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9/6/2013 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 311
Friday, September 06, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Lipscomb middle blocker Jewell Dobson made her presence known in almost every way possible.
Before Friday night’s match with Samford began Dobson sang the national anthem.
“She has been talking about doing that for years,” LU coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “I didn’t want to pressure her to do it.
“I told her she didn’t have to do it if she didn’t want to. I don’t have enough guts to do it. She did a great job.”
When the match began she was equally as impressive tying for the match high in kills with 14 with a .600 hitting percentage along with five digs and two service aces.
“Jewell was serving absolute bullets and digging balls like crazy,” Rosenthal said. “She is coming into her own. That is fun to watch. The confidence in her is unbelievable right now.”
The Purple and Gold swept Samford, from the Southern Conference, 3-0 with set scores of 25-21, 25-13 and 25-14 in the Lipscomb Invitational sponsored by the Marriott Courtyard-Brentwood. An estimated crowd of more than 800 was in attendance.
Both teams are 3-2 for the season.
The Lipscomb Invitational ends Saturday with the Lady Bisons playing South Alabama (3-4) at 2:30 at Allen Arena. Samford and Jacksonville State (2-4) open play at noon.
This was a match where the numbers told most of the story.
“We had 11 more kills than Samford and that is awesome,” Rosenthal said. “We had 14 more digs.
“We are working hard on blocking. Ann Armes (assistant coach) has done her thing on that.”
The number that meant the most to Rosenthal, however, was the seven errors committed by the Lady Bisons,
“That stands out the most to me,” Rosenthal said. “In the last set we had 12 kills and zero errors in 18 attempts and we hit .667. We hit .475 for the match against a good team.
“In the first set we hit .371. In the second set we hit .481. In the third set we hit .667. You don’t normally see that. And what gets lost is that it was our second match.”
One area where the numbers don’t reveal all is serving. The Lady Bisons made six service aces with outside hitter Sophie Kellerman tying Dobson with two. Kellerman closed out the first set for the Lady Bisons with an ace. Libero Bri McCombs ended set two with a service ace.
“We put a lot of pressure on them with our serve and not just aces,” Rosenthal said. “We served tough. There were a lot of times when they were out of system. I was proud of our girls for doing that.
“That was a point of emphasis all week that we have to continue to create some pressure. All-in-all it was a pretty well balanced attack.”
Setter Caitlin “Dot” Dotson had a strong overall match with 35 assists, eight digs and four kills.
Outside hitter Lauren Ford also posted 14 kills. Defensive specialist Stephanie Rex was credited with a match high nine digs.
“I thought Dot did a fantastic job of understanding the block and what was happening,” Rosenthal said. “She played a great all-around game. They were committing to Jewel and that gave Lauren and Sophie one blocker. If that was what they were going to give us we were going to take it.
“We didn’t force things. It is not easy all of the time to execute the scouting report, but to execute it like we did against Samford was special.”
Michaela Reesor led Samford with 10 kills. She is the first player this season to reach double figures in kills against the Lady Bisons.
“For us a lot of it is focusing on our stuff,” Rosenthal said. “Reesor is a tremendous player. To limit her to 10 kills is a pretty good night.”
South Alabama dropped two matches Friday, losing to Samford 3-0 and Jacksonville State 3-1. A win for the Lady Bisons would give them a sweep of their own tournament.
“It has been a long time since we have won a tournament outright,” Rosenthal said. “Some of that is we play in hard tournaments and some it is that sometimes we don’t take care of opportunities.
“This is an opportunity for our girls. There is no doubt they want it. They are hungry. I think that is special. My hope is that we will come in and continue our consistent play and that we will want it and go about it in the right way versus just showing up and expecting it to happen.”