Thu, Sep. 13, 2012 - [Volleyball]
BATESVILLE, Ark. - Sometimes improvement is hard to see when it is clouded by a loss to a superior team. Lyon College head volleyball coach Ray Green
said he saw Ďrays of sunlight' Thursday night, despite his team's 14-25, 12-25, 18-25 setback at the hands of NCAA Division II Harding University (8-3) in Becknell Gymnasium.
The Scots saw their losing skid stretched to four, but it was the way his team played in the non-conference match that mattered more to the Lyon College head coach, after the Scots dropped a pair of 0-3 American Midwest Conference losses to 16th-ranked Missouri Baptist in St. Louis just 24 hours prior.
"We were way more disciplined tonight than we were last night," Green said after the match. "We had an offensive and defensive strategy that we put in tonight that were good, and I saw the girls execute those game plans and that shows we're learning.
"We did cut down our unforced errors - having only six in the second set - and that means we made Harding work harder for the points they did score.
"What I liked was that I asked them to be aggressive and they didn't play like they were afraid to make mistakes. Yes, our hitting percentage was down (-.011), but we're young and that's going to happen. But we have to go out there and go after the ball and try to make plays. And tonight that's exactly what we did."
There were other aspects of the Scots' game that pleased Green.
"Our service game was awesome tonight," the coach added. "We only missed four serves all night long and that was great to see.
"I thought Emily Sprick
(So., Little Rock) had a great ballgame for us. She really did a good job of setting the ball and moving on the court. We just played a great ballclub. I was really impressed with (Mollie Arnold). She's a great player."
Sprick led Lyon College (2-10) with 13 assists, while Ferrin Macon
(Fr., Conway, Ark.) added seven. Senior Suzanne Fincham
(Royal, Ark.) was in double-figures in kills with 10, to go along with three block assists and one solo block. Elizabeth Travis
(Fr., Port Neches, Tex.) added five kills.
(Jr., Wynne, Ark.) produced 11 digs to top the Scots, while Lisa Copeland tallied 10 for the Lady Bisons.
Harding's Bailee Graham and Arnold led Harding in kills with nine and eight, respectively. Amber Schinzing handed out 25 assists.
The Lady Bisons finished with only 14 attack errors, while Lyon had 26. But, like Green explained, that number was down from previous matches.
Lyon took a 1-0 lead in the opening set, but that was the only lead the Scots would hold as Harding stormed back to build an 11-6 lead and then finished the set with a 10-4 run to capture the opener.
In the second set, the Scots once again scored early, but the Lady Bisons grabbed it back and eventually stretched it out to the 13-point final.
Harding led from start to finish in the third set, holding a 10-point advantage (15-5), before stretching a 22-18 lead out to the seven-point win.
The Scots will now have eight days before their next match. LC will continue its six-match home streak on Sept. 21, battling AMC foe Hannibal-LaGrange University in a doubleheader, beginning at 4 p.m. Lyon will host a William Woods University on Sept. 22 at 12-noon and 2 p.m., before closing out the home stand against Park University on Sept. 23 at 7 p.m.