For the third consecutive year, Lipscomb volleyball’s season ended in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
The Lady Bisons travelled to Manhattan, Kansas to take on fourteenth-ranked Kansas State, where they fell in three sets Friday night.
Lipscomb jumped to an early, 8-3 lead in the first set, but the Wildcats were able to rally and even things up to take the set 28-26.
The Wildcats would carry that momentum into the second set, where they lead 24-8 before Lipscomb reeled off seven points in a row. Kansas State was able to get the set point, however, taking a two set lead.
The Lady Bisons continued battling in the third, but came up short as the Wildcats won the set 26-24 and the match in three sets.
Despite being eliminated in the first round of the NCAA tournament for the seventh time, head coach Brandon Rosenthal was proud of the way the team battled.
“This is where we are as a team,” Rosenthal said, “we are playing good teams and good teams are going to make plays. I am not disappointed at all. I loved our fight. I think we took a step forward in coming out and being in a position to win sets. We worked really hard to do that.”
While Kansas State was able to sweep the sets, sets one and three were a testament to how close the match actually was.
“To be in a match where we have chances to win it is what we always talk about… the opportunities,” Rosenthal said. “I thought we did a great job in one and three. I thought we were really steady.”
Sophomore Lauren Anderson led Lipscomb with twelve kills. Anderson and senior Katie Bradley led the team with their .500 hitting percentage marks but the team’s overall .223 hitting percentage compared to Kansas State’s .374 mark ultimately told the story of the match.
“It was a tough match in that sense because K-State didn’t make many errors. We knew they weren’t going to make a ton of errors.”
Lipscomb finishes their season with a 22-8 record, including winning twelve consecutive matches before Friday’s loss.
“My last message to the team was we are not walking out of here hanging our heads,” Rosenthal said. “It sounds so silly but there is a lot of love in this program. These girls are special, and they had an awesome season.”
Photo courtesy of Lipscomb Athletics