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Freshman duo contributing to Lady Bisons success
Claire Peterson
Claire Peterson

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Finding playing time on a championship team that lost only one starter is usually a daunting task, but two freshmen are making strong cases for increased playing time with the Lipscomb Lady Bisons.

Caitlin “Dot” Dotson, who Is expected to take over at setter next season after Stefine “Jake” Pease graduates, has been a solid defensive player. Claire Peterson, who earned all-tournament team honors at the Billiken Invitational in St. Louis last weekend, is making an impression at middle blocker. A third freshman, Stephanie Rex, has been the starter this season at libero.

The Lady Bisons, 10-5, are back in action Sunday afternoon when Florida Gulf Coast, 3-10. visits Allen Arena for a 1 p.m. match.

Both teams are from the Atlantic Sun Conference, but this match will not count in the conference standings. That match will be played Nov. 5 in Fort Myers, Fla.

Florida Gulf Coast came back to beat Belmont 3-2 Saturday afternoon. They lost the first two sets by scores of 25-16 and 25-20 and rallied to win set three 25-20 and set four 25-21. They closed out the match with a 16-14 win in set five.

“Claire is simplifying the game,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “She is focusing on the things she can control.

“A lot of freshmen allow everything to hit them. Claire says this is what I can control and I am going to do it to the best of my ability.”

Rosenthal predicts that Peterson will develop into one of the top players for the Lady Bisons.

“She is a really special player and she is only going to get better,” Rosenthal said. “She is like Erin Pierce, Alex Scruggs and Jake, players who were not heavily recruited who turn into difference makers.”

Anyone who sits close to the Lady Bisons’ bench knows that Dotson is often a target for instructions and corrections from Rosenthal.

“She is tremendously confident,” Rosenthal said. “I am hard on her on the court because I think she can handle it.

“The scouting report on her before she came here says that she was an average defender. And that is what we are asking her to do. We are asking her to do it at a higher level.”

STATS LEADERS:

The Lady Bisons lead the Atlantic Sun Conference in hitting percentage (.237), assists (12.65 per set) and kills (13.49 per set). Middle blocker Katie Rose leads the A-Sun in hitting percentage (.338) and middle blocker Alex Kelly is fourth (.322). Pease leads in assists with 11.12 per set. Kelly is first in points with 4.87 per set and is also first in kills with 4.16 per set.

Outside hitter Kaycee Green is eighth in kills with 2.90 per set. Kelly is seventh in digs with 3.57 per set.

Nationally, Kelly is 21st in points per set and 27th in kills per set.

Pease is 31st in assists.

SCOUTING REPORT :

The Lady Bisons: The Lady Bisons are coming off a 3-0 sweep of Austin Peay in Clarksville Tuesday night. They ended a three-match losing streak with the win. The Lady Bisons had a seven-match winning streak this season. Seven of their 10 wins have been by 3-0 match sweeps.

Florida Gulf Coast : Florida Gulf Coast has a deceiving record. Some of the teams they have played in the preconference schedule are Washington, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Oregon and Georgia.

“That 3-10 record doesn’t necessarily mean 3-10,” Rosenthal said. “That is what we have stressed in our scouting report.”

They have eight players with more than 40 kills apiece this season including seniors Jacqueline Cowden, Caitlin Shawver and Chelsea Lyles. Junior libero Holly Youngquist is the team leader in digs per set.

Setter Camil Dominguez is a freshman, but she is averaging almost 10 assists per game as she direct Florida Gulf Coast’s offense.

Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.