NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Lipscomb volleyball coach Brandon Rosenthal has been counting the days, hours and minutes until he can put his team on the court for the first official day of practice.
Soon he will be checking the minutes as the Lady Bisons open preseason practice Thursday morning.
Based on what he saw from his team in spring workouts his anticipation is high as he enters his 12th season as head coach.
“At night when I go to bed I can’t wait to get up because it is one day closer…one step closer,” Rosenthal said. “We did some stuff this spring that really showed me a lot.
“We have seen them grow like a flower that all of a sudden is ready to burst. There is something in their eyes. There is something in their work ethic that I have never seen with a team before. We are ready to go.”
Last season the Lady Bisons posted a 23-8 overall record, 15-3 in the Atlantic Sun. They lost 3-2 in the championship match against Jacksonville at the A-Sun Tournament in Kennesaw, Georgia.
“We know what we want to do,” Rosenthal said. “We want to win the A-Sun regular season and the A-Sun Tournament. We don’t have to spend any time talking about it.
“This program has become accustomed to doing it. That has been well-discussed. The freshmen know about it. I’m not sure they have had much say in it other than they have to get on board.”
Six starters from that team return for 2014 including A-Sun Player of the Year Jewell Dobson, A-Sun Defensive Player of the Year Bri McCombs and A-Sun All-Conference team selection Lauren Ford. But there are other reasons why Rosenthal is excited about his team.
“I think this team is poised,” Rosenthal said. “I think this team is driven.”
Led by co-captains Ford, Dobson and Sophie Kellerman it is a team that understands what it wants out of this season.
“Sometimes you go into seasons wondering where your players are and whether they understand what is at stake,” Rosenthal said. “This team is well past that.
“This team is going to be on a mission from that first whistle. The groundwork has been laid.”
Everyone on the roster was on campus in July attending summer courses and going through individual conditioning workouts. The first day of practice will represent a quick transition for the team, especially the four freshmen – Jenny Phelan, Brittany Thomas, Chloe Rogers and Desteny Boyd.
“The atmosphere in the summer is casual, but now it is going to get even more time consuming as we get more direct with what we are doing,” Rosenthal said. “The chemistry is far ahead of any other year we have had which is fantastic.”