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A first for Rose: playing the same position for two years
Katie Rose
Katie Rose

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

For the first time in her Lipscomb career, rising senior Katie Rose will start the upcoming volleyball season at the same position as she did the year before.

At least, the middle blocker hopes.

“She kind of jokingly said to me that she wanted to set this year,” said Lady Bisons Coach Brandon Rosenthal. “That would really be about every position she could play.”

All jokes aside, Rose said she is finally looking forward to playing what she considers her most natural position for the second year in a row after playing at radically different spots early in her career in order to help her team. The familiar position, she said, leaves her more at ease.

“It’s definitely a little bit more comforting knowing where I’ll be going in,” Rose said. “It’s my senior year and it’s good to know as soon the season starts I can contribute at a position where I’m comfortable.”

Rosenthal said it was never the team’s plan to play Rose outside the middle position her first two seasons. Circumstances, however, dictated that she start her career as an outside hitter and her sophomore season as a libero.

“We anticipated her coming in and playing the middle position but some things changed,” said Rosenthal. “She did everything she could to be the best outside hitter and libero she could, but we really wanted to get her back to the middle position and finally we did last year.

“That’s her home. But they’re not a lot of players that can switch positions like she did and be successful. Still, we like her in the middle.”

Rose, for her part, said she didn’t mind the position switches. She looks back on them as challenges, but she still likes to have fun with her coach about all she’s been through with the Lady Bisons.

“It definitely wasn’t easy to change (positions) either time,” she said. “But I’m the type of person that just wants to be on the court, whatever I have to do. I told Brandon I wouldn’t put it past him to put me at setter this year.

“But he knows my work ethic and he knows I’ll work hard no matter what. I’m just excited about our team and playing again.”

While she never complained, the difference between the positions Rose was willing to play to help her Lipscomb team is pretty striking.

“Outside hitter is an offensive position and I’d hit from the left side,” Rose said. “Libero is where you wear the different colored jersey and you’re allowed to serve but you can’t hit the ball at all. You’re in the whole game but you can only be in the back row. That position is all about defense.

“But there’s a lot of freedom and tricky plays to the middle position. And I get to go around and play offense and defense as opposed to just defense when I was the libero.”

This off-season, Rose said she has more to look forward to, though, than just playing the middle position again. She also is excited about trying to lead her team back to the NCAA Tournament, where they’ve appeared in three of the last four seasons.

“I’m looking forward to the newness of this year and the chance to be a captain,” she said. “I’m not as vocal as some leaders have been in the past, but I lead by example. I think that will work well with the team we have coming in this year, though. It’s an effective way for us.

“It’s kind of cool to put the team on your back and see what you can do with it.”