Maybe it was the change in location. Maybe it was because they only had one match this week.
Whatever the reason, the Lipscomb Lady Bisons came out on the court less than prepared in the first set against Campbell in an Atlantic Sun Conference match Saturday afternoon. The match was played at the Curb Center at Belmont because Allen Arena is being used this weekend by the Nashville Symphony.
“As the first set was going on I probably thought a little bit too much about why we were here and why we were doing this,” Lady Bisons coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “We are a talented team. There is no doubt about it.
“We just didn’t come prepared to play in the first set. After that I thought our girls really settled down and did a nice job of taking over the match.”
After losing the first set 25-23 the Lady Bisons rebounded to win 25-11, 25-14 and 25-11.
“It’s hard to complain about holding a team to 11, 14 and 11 points,” Rosenthal said. “They knew I wasn’t very happy in the first set. The whole arena probably knew I wasn’t very happy.
“We are at the top. Everyone brings their `A’ game against us. As bad as we played in the first set I thought we were still in control, but that we had to go to work. We were working, but we didn’t execute our game plan.”
It was the 30th consecutive match win for the Lady Bisons in regular season conference games, tied with Hawaii for the second longest active streak in NCAA Division I. Central Arkansas leads with 31. It is also the 23rd straight home win for the Lady Bisons, the fourth longest streak nationally.
The Lady Bisons, who have won their last seven matches, are 16-5, 5-0 in the A-Sun. Campbell slips to 8-13, 2-3 in the conference.
It was only the second time the Lady Bisons have lost a set in an A-Sun match this season. The last time was against USC Upstate Oct. 9.
“You hate to have them, but this was more of a wake-up call than Upstate,” Rosenthal said. “We have to come out ready to play. “As hard as it was I needed to calm down after the first set. I pulled a couple of players aside because things we had worked on all week just weren’t getting done. The keys in two, three and four were our early leads in each set."
Middle blocker Alex Kelly led with a match-high 16 kills. She added eight digs, three service aces, four assists and two blocks. Outside hitter Kaycee Green added 15 kills. Opposite Charlyn Ursell, the conference leader in hitting percentage, posted a match high .526 percentage while making 12 kills and three assists.
“In each match Char keeps getting better and better,” Rosenthal said. “In a match like this when Campbell was doing a nice job on our outsides, and we didn’t get off to the best start in the middle, Char came up huge for us.
“Her comfort level on the court is so high. It is great to see her starting to play like she is capable of playing.”
Outside hitter Meghan Hinemeyer made six of the Lady Bisons 13 service aces. Both are team season highs. Hinemeyer also tied for the conference high overall for a game.
Green often finds a way to step up when things aren’t going well overall. She had a strong match with a .312 hitting percentage. “When you think back on the match you don’t think about Kaycee standing out, but time and time again she came up with some key kills whether they were huge kills or tips,” Rosenthal said.
Libero Stepanie Rex also put in another solid game with 12 digs. Middle blocker Katie Rose added 14, a team-high, and Hinemeyer and defensive specialist Caitlin “Dot” Dotson each added 10.
Setter Stefine "Jake" Pease had 41 assists and finished with a .500 hitting percentage with five kills, nine digs and one service ace.
“The match reminds me of the quote that says `it amazing how far we can go and or how much we can do when nobody cares who gets the credit’,” Rosenthal said. “I thought our service game really dictated some really tough problems for Campbell. From there we were able to take advantages of some opportunities attacking-wise.”
No Campbell player reached double figures in kills. Lauren Garza finished with a match-high 19 digs.
The Lady Bisons play a non-conference match Oct. 20 on the road at Louisville and then have a weekend off before hosting North Florida Oct. 29 and Jacksonville Oct. 30 at Allen Arena.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.