Saturday, September 07, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It is always nice to win a tournament. It is even nicer to win your own tournament.
Saturday afternoon at Allen Arena the Lady Bisons swept South Alabama 3-0 to finish a run of three match sweeps in the Lipscomb Invitational Tournament sponsored by Marriott Courtyard-Brentwood. The Lady Bisons won set one 25-13, set two 25-18 and set three 25-19.
The Lady Bisons are 4-2. South Alabama dropped to 2-4.
“I thought our girls did a real nice job, not only on the weekend but against South Alabama,” LU coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “It’s hard to win a tournament. It takes a tremendous amount of focus. And focus has been the key word all week.
“It is great to see the maturity of our girls and the growth of what we need to do now versus what we were doing a couple of weeks ago. In a lot of ways it is the realization of what it takes to win and what it takes to push through. The girls really owned up to their responsibilities. It was awesome to see.”
Middle blocker Jewell Dobson continued her offensive domination with a match-high 14 kills. She posted a .571 hitting percentage and was named the tournament MVP.
Also on the all-tournament team for the Purple and Gold were setter Caitlin “Dot” Dotson, libero Bri McCombs and outside hitter Lauren Ford.
Dotson had 37 assists, six digs and two kills. McCombs tied for the match high in digs with 12. Ford chipped in with 10 kills and a .360 hitting percentage.
“The offense is developing,” Rosenthal said. “Dot did a fantastic job all weekend long of distributing the ball.
“We are trying to put together a team full of options. You might be able to stop one or two but what happens when you have to also stop three, four, five or six.”
Rosenthal, when speaking of options, was quick to point out that any number of Lady Bisons could have been honored on the all-tournament team. Middle blocker Molly Spitznagle had 12 kills and a match high .688 hitting percentage with one error and 16 total attacks.
“Molly had a tremendous weekend,” Rosenthal said. “It is crazy that she doesn’t get on the all-tournament team, but her time will come. There is no doubt.
“This is a team that is much more focused on a win than any individual aspects of it.”
Other players that consistently provided quality performances throughout the tournament were outside hitter Sophie Kellerman, middle blocker Claire Peterson and defensive specialist Stephanie Rex.
“It is hard to look at the offense without looking at our defense,” Rosenthal said. “Bri really did a nice job. Then you have to take a look at Sophie and take a look at Rex.
“Claire Peterson’s play this weekend was fantastic. There were also little things that were so great today like Molly’s blocking and Sophie’s passing.”
Rounding out the all-tournament team were Chelsi Carter and Michaela Reesor from Samford, Nicole Merget from Jacksonville State and Symone Stephenson from South Alabama.
The Lady Bisons are back on the road Friday and Saturday when they play in the Hokie Classic hosted by Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. The Lady Bisons will play Virginia Tech at 5 p.m. Friday. Saturday they will face Duquesne at 9:30 a.m. and William & Mary at 4 p.m.
“We have been talking about learning from our mistakes and learning from our close calls,” Rosenthal said. “I think that is the hardest thing to do…to be able to say we let one get away so what do we do next time.
“We have to do a better job on the coaching side with scouting reports. Each team is a little bit different in how you handle those things. If it doesn’t get to them like it needs to then you are wasting your time. Some of it is time and you can see the girls getting into more and more of a rhythm. I really like that.”