Women’s volleyball faces tough battle against number one ranked Lipscomb

Jordan Ferrell

Van Alstine (12) and Carina Hoff (1) play in the close match against Lipscomb on Nov. 7. Photo by Robert Curtis
Van Alstine (12) and Carina Hoff (1) play in the close match against Lipscomb on Nov. 7.
Photo by Robert Curtis

In what proved to be one of the closest, nail-biting matches of the season on Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. in the UNF Arena, the Lipscomb Bisons defeated the Lady Ospreys 3-2 in a tie-breaking fifth set. Lipscomb improved to a staggering 17-7 overall for the season and 10-1 in conference play, preserving their rank as number one in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

With both teams knotted up at 1-1 going into the third set, the Lady Ospreys managed to step up and define the evening with a powerful display of prowess that lent them the temporary advantage over Lipscomb for the match. On a 7-2 run, the team closed out the third set 25-11. According to Head Coach Steve Loeswick, the Ospreys jumped on the Bisons early and were able to stunt any advancement.

“Unfortunately, you’ve got to win three out of the five sets,” Loeswick said. “It was great that we played well that set, but we’ve got to put together that type of play throughout the entire match.”

Answering back, the Lipscomb Bisons came out fresh in the fourth set and managed to go on several runs that gave them an advantage over the Ospreys they would not relinquish. The Bisons regained the match with a 25-14 win.

The fifth and final set – the tiebreaker – was a close and hard fought battle between the two teams. Both the Ospreys and the Bisons remained within two points of each other the entire set. The Bisons eventually overturned the Osprey advantage late in the fifth and rode out the remaining points while keeping their opposition at bay.

“I thought we played really well in set five,” Lipscomb Head Coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “I would love to break free in a set five and cruise to a win, but that is not going to happen when we play North Florida.”

Statistically, the Ospreys and the Bisons were neck and neck in kills, errors and hitting percentage. Courtney Miller, UNF freshman, led the Ospreys in kills with a total of 13, while Lauren Ford, Lipscomb senior, recorded a whopping 23 for the evening.

Cari Whitmire, senior defensive cornerstone for the Ospreys, chalked up 23 digs for the night. Whitmire currently leads the Atlantic Sun in digs with a staggering 540 overall for the season. She leads her closest competition for the most digs in the Atlantic Sun by more than 100.

The Ospreys’ next match is Nov. 14 against Florida Gulf Coast University at 7 p.m. in the UNF Arena.

Photos by Robert Curtis

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Email Jordan Ferrell at [email protected]