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Monday, October 19, 2009One of the preseason goals for the Lady Bisons was to end the season in the top 50 in the national RPI ratings.
This week they have started in 57th place, 14 places higher than they were rated last week. The Lady Bisons are 18-3 overall, 13-0 in the Atlantic Sun Conference. They have won their last 15 straight matches, with their last loss Sept. 5 against Florida International.
“The RPI is something that everybody can see,” said Lady Bisons coach Brandon Rosenthal. “It is very tangible. I think even though we are a small-name program it is tremendous for our players and for the program to be in this category. It means a lot.”
Rosenthal warns that there are still several matches to play this season, but he is finding it difficult to hide how proud he is of his team/s accomplishment.
“We talked in preseason and I said then this program could be a top 50 program,” said Rosenthal. “I’m not sure if I thought we would get that close this fast.
“We have other goals that kind of come ahead of the RPI. The RPI takes care of itself. This is program that can consistently be in the top 50 range.”
Sixty-four teams are invited to the NCAA volleyball tournament, but Rosenthal can’t count on a high RPI ranking being enough to qualify the Lady Bisons.
“History is against us,” said Rosenthal. “The A-Sun has never had two teams in the NCAA Tournament.”
The Lady Bisons are at home this weekend to play Florida Gulf Coast Friday night at 6:30 at Allen Arena and play Stetson Saturday afternoon at 2.
NCAA rankings: The Lady Bisons are ranked fourth in NCAA Division I in both assists per set (13.78) and kills per set (14.9). Texas A & M is first in both categories with 14.28 assists per set and 15.09 kills per set.
The Lady Bisons are 13th with a .857 match won-lost percentage. They are 22nd with a .264 hitting percentage and 28th with a 16.71 digs per set.
Individually, setter Stefine “Jake” Pease is seventh in the nation in assists per set with 11.87. Kaylee Manns of Iowa State is first with 12.28 assists per set.
Middle hitter Alex Kelly is 12th in points per set with 5.16. Burgandy McCurty of Siena is first with 5.96.
Kelly is ranked 17th in kills per set with 4.43. McCurty is also first in that category with 5.34.