|November 16, 2019||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
Rubal - 13
Gish - 13
Wierzbicki - 4
Bolding - 4
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Led by a balanced offensive attack, the Lipscomb volleyball team closed out the regular season slate with a 3-1 (25-9, 25-17, 22-25, 25-19) road victory over Jacksonville on Saturday inside Swisher Gymnasium.
The win took the Bisons to 15-12 overall and 11-5 in ASUN Conference play. They will carry the No. 4 seed into next week’s conference tournament, and will face the No. 5 Stetson Hatters at 4 p.m. in the first round.
“It was another well-balanced night for us,” Lipscomb head coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “We jumped out to a quick lead in the first set and I think that helped set the tone early. The balanced attack is one that causes a lot of problems for our opponents, because at some point they have to make decisions.”
Jacksonville failed to earn a trip to the ASUN tournament after finishing the season 10-21 and 5-11.
The offense traveled well for the purple and gold as five different Bisons recorded double-figures in kills. Maddie Phillips, Sami Rubal and Loan Gish led the team with 13 each and all swung over .400, while Megan Kuper added 12 and Lauren Myrick totaled 11.
The .327 team hitting percentage was the second-highest mark of the season, and the sixth time Lipscomb eclipsed .300 in an ASUN game.
The Bisons wasted no time in jumping all over the Dolphins as three quick kills from Rubal helped them to a 7-2 lead. From there they went on a 10-2 run to extend the advantage and put the set out of reach. Lipscomb won the frame 25-9 after hitting a blistering .515 with 19 kills and only two errors.
The second set saw Lipscomb take a four-point lead midway through before JU got within two at 17-15 on a service error. Phillips got a 6-0 run started with a kill and an ace before Gish secured the set victory, 25-17.
Lipscomb led by as many as five points in the early going of set three, but on senior night, the Dolphins would not go away. Jacksonville kept fighting and eventually took its first lead of the frame at 19-18 on a kill from Mallory Mattingly. After the Bisons pulled back even at 21, JU won four of the final five points and took the victory, 25-22.
“Jacksonville did a nice job of battling tonight,” Rosenthal said. “They were playing for their season and it makes things tough, especially in that third set. When we were up two or three points, I didn’t think we did enough to drive that set home. Momentum can swing easily and it did at the end.”
Phillips got things going in the fourth set with back-to-back aces before a pair of kills from Kuper put Lipscomb on top 9-5. Following a back-and-forth battle over the next few points, the Bisons got kills from Myrick and Gish, and took advantage of two straight ball handling error by the Dolphins to help the Bisons to a 25-19 win.
- Lipscomb improved to 23-9 all-time versus the Dolphins.
- The win marked the 8th-straight for the Bisons in regular season finales. Six of those eight have come on the road.
- Alyssa Zwolensky led the team once again with 28 digs, while Alexis Triplett followed with 11.
- Kuper recorded her second-straight double-double and her fourth of the year as she contributed 10 digs to go along with 12 kills.
- Morgan Elmore dished out 46 of the team’s 56 assists. It was her 12th outing of the season of 40 or more. She also barely missed out on a double-double with nine digs.
- Phillips recorded three of the team’s six aces. Kuper added a pair.
- Rubal led the team with four blocks, followed by three from Kuper and Phillips.
Lipscomb will travel to Fort Myers, Florida for next week’s ASUN Championship. The tournament will run Thursday through Saturday with the No. 4 Bisons playing the No. 5 Stetson Hatters at 4 p.m. in the opening round.
“The girls will be excited to get home tomorrow and rest up,” Rosenthal said. “We will get back to practice on Monday and get ready to go down to Florida on Tuesday. All in all, I can’t say enough about this group. I am super proud of them and some of the obstacles they’ve had to overcome.
“More than anything, they have been a lot of fun to be with, day in and day out. I am also very proud of this staff, they continue to work hard for us and I am proud they are a part of this program.”