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Kennesaw State (7-11, 2-6 A-Sun)
Lipscomb (12-6, 6-2 A-Sun)
10/12/2013 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 196
Saturday, October 12, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb Lady Bisons volleyball team ended a string of five matches in seven days on a winning note.
Saturday afternoon at Allen Arena they beat Kennesaw State 3-1 in Atlantic Sun Conference play. The Lady Bisons won set one 25-16, lost set two 25-20 and then came back to take set three 25-22 and set four 25-15.
The Lady Bisons are 12-6 overall, 6-2 in the A-Sun. Kennesaw State drops to 7-11, 2-6 in the conference. The Lady Bisons have won three matches in a row.
“I thought we played great,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “It was an extremely long week. I am proud of our girls. It was good to get this long week out of the way.”
For the second time this week the second set proved to be an obstacle for the Lady Bisons. They lost set two to Northern Kentucky Tuesday night, but came back to win the match 3-1.
“I think it is a mental focus,” Rosenthal said. “That is where the good teams really push through.
“I don’t know for sure, but we get an early lead, and if the other team comes back into it we let down. That is something we have to continue to work on. We have to be able to get through that.”
Both setbacks prompted strong talks from Rosenthal, but they were different in tone.
“Tuesday night was very pointed and very big,” Rosenthal said. “The conversation between sets two and three today was very calm with a message of, `hey, we have to continue to keep the pressure on the other team’.
“They have to recognize that this is a pattern. Unfortunately, it continues to happen. So how do we address it? Some of it is understanding that we can’t do that every time.”
The third set was also a struggle. The Lady Bisons couldn’t extend their lead beyond three points and allowed Kennesaw State to pull back within one point at 21-20.
“In the third set we couldn’t get clear of them,” Rosenthal said. “By that I mean we would have a three-or-four-point lead but we couldn’t get that fifth point. But I was impressed with our girls that they kept it at a three-point cushion.”
Middle blocker Molly Spitznagle played in all three sets. She made 10 kills and a match-high and career-high .769 hitting percentage, despite still dealing with an ankle injury.
“I don’t think Molly would call this her best match ever,” Rosenthal said. “She has to get through some of this – the leg power, jumping and quick transitions.
“We weren’t sure how much we wanted to use her, but we said, `hey, she’s got to go’. She creates so many things because of how quick she is. Even at 85 or 90 percent she is still taking advantage of the other team.”
Outside hitter Lauren Ford posted the match high for the third match in a row with 16 kills and a .438 hitting percentage.
“Lauren played great,” Rosenthal said. “Our outsides really did a nice job all week long. Lauren had a fantastic week. She is putting up fantastic numbers.
“She is really hard on herself. She is so competitive. It is good to see when she continues to make play after play after play. I thought she did a great job of challenging the block and moving the ball around.”
Middle blocker Jewell Dobson added 15 kills, two solo blocks and seven block assists.
“I thought we put a lot of pressure on Kennesaw State, especially in the fourth set,” Rosenthal said. “There is no doubt that is a career high for Jewell in blocks.”
Outside hitter Sophie Kellerman added 11 kills and just missed a double-double with nine digs. She also had two service aces.
“We have made some changes with Sophie,” Rosenthal said. “When she is getting 10-to-12 kills it just helps us tremendously.
“It was interesting with what Kennesaw State was doing with the block. Sometimes early on they were doubling with Jewell. Then Lauren and Sophie got going and they started doubling with the outside. In the end we were in control.”
Setter Caitlin “Dot” Dotson made 52 assists and also added seven digs and one service ace.
Libero Bri McCombs led the Lady Bisons with 17 digs. Setter Kayla Ostrom finished with 14 digs, both a season and career high.
Right side Brittnay Estes made four kills and added two assists. Her performance cannot be fully understood by her numbers. She prevailed even after hitting her head against a table late in the match.
“This was one of those matches where Brittnay really understood what was going on,” Rosenthal said. “She played under control. She didn’t have huge numbers, but I liked what she was doing. She did a great job.”
Kelly Marcinek led Kennesaw State with 15 kills. Cierra Royster chipped in with 13.
Camille Pedraza was credited with 19 digs, a match high. Emily Bean finished with 10.
The Lady Bisons close out the first half of the A-Sun portion of the season this weekend when they travel to Florida. They will play Florida Gulf Coast Friday and close out the road trip with a visit to Stetson.