Volleyball began ASUN Conference play with a 3-2 win over Lipscomb in a five-set nail-biter that went down to the wire.
After winning the first set 31-29, KSU dropped the next two sets, allowing Lipscomb to take a 2-1 lead.
The Owls were down late in the fourth set and faced three match points. Senior Anaiah Boyer countered each match point with three kills of her own to get KSU back into the game.
Senior Rachel Taylor and junior Sydni Shelton each came up with big blocks to take the set and tie the match at two apiece.
KSU rode its own momentum into the fifth set, jumping out to a strong 7-0 lead. With the help of senior Kristi Piedimonte’s serving, KSU kept Lipscomb under wraps to win the set 15-7.
Friday’s win marked the first time in school history that the Owls defeated the Bison at home.
“I’m really proud and thrilled that we pulled that match out,” head coach Keith Schunzel said. “What a great statement to find a way to come back in set four and get out to a big lead in set five and pull away to finish the match.”
KSU had a balanced attack as four players finished with double-digit kills. Both Boyer and Maddie Jones picked up double-doubles.
Looking at team statistics, Lipscomb actually outpaced KSU in kills, hitting percentage, points, and assists. The deciding factor was KSU’s ability to limit mistakes, as they finished with 23 errors to Lipscomb’s 34.
“We were a hair away from losing in set four, and all credit goes to Lipscomb for playing really high-level volleyball in sets two and three and the majority of set four,” Schunzel said. “Conference season just started, but we’re pumped to be 1-0 and have another huge one with FGCU next Friday.”
Florida Gulf Coast knocked KSU out of the ASUN tournament in the semifinals last year, so expect another competitive matchup. The ASUN rivals will face off in the Convocation Center at 7 p.m. on Friday.