|October 27, 2019||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th||Final|
Deisa - 2
ZWOLENSKY - 17
ELMORE - 17
NASHVILLE - After rallying to win set four following an uncharacteristic performance in sets two and three, the Lipscomb volleyball team saw its six-match win streak snapped by the Stetson Hatters in five sets (25-20, 25-27, 22-25, 25-23, 13-15) Sunday afternoon in Allen Arena.
“Our message all week was about how good Stetson is defensively. Even though you know what’s going to happen, they do a fantastic job, so credit to them,” head coach Brandon Rosenthal said.
“Executing down the stretch just wasn’t there for us and we have to learn from it. This is a special group and I would imagine we will take it a step further.”
With the loss, Lipscomb falls to 11-10 on the season and falls to 7-3 in ASUN Conference play this season.
Junior Megan Kuper led the way offensively for the Bisons, as she had a career-high 22 kills on 59 swings. The Olathe, Kansas native also produced a career-high 17 digs for her second consecutive double-double.
“Kuper has done a great job,” Rosenthal said. “She is the player we knew she was and she does so much for us. Today was one where we kind of got her going in spurts, especially in the fourth set when we were feeding her.”
Kuper was joined by junior Sami Rubal (15) and senior Maddie Phillips (13) with double-digit kills.
Senior Morgan Elmore had a career-high 62 assists in the match, while also adding 17 digs and four blocks for her third-straight double-double. The setter’s previous high was 60 versus Stetson earlier this season in the ASUN opener.
It was all Lipscomb early as the Bisons jumped out to a 16-6 lead in the opening set before the Hatters battled back to within two. Sophomore Logan Gish jump started a 7-2 run with back-to-back kills to help the Bisons win the frame, 25-20.
The second set was much of the same in the early going as Lipscomb raced out to a big 17-10 lead and looked to be on its way to a seventh-straight sweep. The Hatters, however, had other plans. A good defensive effort quickly pulled Stetson even at 17-17 before a 5-2 run gave them the 27-25 victory and sent the teams into intermission tied at 1-1. The defeat ended Lipscomb's run of consecutive sets won at 19. Prior to the loss, the last set the Bisons gave up was the fourth frame to Kennesaw State on October 4th.
The Hatters took advantage of Lipscomb’s lack of energy in the fourth stanza and built a 15-6 lead before the purple and gold finally woke up. Kuper, Rubal and freshman Bree Thompson combined for eight kills in an 11-1 Lipscomb run to take its first lead of the set at 17-16. The Hatters won the next three points to build a slight cushion, but it was enough as the teams traded points the rest of the way, resulting in a Stetson victory, 25-22.
Set four saw the Hatters take control midway through at 13-9. The Bisons began funneling the offense through Kuper as she put down dour kills and registered back-to-back aces to put the home team back on top, 19-17. A few points later, Rubal hammered home a ball from Elmore to set up set point, and Thompson finished off the frame two possessions later, 25-23, to send the match to a winner-take-all fifth frame.
Lipscomb won four straight points after the Hatters took an early 3-2 lead. The Bisons eventually built a 10-8 advantage and forced Stetson to call its final timeout of the set. The Hatters won the first three points out of the break after a block and a kill from Elena-Marta Djokovic to take the lead, before Riley Nieporte finished off the 15-13 victory for Stetson with her 13th and 14th kills of the match.
- Lipscomb totaled 75 kills and 31 errors on 212 total attacks (.208). The Hatters recorded 69 kills and 22 errors on 190 swings (.247).
- Kuper has produced double-doubles in consecutive outings for the third time in her career. She also recorded four assists, two blocks and a team-high two service aces.
- Elmore recorded her fifth double-double of the season and the seventh of her career. The 17 digs set a career-high as well.
- Rubal paced the way with six blocks, and she has now racked up at least five blocks in three of her last four matches. It’s also the fourth ASUN match she’s reached that plateau.
- Alyssa Zwolensky matched Kuper and Elmore with a team-high 17 digs.
- Ashley Maher and Alexis Triplett gave the Bisons five players with double figures in digs with 12 each.
- The Bisons added five aces and nine blocks, while the Hatters picked up six aces and 13 blocks.
Lipscomb will go on the road to play two of the top three teams in the ASUN this next week. The Bisons will travel to Liberty for a 5 p.m. Halloween matchup on Thursday before taking on Kennesaw State at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
“This is what this conference is all about, there is no easy match,” Rosenthal said. “We have to find a way to keep grinding it out and battling.”