Saturday, August 27, 2011
HOUSTON, Texas – Despite a valiant comeback effort, the Lipscomb Lady Bisons volleyball team dropped the final contest of the “Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup” 3-2 to Central Arkansas via 24-26, 22-25, 25-18, 25-18, 13-15 scores on Saturday afternoon at the Athletics/Alumni Center in Houston, Texas.
“That’s about as tough as they come,” said Lipscomb head coach Brandon Rosenthal. “Losing the first two sets was tough and the girls did a nice job of recovering after a couple of small adjustments and we settled in. We really limited our errors in those two sets.”
Sophomore Kaycee Green was stellar for the Lady Bisons with a career-high 30 kills for the Cookeville, Tenn., native. Green’s effort Is the fourth highest single-game kill total for the Lady Bisons since 2006. Senior Katie Rose finished second on the day with a dozen kills while sophomore Stephanie Rex notched a career-high 21 digs.
“That’s the potential of Kaycee Green,” said Rosenthal. "We’ve known it for a long time and we’ve been asking her to step up and we’re glad to see that. Stephanie Rex played tremendous. Not just defensively but in her serve and receive as well. Her serve was outstanding and she’s worked really hard and deserves all the credit.”
Game one was a back-and-forth affair with the lead changing hands five times. Lipscomb held the lead late with a 24-23 advantage but the Sugar Bears’ top server Jessica Hays provided a comeback for UCA with a pair of aces in the final three points.
The second set saw the Sugar Bears lead from the start jumping out to a six-point advantage late in the game before Lipscomb rallied behind four Green kills to make it a two-point contest at 24-22. UCA managed to finish off the set though and take a 2-0 lead in the match.
A 5-2 run by the Lady Bisons in the third set gave Lipscomb the largest cushion of the contest after the game was tied 6-6. Back-to-back kills by Green pushed the margin to a 5-point lead at 21-16 and a 4-2 run finished off the set as Lipscomb picked up the first game of the weekend.
Game four saw the two clubs knotted at 14 before Lipscomb ripped off a 7-1 run to take a 21-15 lead. The Lady Bisons then drew the contest even at two games apiece behind a trio of kills from Green and an attack error by Central Arkansas.
The fifth set saw Lipscomb take an early lead with a 4-2 advantage after Green rattled off 4-straight points and held an 11-9 lead. The teams then traded late leads twice and Lipscomb fought back to tie the game at 13-13 before the Sugar Bears clinched the win with the final two points.
“Going into the fifth set I felt good,” said Rosenthal. We just made a couple of errors and still had the lead. But it got down to the end and made a couple of costly mistakes with their best server. When you look at scores (from the weekend) and we lose nine sets and eight of them by three or less points, that makes it a little tough. We need to make sure that those 2 or 3 points go our way.”
Led by Green’s .410 hitting percentage, the Lady Bisons out hit Central Arkansas .255 to .226 but UCA was perfect in the final set in 10 attempts.
“Playing experience is huge and when you look at the players that are starting and playing significant roles many are playing a new position or a different position,” Rosenthal said. “I believe in this team and this coaching staff. This program isn’t used to losing much of late but we’re moving in the right direction. Don’t be surprised when we put it all together.
The Lady Bisons open play at home next weekend hosting the Lispcomb Invitational at Allen Arena. The first tilt for Lipscomb is a 12:30 p.m. match against Tennessee Tech followed by a 7:30 p.m. nightcap against Charlotte. Tickets are $5 for single-day pass or $8 for the two-day tournament.