Bellarmine’s volleyball program has talent. But it doesn’t hide the fact that it just joined Division I, and a Lipscomb squad that’s only lost two games all year wasn’t about to get upset on its home court Saturday night.
Lipscomb (15-2, No. 1 ASUN North) played host to a Bellarmine team (4-13, No. 4 ASUN North) that posed some challenges. But the Bisons ultimately enjoyed set victories of 25-19, 25-18 and 25-16 and will play North Florida on Friday.
Lipscomb dialed in a .361 hitting percentage, while the Knights only rang in a .176 mark.
Bison seniors Megan Kuper and Sami Rubal combined for 26 kills on the night, with Rubal’s .667 hitting percentage leading both teams. Freshman Delaney Dilfer’s 40 assists paced Lipscomb.
Bellarmine has a talented sophomore blocker in Hannah Brown, as her 14 kills and .423 hitting percentage caused the Bisons some headaches. Junior Sam Rickert assisted 30 times as well.
Bellarmine led 3-1 and later tied at 10-10 in the first frame, setting up for what seemed to be a good game. But that’s what outmatched teams often do — the Bisons slowly widened the gap to 22-17 before the Knights had to call a timeout. Lipscomb won the first set 25-19.
The Knights kept the second set close and were down 14-16 off a service error from Megan Kuper, but a 4-0 Lipscomb run put the frame out of reach and ultimately led to the 25-18 win.
Lipscomb led the final set 24-13, and Bellarmine made a last-gasp effort with a 3-0 run before Lanie Wagner sent the ball to the right side of the court to seal the deal.
The Bisons travel to Kennesaw, which will host the rest of the tournament, to take on the No. 2 seeded Ospreys out of the South division on Friday at 3 p.m. CT. The winner of that game will play the winner of Kennesaw State-FGCU for the tourney title.
Photo courtesy of Lipscomb Athletics
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