- Western Kentucky def. Lipscomb 3-0 (25-22, 25-14, 25-23)
- Western Kentucky improves to 10-2; Lipscomb drops to 4-5
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Box Score
Nashville, Tennessee – Western Kentucky earned a solid road victory against Lipscomb in a match that featured 11 more team blocks (14-3) en route to a three-set sweep.
No one was more prevalent of that than senior right side Sydney Engle and senior middle blocker Amara Listenbee, who each notched eight block assists in the match. Rachel Anderson and Taylor Dellinger added four and three blocks respectively as well for the Hilltoppers.
The strong front line defense assisted in holding Lipscomb to a .106 hitting percentage as it also helped the Hilltoppers win the dig battle, 39-34. Western Kentucky was strong all around too, as just one Lipscomb player, Carli Anderson (11 kills), hit at a .200 clip.
Lipscomb did show a strong serve, putting down seven aces to Western Kentucky’s one, led by Anderson (two aces). What Lipscomb did in the serve department, Western Kentucky more than made up for with an efficient offense that hit at a .295 mark. Alyssa Cavanaugh led the way on offense with a match-best 14 kills. She did it on a .417 hitting percentage too as the top five in kills on the match for Western Kentucky all hit at .300 or better.
After reaching the 10-win plateau, Western Kentucky will search for a couple resume building wins this weekend as they wrap up non-conference play. That starts up with (RV) Ohio State on Friday in Columbus and includes Dayton and Northern Illinois, two 2016 NCAA Tournament teams, to round things out.
Lipscomb’s schedule is a bit more in flux with a scheduled upcoming tournament in Gainesville. If Hurricane Irma prevents it, Lipscomb will begin Atlantic Sun play in a week when they look to repeat as conference champions.
Courtesy of Western Kentucky:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For the ninth time in program history, WKU Volleyball swept Lipscomb as the sides met in a non-conference matchup Tuesday night on the Lipscomb campus. The Lady Toppers improved to 10-1 all-time against the Bisons as the Red and White block party carried over from the weekend. WKU outblocked the hosts 14-3 in the match while limiting Lipscomb to a .106 hitting clip to improve to 10-2 on the 2017 campaign.
“Great teams win in a lot of ways,” Travis Hudson opened after WKU’s sweep of Lipscomb Tuesday night. “We haven’t been as good offensively in our last few matches, but we’ve really risen to the occasion with our blocking. While tonight’s third set did not go well, in my opinion, we were fortunate to get out of there in three sets tonight because we certainly didn’t finish strong.”
Tuesday night action opened with Lipscomb tallying the match’s first point before the Lady Toppers notched five of the next six points before stretching the lead to six points at 10-4 to force a Lipscomb timeout. The Bisons managed a sideout out of the break before WKU rattled off the next four points which resulted in Lipscomb’s second stoppage trailing 14-5. Battling back behind a five-point run of their own, Lipscomb pulled as close as two points on multiple occasions. WKU pushed through and ultimately claimed the set 25-22.
After falling behind 4-1 to begin set two, WKU Volleyball found its groove and tallied the next three points to even things up. Lipscomb and WKU then traded points to 7-7 before the Lady Toppers took a lead they would not relinquish. The key run for the Red and White was a nine-point streak from 12-10 to 20-10 that put the set away. At one point, WKU registered three straight blocks and ended with seven in the frame. Additionally, Alyssa Cavanaugh recorded seven kills on 10 swings to help WKU to a .458 hitting percentage in the frame.
Following the long break, WKU notched five of the first seven points before Lipscomb called a timeout down 11-7. The Bisons battled back again down the stretch using a 7-3 run to knot the match at 22-22. WKU took the lead for good off a Rachel Anderson kill which was immediately followed with a block assist by Anderson and Taylor Dellinger. With the Lady Toppers leading 24-22, the Bisons were able to fight off a set point before Anderson sent her seventh kill of the night off the Lipscomb block to secure the victory.
Cavanaugh led the way for WKU for the fourth straight match as the senior tallied 14 kills while working at a .417 clip. Additionally, Cavanaugh added two blocks, a dig and an assist as well. Anderson chipped in seven kills to go along with four blocks and a pair of digs.
At the net, Sydney Engle and Amara Listenbee each registered eight blocks, tying Engle’s career high set two matches ago against Pittsburgh. Engle added five kills to go along with five digs and four assists.
