But the Lady Bisons still have five more conference matches to play, starting this weekend with a match Friday night at 6:30 against North Florida at Allen Arena followed by Jacksonville on Saturday at 2.
“We have to attack each game like it is our last chance,” Lady Bisons coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “Right now we are focused on North Florida.”
Rosenthal knows that his players have not yet put together their best match of the season. But he believes with each passing day that his players are getting closer to reaching that goal.
“From a senior standpoint this is it,” Rosenthal said. “The freshmen are saying they have plenty of time. But the seniors are telling them they don’t have as much time as they think.
“Our girls are not overanxious. They are not panicking. There is a very calm feeling in the locker room. Even though we haven’t seen them play their best the leadership of our seniors and our captains has started to kick in.”
The captains are seniors Alex Kelly, Stefine “Jake” Pease and Tory Ashcraft. The other seniors are Meghan Hinemeyer and Elly Kaiser. Rosenthal likes the dynamics that have been developing between the seniors and freshmen Caitlin “Dot” Dotson, Stephanie Rex, Claire Peterson and Sarah Ulinski.
“All four of the freshmen are willing to take direction,” Rosenthal said. “I think we are on the verge of having everything come together.
“We played with confidence when we played at Louisville last week. It was a confidence that we hadn’t seen completely yet. We want to see how that transfers into conference play. We hope it is a huge impact.”
The Lady Bisons enter the week with a 79 RPI ranking. Rosenthal knows he cannot control the numbers so he doesn’t give it much thought.
“It’s not a perfect system,” Rosenthal said. “We saw it last year from a different perspective. We went out and did what we needed to do. We went out and played tough competition.”
Rosenthal thinks the Lipscomb program has become more well-known in the world of college volleyball. He knows that if the Lady Bisons can make it to the NCAA Tournament for a second year in a row that the recognition level will get a tremendous boost.
“Lipscomb has definitely grown in stature in the volleyball world,” Rosenthal said. “It is neat to see the doors that have been opened, not just for our program but for the girls.”
Two things he has almost completely ignored with his team are a couple of streaks. The Lady Bisons enter this weekend with a 23-game home match winning streak and a 30-match conference regular season winning streak. Both are the fourth longest streaks in the nation.
Lipscomb leads the A-Sun in hitting percentage, assists per set, kills per set and digs per set. Only two other schools in the country can lay claim to the same distinction. In the America East Conference, Albany leads in all four categories as does Yale out of the Ivy League.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.