Lady Bisons learn from Kansas State tournament
Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Sept. 6, 2006

Junior middle blocker Alex Scruggs is becoming one of the major players for the Lipscomb University volleyball team.

The former standout from Boyd-Buchanan High School is coming off a solid Labor Day weekend of games at the Kansas State Invitational in Manhattan, Kansas, where she was named to the All-Tournament Team.

"Alex has started out having the season we wanted and expected her to have," said Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal. "Every year Alex has gotten better. We really look to her to step up her game and be a force and one of the weapons that other teams have to worry about. And, so far, she has been."

Scruggs had a combined 21 kills, two digs and one service ace as the Lady Bisons lost 3-0 to No. 25-ranked Kansas State, 3-1 to Montana State and 3-1 to Wichita State, a top 30 program.

"Alex has worked extremely hard," said Rosenthal. "It's nice to see her continue day in and day out to get the job done. Making the All-Tournament team is a recognition that her work has paid off."

Scruggs has joined Samantha Sullivan, Ann Mullins and Lindsey Rutherford as a weapon for the Lady Bisons.

"When you come to play us, ypu have to be prepared to play all of us, not just one or two players," said Rosenthal. "That's the good thing about our team."

Despite not winning a match at Kansas State Rosenthal thought the tournament was a good experience for the team.

"The only match I was kind of disappointed by was the Kansas State game," said Rosenthal. "We kind of got wrapped up in them being as good as they are and not doing the things we needed to do to make it a better match.

"Montana State was a great match. We had our chances. That was a great learning experience to play somebody who RPI-wise is pretty far ahead of us and have a chance to beat them."

Rosenthal said he might have been most impressed with Wichita State.

"They are very big," said Rosenthal. "I was impressed with the way we played. It allowed our players to see that if we focus on our game we will be good to go."

The Lady Bisons head to Memphis this weekend for the Memphis Invitational, the third tournament of the season.

"I'm very interested to see what is going to happen this weekend," said Rosenthal. "This team is very dedicated in not just playing with some of the bigger name teams, but beating them. It's neat to see the change."

The Lady Bisons will face Louisiana Tech at 9 a.m. and Memphis at 2 p.m. Friday.

"Louisiana Tech is a somewhat athletic team," said Rosenthal. "They have a much different style than we do which is fun for us. They are a little bit taller and more focused on the power game where we try to beat teams with speed. It is that classic match-up for us.

"Memphis has played some teams we are used to playing. They beat Austin Peay 3-2 and UT-Martin 3-1. From what I understand, it is tough environment to play there."

On Saturday the Lady Bisons will face Southeast Missouri for the first time at 4:30 p.m. after facing Arkansas-Little Rock at 9 a.m.

"We have had a hard week of practice," said Rosenthal. "This will be a good test for us."