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Friday, August 20, 2010When Lipscomb Lady Bisons volleyball coach Brandon Rosenthal looks back at the set losses during the 2009 season most of them were decided by two or three points.
Much of the work in preseason has been centered on how to make up for those two, three or four points that might make a difference in a set.
“We don’t need to change anything,” Rosenthal said. “We just need to find four or five points within what we have.”
Friday Rosenthal got a look at his players under game conditions as they played their traditional “Purple and White” match at Allen Arena. Saturday at 3 the Lady Bisons will officially close out the preseason portion of practice when they face a team of former Lady Bisons in the annual alumni game.
Serving has always been a strong point for the Lady Bisons, but they have worked on that area of the game in preseason and it showed in the intrasquad game.
“We want to be a little more aggressive,” Rosenthal said. “We put a lot of emphasis on it in the spring and into the preseason in taking it to the next level.”
Another area where Rosenthal thinks he can close the points gap against some of the better teams the Lady Bisons will face is through the depth of the 2010 team.
“We can do a little bit more in terms of certain situations for two or three points,” Rosenthal said. “We have never had that option before.
“We have more options like in a blocking situation. In a tight game that could give you one or two points and that might make a difference.”
One of the few concerns for Rosenthal was the way his team handled plays when the opportunities were often the easiest to score.
“It was nothing glaring, but when we have the opportunity to score we have to score,” Rosenthal said. “We can’t give the other team a second opportunity.”
Rosenthal was pleased overall with the performance of his players, but he singled out a couple of them for special recognition.
One player that opened some eyes during the match was Amanda Rhein, an outside hitter who sat out last season as a redshirt.
“Amanda has really been impressive throughout the preseason,” Rosenthal said. “Amanda and I had a good talk Thursday.
“I think her level of comfort has gone up. She understands what we are looking for. Her competitiveness has increased.”
Freshman defensive specialist/libero Stephanie Rex also impressed with her play.
“She is a great defender,” Rosenthal said. “We are having to play her in maybe a couple of different spots where she is not used to playing. I thought she did a nice job serving.”
The Lady Bisons open the regular season at the Bluejay Invitational at Creighton Friday.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.