After practice, they were having a deli lunch delivered to their hotel. The rest of the afternoon was to be dedicated to resting for the match. Belmont did not practice. Belmont, the No. 4 seed, swept No. 5 seed Kennesaw State in the quarterfinals Thursday night. Florida Gulf Coast, the No. 3 seed, swept No. 6 seeded Campbell in the other bracket.
“The girls are ready to go,” said Lady Bisons coach Brandon Rosenthal after the practice session. “We worked on video this morning and had a nice breakfast.
“Last year we over analyzed and watched too much video. We did about 15 minutes worth of video. A lot of that has to do with our familiarity with Belmont.”
Belmont, 18-14, is one of only three Atlantic Sun teams to win a set against the Lady Bisons this season. The Lady Bisons, 26-3, finished 20-0 in the conference and have won their last 23 straight matches. Their win streak is the fourth longest in the country in NCAA Division I.
The Lady Bisons, the No. 1 seed, earned a first round bye. The Lady Bisons lost to Belmont last year in the tournament championship. In 2007 the Lady Bisons beat Belmont in the semifinals on the way to the tournament title.
Rosenthal thinks it will be important to get out to a quick start.
“Belmont has a match under its belt,” said Rosenthal. “Who knows what will happen in the first couple of points.
“I think we have done a nice job over the year of getting out, getting our legs underneath us and not letting teams get away from us from the get go. They are a great serving team and we are a great passing team. We will see what happens.”
In the other bracket Florida Gulf Coast will face No 2 seed Jacksonville in the second match.
The championship game is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. CST.
Sunny Florida: temperature is hovering in the 80s here on the west side of the state, but the Lady Bisons are playing an inside sport.
It hasn't been all work. They have been eating well with a stop Wednesday night at the Bahama Breeze restaurant and visit to Outback Thursday night.
“We got some extra rest Wednesday and went out to great place for dinner,” said Rosenthal. “It was a fun dinner.
“Our Thursday practice here was a little slow at the beginning, but they picked it up. They know why they are here.”
Written by Mark McGee,Senior Publisher/Media Relations Director