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9/14/2013 | Blacksburg, Va. | Attendance: 157
Saturday, September 14, 2013
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Maybe Lipscomb middle blocker Jewell Dobson should play sick in every match.
Dobson awakened Saturday morning feeling a little under the weather. Coach Brandon Rosenthal wasn’t certain she would be able to play in the match. But not only did Dobson play, she set the pace offensively for the Lady Bisons with 22 kills in a 3-1 win over Duquesne in the second day of the Hokie Classic at the Cassell Coliseum at Virginia Tech. The 22 kills tied Dobson’s career high set Oct. 20, 2012 at Jacksonville.
“Jewell had a tremendous match,” Rosenthal said. “She said `let’s go’ and put the team on her back right through the last play of the match. Jewell said she should be sick all of the time if that was her high in kills.”
The Lady Bisons, 5-3, close out the tournament his afternoon when they face William & Mary at 4.
The Lady Bisons won the first two sets by identical 25-21 scores. In set three they allowed Duquesne to make a late surge and take a 25-23 win. The Lady Bisons controlled set four. But with a 20-12 lead the Lady Bisons allowed Duquesne to challenge late before closing out the match with a 25-23 win on a kill by Dobson.
“We have to continue to find ways to win and we did that against Duquesne,” Rosenthal said. “I wouldn’t say it was the cleanest match, but we found a way to win. It was a good win. We did some nice things.”
However, Rosenthal is concerned about his players maintaining their aggressiveness late in sets.
“We didn’t necessarily play as aggressive as I thought we should have,” Rosenthal said. “That was frustrating. We have to keep our aggressive nature, especially late in a set.
“It all gets back to finishing. We are not finishing as well as we can. We don’t want matches to go any longer than they have to go.”
Outside hitter Lauren Ford added 16 kills. Middle blocker Molly Spitznagle and outside hitter Sophie Kellerman each had 11. It was a career high for Kellerman in kills.
Libero Bri McCombs posted a match-high 21 digs. Defensive specialist Stephanie Rex added 11. Kellerman fell one short of double figures with nine.
Rosenthal singled out the play of McCombs, Rex and freshman setter Kayla Ostrom who was credited with a season and career high eight digs.
“We got great play from Bri and Rex,” Rosenthal said. “We got a lot of contributions from Kayla playing on the back row.”
Arielle Love paced Duquesne with 17 kills and a match-high .484 hitting percentage. Madelynn Burnham chipped in with 12. It was the first time this season the Lady Bisons have allowed an opponent to place more than one player in double figures in kills.
Patti Ashire made 20 digs followed by Nora Young with 12 and Sammy Kline with 10.
Each match is a learning experience and Rosenthal thinks the Duquesne match taught some lessons.
“Ultimately, finding a way to win builds character,” Rosenthal said. ‘I give a lot of credit to our girls.
“I like what our defense is doing. We have to be able to put balls away. We not only have to put balls away but put balls away to finish matches.”