April 18, 2008
Lipscomb University volleyball coach Brandon Rosenthal has announced the addition of three incoming freshmen for his 2008 team.
Joining the Lady Bisons, the 2007 Atlantic Sun Tournament Champion, are outside hitter Bobbi Jo Bayer from Albia, Iowa; setter Jennifer Brekke from Friendswood, Texas; and middle Katherine Rose from Lexington, Ky.
Bobbi Jo, 5-foot-11, is also is an accomplished rodeo performer as well as an aspiring country music singer. She attends Eddyvile Blakesburg High School.
In volleyball she holds school career records for points (747), serve reception (97.68), kills (567), kill average (5.40) and kill efficiency (37.4).
"I'm tremendously excited about what Bobbi can bring to our team," Rosenthal said. "I watched two minutes of her in a videotape of a game. I called her coach and asked when they were practicing. I was there the next week.
"She is very strong. She comes from a rodeo family. She probably has the best handshake I have seen. She has a very quick arm swing. She is somebody who is going to come in and really fit in with the team's work ethic."
In her junior year the high school team qualified for the state tournament for the first time in history. The team was the conference champion all four years she played.
In basketball she is the school career scoring leader with 1,481 points over four years. She also holds school records for most points in a game (35), most field goals (15) and most free throws made in a game (15).
The basketball team won the conference three years while she was a player.
She was a three-time All-State performer, a two-time All-Region selection and a four-time All-District pick. She was team captain for four years and was a four-time MVP. She also lettered two years in track and field.
In the classroom she has earned All-Academic honors and was named outstanding soloist at her school.
"Bobbi is going to be a huge influence on this campus, off the court and on the court as well," Rosenthal said. "She has so much personality. She is going to make an immediate difference.
"She is tremendously talented in volleyball. She is a little bit new to the game of volleyball. She is also very talented in both singing and studio art. She is going to really blossom here."
She is the daughter of Susan and Russ Bayer. Her sister, Ashley, played volleyball at Eastern Kentucky. She plans to major in studio art.
"Lipscomb felt like home," said Bobbi. "I really enjoyed the visit."
Jenny, 5-7, attends Friendswood High School. She lettered two years in volleyball and one in soccer. Her high school volleyball team was third in the state in 2006 and second in the state in 2007. Her high school soccer team was third in the state in 2006.
In 2007 she was named an All-State player by both the Texas Sportswriters Association Texas Girls Coaches Association. In 2007 she was named Most Valuable Player in the area by the Houston Chronicle. She was an All-Region and All-District selection in 2007 and 2006.
"We were surprised she was still available,' Rosenthal said. "Usually players of the year are a dime a dozen. But when you are talking about Houston with the talent that comes out of there an award like that is big time. It grabbed my attention.
"She is going to bring a lot to us. She has a great knowledge of the game. She is very athletic. With the type of game that we play we are looking for athletic players. She is very quick. She is very calm on the court. It is going to be fun to watch her."
In the classroom she was named to the National Honor Society. She was also an All-Academic Team member in 2006.
She is the daughter of Michelle and Robert Brekke. She plans to major in Biology and Engineering.
"The team is awesome and the coaches are great," said Jenny. "Lipscomb has what I am looking for academically. This is where I want to be."
Katherine, 6 feet, is from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. She lettered in volleyball for four years and in softball for five years.
She was second team All-State in 2007. She was named All-Region in 2005, 2006 and 2007. She earned All-District honors in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.
She served as team captain in volleyball in 2007. She was team MVP in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.
"She hasn't played club volleyball for all that long so we are very excited about her upside," said Rosenthal. "She has a lot of athletic ability. She does have a lot to learn about the speed of the game. But she is a very confident player who is going to really grow with this program.
"She was a natural leader for her high school team. Something that is very attractive for us is that she is a leader both on and off of the court. She has a great, great demeanor. Our players loved her when she visited here."
Her best season in volleyball was 384 kills in 2007. In softball she won the "Bulldog" Award with a .519 batting average in 2007.
"She is going to get stronger here in our weight program," Rosenthal said. "Her knowledge of the game is going to grow.
"She has a nice understanding of the game. As a middle she is an all-around player. You don't usually see middles who can pass as well as she can. Defensively, she is very solid. We are excited about what she can bring."
In the classroom she was named a Wendy's High School Heisman representative for her school.
Her parents are Kelley and Kurt Rose. She plans a major in Elementary Education at Lipscomb.
"I chose Lipscomb because it has a small school feel and a big town location," said Katherine. "I also loved all of the girls on the team. I felt at home."