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Monday, November 09, 2009Every Monday is like Christmas for Lipscomb volleyball coach Brandon Rosenthal.
Each week the Lady Bisons have climbed up the national rankings in NCAA Division I in a number of areas.
This time around the Lady Bisons are No. 1 in kills per set with 15.02 and assists per set with 14.06.
“To be No. 1 in both kills and assists means so much,” said Rosenthal. “Passing and defense is involved.
“I know that the hitters get credit and Jake Pease gets credit for the assists, but it is really a team thing. What this indicates more than anything is that we are all on the same page. More than anything I am really interested in building a team and it goes beyond winning and losing. It involves all of the off-the-court stuff and moving together as one.”
They are also in the top 20 in three other categories: eighth in won-loss percentage (.889), 12th in hitting percentage (.274) and 19th in digs per set (17.17).
“The biggest thing is when you work this hard and reap some of the rewards,” said Rosenthal. “This doesn’t determine who wins or loses games, but I would rather be on the top than on the bottom. The coolest part for me is to see the teams that are around us.”
Individually, junior setter Stefine “Jake” Pease is fourth in assists per set (12.07). Oregon’s Nevena Djordjevic is first with 12.16 per set.
Junior middle hitter Alex Kelly is seventh in points per set with 5.3. She is 11th in kills per set (4.54).
Kelly is also 35th in hitting percentage (.368).
Senior opposite Erin Pierce is 57th in service aces per set with .39.
The Lady Bisons close out the regular season at home, facing Campbell Friday at 5 at Allen Arena and ETSU Saturday at 2. The Lady Bisons beat Campbell 3-1 and ETSU 3-2 earlier this season.
“We know Campbell and ETSU have to win in order to get in the A-Sun Tournament,” said Rosenthal. “We also know they can play with us and they are capable of doing more.”
While both opponents are motivated, the Lady Bisons also have a couple of challenges left to overcome. They are 23-3 overall with a 21-match win streak. They are also 18-0 in the conference and need both wins to run the table.
Team captains Pierce, Pease and Kelly met with Rosenthal Monday afternoon and have a slogan for the weekend.
“They have the opportunity to do something special,” said Rosenthal. “Their motto for this week is `Finish what we started’.
“We went into this conference season looking to make a name, a statement and a point. I think we have, but I don’t think it is complete. We still have a ton to play for.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Media Relations Director