The Kennesaw State University volleyball team was swept in three straight sets by Lipscomb University on Friday, Oct. 21, in the team’s first loss since early September.
KSU and Lipscomb met previously on Sept. 23. In that match, the LU Bison held a two-to-one set lead before the Owls rallied back to win back-to-back sets.
For last Friday’s game, the Bison came into the Convocation Center looking for payback. Though they won in three straight sets, the game was not a blowout by any stretch.
“I was really proud of them. I thought we were aggressive for the most part all night,” said KSU head coach Keith Schunzel. “That was probably the highest level match on both sides of the net — from start to finish — since I’ve been the head coach here.”
In all three sets, the lead and momentum swung like a pendulum. KSU faced at least a three-point deficit late in all three sets, responding in each time by storming back to take the lead. Despite the Owls’ tenacity, LU found the last counter in each set to help the Bison cap off the 3-0 sweep in the end.
“They made a couple plays at the end of each set, and that’s volleyball,” Schunzel said.
A big issue for KSU was trying to contain LU sophomore outside hitter Carlyle Nausbaum — a problem that nearly all who have played the Bison have had to face this season.
“It’s always a challenge,” Schunzel said. “She’s one of the best attackers in the conference.”
Nausbaum entered the contest Friday with an ASUN-leading 319 kills on the season — adding 19 more to her total by the end of the night. Earlier this season, she recorded 17 kills in five sets against KSU.
Junior outside hitter Anaiah Boyer turned in a strong performance with 12 kills and four digs. Sydni Shelton had eight kills. sophomore middle blocker Liesl Englebrecht added seven kills. Kelly Marcinek had six kills. Katrina Morton had 19 digs, and Kristi Piedemonte had 36 assists and five digs.
As the season winds down, KSU now shares the top spot with Florida Gulf Coast University — both teams are 7-1 in the ASUN Conference. LU now sits one game back from the top spot with a conference record of 6-2.
This week, KSU will play road matches against New Jersey Institute of Technology (9-17, 1-7 ASUN) at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28 and the University of South Carolina Upstate (11-15, 3-5 ASUN) at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30.