Nashville, Tenn. - After taking hold of the 2016 ASUN Volleyball Conference Championship earlier this year, Lipscomb was the lone representative of its conference in this season's NCAA Volleyball Championship. Despite forcing multiple frames to extra points in their match with Kansas State, the Bisons lost Friday's match in Manhattan by a score of 3-0, ending their season in the first round of the NCAA postseason.
Most volleyball fans would not describe a three set loss as "thrilling" but Lipscomb's performance was just that. The Nashville squad got off to a hot start in the opening period against the Wildcats, grabbing a 9-3 lead off of kills from five different players. The Bisons led throughout the beginning stages of the first, until KSU knotted things at 20-all late in the term. The two squads would reach a tie five more times before the Wildcats took the decision by a count of 28-26. Lipscomb outkilled K-State 21 to 14 in the opener, but the home team's six blocks would be too much to overcome.
The Bisons got out to a much slower start in the second, allowing Kansas State to take a 10-2 lead to begin play. The Bisons would make things interesting in the latter half of the period after scoring seven unanswered but would falter a second time, this time by a count of 25-15. The Bisons hit at .028 over the second as KSU added another four rejections to its total. Sophomore hitter Lauren Anderson reached the double-digit kill mark at the end of the set, taking a count of 10 kills and six digs into the break. Her count through two frames were four more than she had in the entirety of Lipscomb's first round match against UCLA in 2015.
Carlyle Nusbaum, Maddie Phillips and Chloe Rogers would each score four kills in the early portion of the third to give a Lipscomb a lead through the majority of the set. Kansas State would again tie things at 20 however, to create another exciting finish. The Bisons would see their first match-point of the night ahead 24-23, but three straight kills from K-State ended the visitor team's night, and its season.
Anderson finished the night with a match-high 12 kills, with Nusbaum (10) and junior libero Brittany Thomas (11) each registering double-digit digs. Setters Kayla Ostrom and Morgan Elmore collected 26 and 18 assists respectively with Ostrom falling just a dig shy of her second consecutive double-double.
Lipscomb vs. No. 14 Kansas State Notes
- Senior setter Kayla Ostrom competed in her 115th match as a part of the Lipscomb contingent this Friday. She will finish her college career ranked 12th in ASUN history with 3,295 assists.
- Kansas State now leads the all-time series between the Bisons and Wildcats at 2-0.
- Lipscomb finishes this year with its third straight NCAA Championship appearance, along with its second consecutive ASUN Championship title.
- The Bisons retire the 2016 campaign as one of the most impressive scoring teams in the league, averaging 14.88 kills per set. Lipscomb's average ranks second in all of D-I Volleyball.
- Carlyle Nusbaum finishes the season with ASUN All-Conference First Team, All-Tournament, and Player of the Year Honors. As a sophomore, Nusbaum leads the ASUN with 491 kills, with two years of eligibility still remaining.
- Lipscomb will lose just three players to graduation this season. Barring transfers, the Bisons will return 69.8 percent of its point scoring from 2016 into next season.