Bruins, Bisons to Open A-Sun Volleyball Play

Monday, September 08, 2008

MACON, Ga. - Belmont and Lipscomb, the last two teams to win the Atlantic Sun Volleyball Championship, will highlight the opening week of A-Sun play as they renew the Battle of the Boulevard Tuesday night inside Lipscomb’s Allen Arena.

Tuesday night’s match will be the first between the two schools since the two played a five-set classic in the semifinals of the 2007 A-Sun Volleyball Championship. The Lady Bisons scored their first on the court victory against the Bruins in school history with the come-from-behind win. Lipscomb carried the momentum through the finals as well, capturing its first-ever volleyball title in straight sets against Jacksonville. Each highly regarded entering this season, Lipscomb and Belmont were picked second and third by the A-Sun coaches in the preseason poll and split the vote for A-Sun Tournament Champion receiving four votes apiece.

Sophomores Alex Kelly and Jake Pease lead the Lady Bisons so far in 2008. Kelly ranks among the league leaders with a .384 hitting percentage, 106 kills and 3.79 kills per set. The kills numbers are good for a first-place conference ranking, while her hitting percentage is second-best in the A-Sun. Pease, the 2007 Volleyball Championship MVP, leads the conference with 259 assists, averaging a third-best 9.25 per set. Defensively the Lady Bisons lead the A-Sun averaging 14.43 digs per set, and block 1.77 balls per game, ranking third in the conference.

Belmont boasts a potent offensive attack led by senior Cat Mundy and sophomore Kayla Albritton. Mundy and Albritton average a team-best 3.57 and 2.93 kills per set, respectively. Freshman Channing Salava directs the Bruins attack, taking over for all-time Belmont great Colleen Nilson at the setter position. In her first collegiate season, Salava ranks second in the A-Sun with a 9.58 assist per set average. The Bruins also possess a daunting defense, leading the league with .176 opponent hitting percentage.

The Atlantic Sun Conference is an 11-member league committed to Building Winners for Life, with a focus on academic and athletic integrity and a balance between the two for the student-athlete, and maintaining a high level of sportsmanship. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun encompasses six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun consists of some of the most dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Belmont University, Campbell University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.