WKU saw five hitters record a hitting percentage of .300 or better as the team worked at a collective .295 rate.
Jessica Lucas was one of those .300 hitters as the senior recorded four kills of her own while helping on 26 for her teammates. Lucas finished with nine digs and a block as well.
Emma Kowalkowski also notched nine digs while Hallie Shelton and Darby Music each contributed six.
“It’s great,” Hudson said of picking up two big wins during the week. “We’re in the toughest stretch of our schedule and to get two really important wins to start this stretch takes a little pressure off the rest of this week but gives us a little momentum at the same time. We’re looking forward to getting to Columbus to keep playing.”
Up next for the rolling Lady Topper squad is the Buckeye Invitational this weekend at Ohio State. WKU will open play on Friday with No. 25 Ohio State before taking on Dayton later in the day. Play will close on Saturday with the Red and White taking on Northern Illinois.
Courtesy of Lipscomb:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After spending the last two weeks on the road, the Lipscomb volleyball team was glad to be back home Tuesday night against Western Kentucky. Unfortunately for the Bisons, the Hilltoppers ventured into Allen Arena and escaped with a straight-set sweep 25-22, 25-14, 25-23.
The loss dropped Lipscomb to 4-5 while WKU won its sixth straight and improved to 10-2.
“Western Kentucky did a great job tonight and Travis (Hudson) is one heck of a coach, so we have to start off by giving them credit on executing their game plan,” Lipscomb head man Brandon Rosenthal said. “I thought we initially got off to a slow start and wasn’t as crisp as I would have liked.
“I did like our fight though. To lose sets one and three like we did was tough. We just have to execute better. It’s exciting because we are still in the matches against these great teams even when we aren’t playing our best, but we have to find a way to make them earn more of their points rather than give it to them.”
Losing their fourth match in a row the Bisons still did not have their best stuff. WKU limited Lipscomb to a .106 hitting clip and blocked 14 balls. The Toppers swung .295.
Lipscomb took the match’s first point, but from there WKU went on a 14-4 run to force Rosenthal to call his second timeout of the set. Whatever was said in the huddle must have clicked as the home team battled back to within two points four different times before the Toppers got the set-clinching kill from All-American Alyssa Cavanaugh.
The second set saw Lipscomb take an early lead once again at 4-1. However, Western Kentucky quickly closed the gap and then trotted out to a 20-10 lead to put the Bisons away. The visitors hit .458 in the set and recorded seven blocks.
Out of the intermission WKU raced out to a 16-11 advantage, its largest lead of the set. The Bisons clawed their way back into the set behind four kills each from Carli Anderson and Lauren Anderson to level the score at 22-22. After Lipscomb staved off a set point, WKU’s Rachel Anderson notched her seventh kill of the night to seal the victory.
“On a side note, I can’t say enough about the fans tonight, it was a tremendous atmosphere,” Rosenthal said. “They really came out and showed what Lipscomb volleyball can really be, as far as an environment goes. I want to thank each and every one of them and I can’t wait for us to get back in here with conference play.”
- Lipscomb falls to 1-10 in the all-time series with WKU and have not won since 2009.
- Carli Anderson led Lipscomb in kills for the first time this season with 11.
- Carlyle Nusbaum recorded her third consecutive double-double and her fifth of the season with 10 kills and 11 digs.
- Marcella Emmanuelli led the way with 16 assists, followed by Morgan Elmore with 15.
- WKU out blocked Lipscomb 14 to three and outhit the Bisons .295 to .106.
- The Hilltoppers recieved 19 votes in the latest AVCA Top-25 Poll, after falling out of the top 25 earlier this month.
The Bisons hit the road for the third time this season when they travel to Gainesville, Florida for the Gator Invitational. Lipscomb opens action Friday against Northern Kentucky and Florida A&M before
“The easy thing is to focus on the negative after losing four in a row,” Rosenthal said. “We have to understand everyone is working hard and this is just part of the experience. No doubt not one of us want to go through this, but it is what it is. We have to do everything we can to keep the negativity out and we have to get better, tomorrow.
“I want us to understand that through the challenging times, we are going to find out who we are. I have no doubt that the staff and this group of players will come back hungry tomorrow with a lot of focus and energy. We need to focus on the positives and go forward. I love this team and what we have built here. What makes it so hard is we’ve seen them play at a very high level.