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KENNESAW, Ga. –
The Kennesaw State volleyball team put on a tremendous all-around performance to defeat Lipscomb in four sets, 25-22, 25-20, 22-25, 25-23, and clinch the No. 2 overall seed in the ASUN Conference Tournament Tuesday evening in its final home match of the regular season.
Sophomore Lauren Chastang
(13 kills, 13 digs) and senior Liesl Engelbrecht
(12 kills, 10 blocks) each recorded double-doubles with Engelbrecht becoming only the second Owl in program history to record a double-double with blocks and kills.
How it happened:
In a battle to secure a first-round bye in the ASUN Tournament, the Owls (22-6, 12-2) and the Bisons (16-11, 11-4) traded points early. Lipscomb gained the edge with a 4-1 run to take a 10-7 lead. A 3-0 run from KSU pulled the Owls in front 14-13 as the two teams proceeded to go point-for-point.
A late 4-1 run, capped off by a kill from freshman Dani Ballou
, gave KSU a 23-20 lead. Lipscomb got back within two, 23-22, but a kill from Engelbrecht followed by an ace from freshman Jessie Cohen
secured the first set victory.
The Owls hit the gas to open the second set, racing out to a 7-3 lead. Lipscomb responded, taking advantage of three KSU errors while recording two aces for a 6-0 run to take the 9-7 advantage.
Once again both teams proceeded to trade points, and leads, deep into the set. Tied 19-19, a kill from Quin Sutphin
sparked a 6-1 run for the Owls with Engelbrecht recording two of the final three points to clinch the set, 25-20.
After the intermission, Lipscomb adjusted to take an early 9-5 lead behind two blocks and a kill from Ca'Layci Coffey. The Bisons maintained their four-point advantage throughout most of the set, pushing it to as high as seven points, 19-12, following back-to-back kills from Megan Kuper.
The Owls eventually tied the match at 20, taking advantage of four errors from Lipscomb to go on an 8-1 run. Lipscomb regained their lead behind a 3-0 run, eventually winning the set 25-22 following a kill from Carlyle Nusbaum.
Looking to force a fifth set, Lipscomb opened the fourth set with a 6-0 run to lead 7-3. KSU pulled to within one, but another 4-0 run the Bisons gave Lipscomb a five-point lead, 12-7. The Owls then proceeded to go on a 6-1 run, capped off by a kill from Sutphin to tie the set, 13-13.
After falling behind once again, KSU rallied with another 6-1 run which featured three kills from Chastang, including an ace, as well as two blocks from Engelbrecht and Ballou to lead 20-17. The Bisons eventually tied the match, 23-23, following back-to-back aces from Megan Kuper, but two straight kills from Sutphin and Chastang sealed the set, 25-23, and the match.
KSU's 22 wins this season marks a program record … As a team, the Owls logged 16 total blocks, the 11th time this season they have recorded 10 or more blocks in a match and the first time since their previous match against Lipscomb … Engelbrecht's 10 blocks ties the overall single-match record for block assists set earlier this season by Quin Sutphin
, while ranking second all-time in a four-set match … Lauren Chastang
recorded her second straight double-double and 14th of the season … Lexi Broadwater
had a tremendous night, recording 51 assists, her second straight match with 50 or more assists, six digs and a career-high five blocks … with her 51 assists, Lexi Broadwater
broke the single-season record for assists with 1,206 on the year … Quin Sutphin
recorded her second straight match with double-digit kills logging 10 against Lipscomb … Sutphin also recorded six blocks to bring her season total to 114, establishing a new single-season record … Dani Ballou
was the fourth Owl in double-figures, tying her career-high with 13 kills.
Head Coach Keith Schunzel
On the close battle with Lipscomb…
"Even when it doesn't feel like that team is playing great, they still find a way to come up with digs. They have one of the best attackers in the league obviously in Nusbaum, they are really well coached, and they are always prepared. They are always going to be in the game, but at the end of the day our guys made enough plays and I thought we played two really good first sets to go up 2-0 and give us a little cushion."
On Liesl Engelbrecht's play…
She's had a little mid-season funk that she is working out of and when she plays like that tonight, she is really hard to deal with. When she is high and aggressive and just going for it at the net and getting her hands over in the block she can do a lot of stuff.
On Lauren Chastang's final kill…
"I trust Lauren with the ball at the end of the game as much as anybody I've ever coached. She is going to hit it high and blast it really hard and going to make the other team make a play, and she came up with a huge kill to win the match."
The Owls close out the regular season on the road, heading to Jacksonville to take on the Dolphins Saturday at 6 p.m.