|November 15, 2019||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
Youngblood - 1
Venturelli - 1
Dixon - 2
Cestero - 2
JACKSONVILLE – Lipscomb Bisons volleyball completed a season sweep over ASUN rival North Florida Friday night with a 3-1 (25-18, 26-24, 24-26, 25-14) over the Ospreys at UNF Arena. Led by a balanced attack that included four Bisons in double figure kills, Lipscomb won its 10th conference match of the season while only dropping one set to the Ospreys in 2019.
The story of the night was Lipscomb’s attack as Sami Rubal (17), Maddie Phillips (16), Megan Kuper (14) and Lauren Myrick (10) all broke the double-digit mark in successful kills. The quartet combined for 57 of the Bisons 64 total kills in the match, as Lipscomb hit .273 as a team in the four-set victory. Rubal in particular was electric as the middle committed no attacking errors and hit .654 to lead all players in the match.
“I thought tonight was a great night in the sense of the production that we saw,” said Lipscomb head coach Brandon Rosenthal. “I knew that we’d have an opportunity to get our middles involved early and often. It’s pretty impressive to see a middle with 17 kills, no errors and hit .654. I thought Sami was absolutely tremendous and drove the momentum. It was a fun night and our girls battled well.”
Both Alyssa Zwolensky (23) and Ashley Maher (20) each hit the 20-dig plateau and senior Morgan Elmore led the way in the passing game with 47 assists on the night.
“I’m proud of these girls,” said Rosenthal. “They keep battling, they’ve never wavered in that and that is pretty special. It’s fun to be around and fun to work with. Ultimately this is a fun group, and we enjoy and relish being with them.”
A back-and-forth first set turned Lipscomb’s way when it went on a 11-4 run to close out the game for the Bisons. Sparking the run was Phillips, Kuper and Rubal, who combined for 13 kills in the 25-18 opening set win.
The second set was more of the same for the Bisons as a timeout by head coach Brandon Rosenthal sparked another mid-set run. Down 9-6 early in the second set, Rosenthal’s stoppage sent the Bisons on a 13-6 run to put Lipscomb up 19-15. It was a lead the Bisons wouldn’t relinquish as Lipscomb won the second set 26-24 after back-to-back kills from Phillips sealed the game.
“Nice job kind of getting away in the first set, and then the second set they battled back and we had to fight through towards the end in extra points,” said Rosenthal.
It looked like Lipscomb would finish off the sweep against UNF when it had match point at 24-23 in the third set, but the Osprey’s would not die easily as North Florida won the final three points to take the set 26-24.
“Going into the third set we knew they were going to bring extra energy and they did,” said Rosenthal. “We had a tough call that changed the momentum of the match, and that is a little bit on us. We have to manage that a little bit better. I thought in the third set we just were playing a little spastic on defense. In the end, give UNF credit, they fought hard.”
While the first three sets were all close, the fourth was all purple and gold. Lipscomb used a 10-0 run to go from up 10-9 to up 20-9 and effectively close out the set. It was academic from there as the Bisons won the fourth set 25-14 and the match 3-1.
“All in all, a fun night,” said Rosenthal. “Our girls are battling. This is the time of year you want to get better and better and it’s fun to see our girls start to get really confident. Our serve/receive was one of those spots where it can make a huge difference down the stretch here. Nice to be in the same hotel without having to change hotels, just get in, have dinner and go to bed.”
- The 10-0 run in the fourth set was the longest run of the night by either team in the match.
- Lipscomb has now won 16 straight against UNF. The last time Lipscomb lost to North Florida was October 19, 2012.
- The senior class moved to 10-0 against North Florida all-time. In total, the seniors have lost just four total sets to UNF in those 10 matches.
Lipscomb will close out its 2019 regular season on the road at Jacksonville University in its final conference match on Saturday at 6 p.m. CT. Lipscomb beat the Dolphins 3-0 earlier this season at Allen Arena and will be playing for seeding in the ASUN Tournament. A win over Jacksonville combined with a Liberty loss to Kennesaw St. would make Lipscomb the No. 3 seed in the tourney.