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Northern Kentucky (6-12, 1-5 A-Sun)
Lipscomb (10-6, 4-2 A-Sun)
10/8/2013 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 211
Tuesday, October 08, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Lipscomb volleyball coach Brandon Rosenthal decided it was necessary to get right to the point.
After watching his Lady Bisons play a less than impressive second set against Northern Kentucky Tuesday night in an Atlantic Sun match at Allen Arena it was time for Rosenthal to change their tone.
“I thought we did great in the first set,” Rosenthal said. “The second set was awful. Before we went out in the second set I told our players Northern Kentucky was going to come after us.
“I was pretty upset with the lack of passion and our demeanor on the court. We had a little pep talk. It was pointed, direct and deliberate. We needed it.”
The Lady Bisons rallied to win the match 3-1. After winning 25-13 in set one, they dropped set two 25-16. After Rosenthal’s talk the Lady Bisons got back on the winning track taking set three 25-17 and set four 25-23. With the win the Lady Bisons swept the season series with Northern Kentucky.
“It was a hard fought battle,” Rosenthal said. “It was exactly what I expected it to be. Mid-week matches are tough.
“Thank goodness Northern Kentucky is out of the way. We had talked about finding a way to win against ETSU and we didn’t. I give our girls credit. They found a way to win against Northern Kentucky. Sometimes that isn’t easy to do.”
The Lady Bisons are 10-6 overall, 4-2 in the A-Sun. Northern Kentucky slipped to 6-12, 1-5 in the conference.
The outcome was successful, but Rosenthal had some issues with how hard his players worked at times. That was one of the themes of his pep talk as well as his postgame address.
“It has a lot to do with how hard we are going to work,” Rosenthal said. “Sometimes when they are not playing well they have a tendency to play with less intensity and less drive.
“It is not a `woe is me’ attitude, but it is frustration. They allow that frustration to affect their future play. They cannot be afraid. They can’t play too tight.”
In the third set with the score tied 12-12, and the Lady Bisons preparing to serve, Rosenthal called a timeout.
“I told them they were holding on too tight…they had to let go,” Rosenthal said. “I felt like they were trying to play a perfect game.
“I didn’t want them to play perfect. I wanted them to play hard. I think when you play hard good things happen.”
Outside hitter Lauren Ford made a match high 18 kills, including one with prejudice that ended the fourth set and the match. Ford also posted a .366 hitting percentage.
Middle blocker Jewell Dobson added 16 kills with a .333 hitting percentage. Dobson, the A-Sun Player of the Week, drew much of the attention of Northern Kentucky.
“They did a nice job of slowing Jewell down,” Rosenthal said. “They didn’t necessarily stop her, but they slowed her down enough to where it frustrated her.
“It kind of got us out of rhythm. I think when that happened everyone kind of went, `whoa, hold on.”
In the fourth set the Lady Bisons trailed 19-16, but came back to seal the match.
“What I thought we did down the stretch extremely well was play disciplined volleyball,” Rosenthal said. “We passed well. We were in the right spots on defense.”
Also in double figures was outside hitter Sophie Kellerman with a career high 12 kills. She added eight digs.
Libero Bri McCombs was credited with 21 digs, a match high that also tied her season high previously set against Duquesne.
Setter Caitlin Dotson made a season high 18 digs. She also had 50 assists.
“Dot did a real nice job early on defensively,” Rosenthal said. “When she plays defense we are really tough.”
Jayden Julian led Northern Kentucky with 11 kills. She also had a double-double with 12 digs. Mel Stewart and Kaela Jo Freppon each had 12 digs as well. Taylor Snyder added 10 digs.
Rosenthal had hinted that middle blocker Molly Spitznagle might return to the lineup after being sidelined for the previous five matches with an ankle injury. She was dressed for the match but did not play.
The Lady Bisons will take Wednesday off before starting preparations for this weekend’s matches at Allen Arena.Friday night they will face Mercer at 6:30. Saturday they will play Kennesaw State at 2 p.m.