LakePoint, Ga. - After winning the 2016 ASUN Volleyball Championship, Lipscomb will represent the league in this year's NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship. The Bisons (22-7) face Big 12 opponent Kansas State (20-9), who hosts Lipscomb in Manhattan, Kansas this Friday at 7:30 PM CT.
Lipscomb grabbed a share of its third-straight ASUN Regular Season title and is appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time in program history. Kansas State finished in fourth place in the Big 12 this year and clinches a spot in the championship for the 16th time. ASUN Coach of the Year Brandon Rosenthal will be looking for his 265th victory at the Lipscomb helm, while KSU Coach Suzie Fritz looks for her ninth tournament win since taking over with the Wildcats.
2016 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship First Round
Lipscomb at No. 14 Kansas State | Friday, Dec. 1st - 8:30 p.m. ET | ESPN3
All-Time Series: Kansas State 1-0
Last Match: Kansas State 3, Lipscomb 0 (Sept. 1, 2006; Manhattan, Kan.)
Lipscomb Key Wins: 3-1 vs. Miami (Fla.); 3-0 vs. Ole Miss; 3-1 vs. Northwestern
Kansas State Key Wins: 3-1 vs. Arizona; 3-1 at Hawaii; 3-1 vs Iowa State
Lipscomb (22-7; 12-2)
Lipscomb All-Time Record in NCAA Volleyball Championship: 0-6
ASUN All-Time Record in NCAA Volleyball Championship: 4-23
Last Time Lipscomb Appeared in NCAA Volleyball Championship: 2015; First Round
Best Result by ASUN Team in NCAA Volleyball Championship: Second Round; 2003 & 1997 (UCF)
- Lipscomb is making its seventh appearance in the NCAA Volleyball Championship and its third consecutive. The Bisons earned automatic bids in 2015 and 2016 with ASUN Conference Championship wins and entered the 2014 tournament on an at-large bid.
- The co-recipients of the ASUN Regular Season title currently hold the 11th longest win streak in D-I Volleyball at 12 straight. The Bisons' current run is the third most consecutive victories Lipscomb has obtained over the past decade.
- Sophomore hitter Carlyle Nusbaum is just the second player in ASUN Volleyball history to win five Player of the Week Awards in a single season, and on November 15th, became the first Bisons player to earn AVCA National Player of the Week Honors. The ASUN leader in kills per set has recorded an average of 4.56 over the year, ranking second all time for an ASUN sophomore and second among all current sophomores in Division I Volleyball.
- As the ASUN Conference Player of the Year, Nusbaum, is on a streak of four straight double-double performances. The Kansas native has dug up 46 balls in those four outings while scoring 65 kills and hitting a .347 clip.
- Lipscomb is 4-3 against teams from "power five" conferences this season and is 0-1 against Big 12 opponents on the year (3-1; at No. 4 Texas). The Bisons' last victory against a Big 12 squad came in a road matchup with No. 22 Kansas in 2014.
- Two-time ASUN Scholar-Athlete of the Year Kayla Ostrom is 13th in conference history with 3,223 assists. The senior ranks second in her program all time and second among active ASUN players.
- The Bisons are leading the conference for the seventh straight year, tallying 14.88 kills per set. The average is second best in D-I Volleyball and the second highest rate any ASUN team has scored in the modern scoring era.
- Lipscomb is ninth in the country with 1.75 service aces per set, and is led by senior transfer Taylor Racich with 49 on the year. In her lone year of eligibility, Racich's average of .46 aces per set is the highest career mark in Lipscomb history and ranks eighth for the ASUN Conference all time.
- Lipscomb has had mixed results against heavy blocking teams this year as it faces a Kansas State squad that averages more than any ASUN contingent, at 2.37 per set. The Bisons have been rejected at an average of 2.65 per frame over the 2016 campaign and have dropped decisions to two of the best blocking teams in the country, in Kentucky (2.79) and Texas (2.58).
- Despite their ability to meet opponents at the net, the Wildcats rank 229th in D-I Volleyball with a .217 hitting percentage against, and dig an average of 15.12 balls per set (134th). Lipscomb will be in position for a big scoring night, averaging a 25th-best .263 over the course of the season.
- The Bisons will be hoping that their impressive November performance will bleed over into the December postseason. Lipscomb went 6-0 for the month, dropping just two sets and averaging 16.25 kills and 15.10 digs per period.
- Lipscomb boasts four All-Conference players on its roster and looks to become the first ASUN team to advance to the second round of the NCAA D-I Volleyball Championship since UCF in 2003.
As the No. 1 seed in the ASUN Volleyball Championship the Bisons won their second straight conference title with victories against USC Upstate and FGCU. Take a look at Lipscomb's postseason journey thus far:
No. 1 Lipscomb 3, No. 5 USC Upstate 0 ASUN Championship Semifinal:
No. 1 Lipscomb 3, No. 3 FGCU 1 ASUN Championship Final: