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Katie Rose painting a picture of success at libero
Brandon Rosenthal
Brandon Rosenthal

Monday, September 28, 2009

It should not be surprising that someone with the name Katie Rose would like flowers.

What Katie thinks might be surprising, however, is that not only does she like flowers but she enjoys painting them as well. And when the going gets tough on the volleyball court for the Lipscomb Lady Bisons she turns to her easel to paint.

“I love to draw and paint,” said Katie. “It is definitely calming in the chaos of my life.”

Katie took painting classes all through her high school days at Paul L. Dunbar High School in Lexington, Ky. She has no favorite medium. She works with oils, watercolors and pastels.

“I photograph flowers and landscapes to see what I might want to paint,” said Katie. “I usually stick to flowers.”

Katie doesn’t have a work in progress at this time, but she has been taking photos for use in future works.

“I try to paint when I can,” said Katie. “It definitely helps to be able to paint.

“Sometimes you can overanalyze things and it messes you up even more. It is good to get away from volleyball physically and mentally and relax.”

Sometimes a painting starts in one direction and ends up in another. Such has been the case for Katie. She has been both a middle hitter and outside hitter for the Lady Bisons, but as a sophomore she has found herself starting as the libero.

“It has definitely been different,” said Katie. “Last year I was working on my vertical jump and my approach. This year it is all about having quick feet and getting to the ball on time. I can hit the ball, but I have to keep my feet on the ground. That has been the hardest thing.”

Katie takes it all in stride. In softball she played first base, shortstop and third base.

“It is a matter of being confident about being in the right spot,” said Katie. “You always have to be in the right spot all of the time.

“You realize how much people depend on you. You have to set up the hitters. Sometimes it‘s hard to realize how hard it is to make a pass. You have to be able to read plays better and have an idea of where the ball is going to be put.”

Lady Bisons coach Brando n Rosenthal admits it was not an easy decision to move Katie to libero.

“When she came in here she played middle most of the time and then we told her she had to move to the outside,” said Rosenthal. “In the spring we told her we were going to move her back to the middle.

“I kind of feel bad that we moved her again, but in other ways I am happy that we have someone flexible enough with a great attitude. I don’t think I have ever heard negative comment out of her.”

Rosenthal tried different players in the position, but Katie was always the one who emerged at the top of the list.

“We had a lot more depth at the outside hitter position than we have ever had before and we didn’t have depth at the libero position,” said Rosenthal. “Katie was not necessarily the best, but she was the most consistent at libero.

“It came down to passing. Katie does a nice job of that. She is really the unsung hero. When you look at what we are trying to do it is the most important position after the setter. You to be able to pass and do it well.”

The biggest adjustment for Rose has been shifting from an offensive mentality to a defensive one. Last season she earned a spot on the Atlantic Sun All-Freshman Team with 794 kills and 162 digs.

“I knew coming into the season we had new recruits coming and then we also had Meghan (Hinemeyer),” said Katie. “I knew there was going to be a lot of competition. I definitely wasn’t expecting to be the libero, but that I would to be moved around to get playing time."

Katie has only been playing libero since the start of fall practice. Rosenthal likes the way she has steadily progressed.

“She has really embraced it,” said Rosenthal. “She has really worked hard. She is starting to get a lot more comfortable in how she moves.”

The Lady Bisons, 10-3, play a non-conference match Tuesday night in Allen Arena when Evansville, 8-6, visits at 6:30.

“I think this is a good challenge,” said Rosenthal . “We get so caught up in the race for the championship. Here is a match against a good opponent. I will be interested in seeing how our players react.

“Our matches with them are always close. I don’t expect anything different.”