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Friday, November 07, 2008The on the court connection between setter Jake Pease and middle blocker Alex Kelly began long before the two ever played for the Lipscomb Lady Bisons.
That connection has paid dividends for the sophomores in college. Saturday night in a 3-1 Atlantic Sun road win over USC Upstate in Spartanburg, S.C., Pease made 53 assists and Kelly led with a individual and team season high and a match high with 28 kills. She moves into second place overall in the conference for the individual match high in kills.
Her .500 hitting percentage was her fifth at that level or above this season.
“They have such a great connection on the court,” said Lady Bisons coach Brandon Rosenthal. “After the first set Jake did a great job of redistributing the ball to the players with the hot hands and Alex was at the top. They are both so competitive. They just decided to get it done.”
The Lady Bisons lost the first set 25-21 and then won set two 25-17, set three 25-21 and set four 25-17.
“We had a little bit of a let down in the first set,” said Rosenthal. “We played all right in the first set. We came out after the first set and played a great match. That is a credit to our players.”
Pease also made 13 digs, blocked two shots and added one service ace. Opposite Erin Pierce tied for the match-high with 15 digs. Libero Jessica Turner made `12 digs, extending her streak to 20 straight matches with double figures in digs. Rosenthal also had praise for defensive specialist Elly Kaiser and her work on the back row as the Lady Bisons held a 70-51 advantage in digs in the match.
“Jake, Erin, Jess and Elly all were great on defense,” said Rosenthal. “Whenever Jake is in double figures in digs and Erin is in double figures we usually do well.
“It all starts with defense. Sometimes that’s a hard concept to get across.”
Sandra Campbell led USC Upstate with 14 kills. Holly Mauldin tied for the match-high in digs with 15. Megan Healey added 12 digs.
The Lady Bisons stop in Johnson City Saturday afternoon at 1 to face ETSU.
“ETSU is always a tough match, especially when you play them on their home court,” said Rosenthal.
The Lady Bisons are 17-10 overall, 14-3 in the A-Sun. USC Upstate slipped to 7-19 overall, 3-14 in the conference.