 with the defeat.
“Over the last couple of weeks you can really see the direction we are moving,” head coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “You can feel we are doing the things we want to do. This group is really really special and I can’t say enough about them.
“The players and the staff give us more and more. It’s really fun to come to work with these people every single day.”
In addition to Phillips and Kuper, Lipscomb received seven kills each from Logan Gish and Sami Rubal, and another five from Garrett Joiner. Phillips hit .517 to lead the team, while Rubal followed with her .417 clip.
The Bisons offense was efficient all night, finishing at a .314 clip (44-12-102), while the Dolphins were limited to a .077 (22-15-91).
Senior Morgan Elmore kept the offense rolling with 37 assists and the defense was led by Alyssa Zwolensky’s 15 digs and Ashley Maher’s 11.
“We’ve been working on the pressure point of the game, rather it is serve-receive or defense, those people don’t get to score. Their stats don’t show up,” Rosenthal said. “So we’ve been saying when we get a dig, we have to score, that is their point."
Lipscomb ran away with the opening set after jumping out to a 14-2 advantage behind four early kills from Kuper. The onslaught continued and the Bisons swung .419 in the frame en route to a 25-11 victory.
“Starting off matches well is one thing we’ve been working on in practice,” Phillips said. “Earlier in the season we were not starting great, even in the matches we won. We do a lot of drills in practice that helps put an emphasis on it.”
The second set saw the visiting Dolphins grab an early lead before Lipscomb mounted a 9-1 run on back-to-back kills from Joiner to regain the momentum, 13-9. The purple and gold took advantage of a few JU errors down the stretch and Kuper finished them off to take the frame, 25-19.
The final stanza featured the teams trading blows throughout the first half, leading to an 8-8 tie. From there the Bisons strung together an 11-3 run with a pair of aces from Kuper and Elmore. Rubal came up with her team-high fifth block of the night before Bree Thompson hammered home the match-clinching kill, 25-16.
- Only twice in the last 10 sets have the Bisons allowed the opponent to record 20 points. They will enter Sunday’s match having done so in five-consecutive frames.
- The 12 hitting errors matched a season low for Lipscomb, leading to a third-straight outing of over .300 hitting.
- Phillips added three digs and three blocks to her line, while Kuper chipped in seven and three.
- Rubal led the team with two solo blocks.
- The Bisons recorded eight aces, nine blocks and 50 digs as a team. JU contributed four aces, four blocks and 38 digs.
The Bisons continue their 4-match homestand on Tuesday when they host North Alabama at 6:30 p.m.
“North Florida is a really good team and we can’t wait to get back out on the court against them on Sunday,” Phillips said.