Lions’ comeback bid against Bowie State comes up short in five sets

Courtesy of Lincoln Athletics

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After dropping the first two sets, the Lincoln University volleyball team fought back to force a fifth set and, unfortunately, dropped the final three points to lose, 25-23, 26-24, 20-25, 21-25, 15-13, in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association action Thursday inside Manuel Rivero.

Lincoln appeared to be on the cusp of completing the comeback when an errant attack that would have given LU the 14-12 lead was called a blocking error moved the score to 13-all, and the Bulldogs finished off the match with two more points. 

The Lions led for the majority of the first set and didn’t trail until BSU scored eight of the final nine points to steal the opening set, 25-23. 

The second set was tightly contested with neither team gaining much traction. Bowie State took control of the match with a 9-3 run midway through, opening up a 19-14 lead. 

However, Lincoln refused to quit. 

LU scratched its way to 23-23 with a 9-4 run of its own. But, a kill and attack error enabled the Bulldogs to take the 26-24 victory. 

That was just the beginning of all the fun and drama inside Rivero as Lincoln was poised enough to not allow its rival to complete a straight-set win. The Orange and Blue raced out to an early 9-3 lead. The lead grew to as much as nine, 23-14, before BSU mounted a mini comeback with five consecutive points. Back-to-back service errors by the visitors clinched the third set for LU.

It appeared as if the match was going to end in four sets as the Bulldogs led, 17-11. However, fueled by the crowd – a comeback was in order. With Mariah Webster (Detroit, Mich./Cass Tech/) and Jaida Lumpkin (Middletown, Del./Middletown) serving, the Lions roared back with 10 of the final 11 points to seal the set win.

Sophomore Haley Loper(Middletown, Del./St. Georges Technical) and junior Erica Taylor(Romulus, MI/Romulus Summit Academy) combined for 30 kills and 14 digs with Loper managing 16 on 39 attempts (.205 hitting percentage) and Ec. Taylor 14 on 33 attempts (.303 hitting percentage). Junior Erinn Taylor(Romulus, MI/Romulus Summit Academy) made the most of her nine attempts to finish with six kills and zero errors. 

Sophomore Jaida Lumpkin(Middletown, Del./Middletown)and freshman Janaa Smith(Rochester, N.Y./Our Lady of Mercy) shared the offensive distribution load with 21 and 20 assists, respectively. It was a career-high for Smith and the seventh time in Lumpkin’s career she recorded at least 20 kills. Smith added seven digs and three kills, while Lumpkin chipped in with six digs. 

Sophomore Mariah Webster(Detroit, Mich./Cass Tech/) led the team with 20 digs, while freshman Laila Newborn(Ardmore, Pa./Lower Merion)added a team-high four blocks, three block solos, and one block assist.

Lincoln travels to Felician 1 p.m. Saturday for the final road contest of the season. 

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