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Volleyball falls to No. 15 MTSU 3-0

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Lipscomb Lady Bisons faced their first nationally-ranked team of the season in a 3-0 loss in the first game of the Blue Raider Bash at host Middle Tennessee State University.

The Lady Bisons started out strong and finished stronger, but could not break into the win column against Middle Tennessee State, ranked 15th nationally in the AVCA poll. The Lady Bisons lost 25-19 in set one, 25-16 in set two and 25-21 in set three Friday afternoon at Alumni Memorial Gym in Murfreesboro.

"We have to finish our sets," said Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal. "I thought we played well in the first and third sets. We were ahead 20-18 in set three.

"I'm disappointed we could finish off the third set. It is a lesson we have to learn."

Rosenthal did not sense that his players were apprehensive about facing a nationally-ranked team. Middle Tennessee us 4-0 this season.

"We played with intensity and passion," Rosenthal said. 'We played well against a ranked opponent. We played well enough to challenge them.

"But I told our players we aren't here for moral victories. We are here to play and win."

Sophomore middle blocker Alex Kelly led the Lady Bisons in kills with nine. It was the fifth straight match that she has led the team in kills, but her string of double figures finishes and match highs in kills both ended.

Kelly also led the team with a .389 hitting percentage.

"We need more production from our outside players," Rosenthal said. "Katie Rose is a freshman and she is being asked to do a lot. Katie Bradley is still trying to find her niche."

Sophomore setter Stefine "Jake" Pease was the only Lady Bisons player to finish in double figures in digs with 10. It was the first time in five matches that she has failed to reach double figures in digs.

Ashley Asberry made a match-high 15 kills and Ashley Mead added 11. Ashley Waugh made a match-high 12 digs.

The Lady Bisons, 1-4, were scheduled to play Loyola Marymount at 5 Friday and Florida International Saturday at noon as the Blue Raiders Bash continues.