The Lipscomb Lady Bisons love nothing more than to slam a devastating kill against an opponent.
Friday night they will be thinking about a killer disease, cancer, especially breast cancer as part of “Dig for a Cure”. It is one of several events that have been held on campus in connection with “Cancer Awareness” month. When the Lady Bisons face North Florida in an Atlantic Sun match Friday night at 6:30 at Allen Arena they will be wearing pink as part of their uniforms. The players are not saying what part of the uniform will be adorned in pink. Fans are also encouraged to wear something pink.
The Lady Bisons are 16-6 overall, 5-0 in the A-Sun. North Florida is 5-18, 1-6 in the conference.
Saturday the Lady Bisons will play Jacksonville at 2.
Lady Bisons’ volleyball coach Brandon Rosenthal’s sister, Marla, is a breast cancer survivor. He surprised her about five years ago by attending a three-day walk in San Diego. He was shocked by how emotional the event was for him.
“I knew about the fight of breast cancer, but it really didn’t hit me until I walked with her in one of the three-day walks,” Rosenthal said. “She is really active in the three-day walks."
Five years ago Rosenthal and his brother, Jason, surprised Marla at one of the walks. Rosenthal flew into Los Angeles and met his brother, Jason. They made the trip south to San Diego to join their sister.
“I was completely blown away by the efforts of the people participating and the enormity of what she went through,” Rosenthal said. “I just didn’t really realize what she had gone through.
“It really opened my eyes to what it is about. I was proud of her. I was proud to be with her. I didn’t expect to be emotional. It caught me off guard.”
The Lady Bisons head into this weekend’s games with a couple of national streaks on the line. They have won 23 straight home matches and 30 consecutive Atlantic Sun regular season conference matches. Both active streaks are the fourth longest in the country in NCAA Division I.
“They are going to be tough matches this weekend,” Rosenthal said. “UNF poses some problems with their outside hitters.
“They are young. When you go up against young teams anything can happen. They are going to be dangerous. They are playing a lot different than their record."
The key for the Lady Bisons is to worry more about their own side of the court and Rosenthal hasn't changes that approach even though he has made some late season adjustments with the team.
“We have worked this week on eliminating mistakes late in sets like in the Louisville match," Rosenthal said. "And we have also opened up our offense. We have put some new things in which are really exciting.”
The last time the Lady Bisons played was Oct. 20 when they traveled to Louisville, losing a close match by a score of 3-0. North Florida’s last match was Oct. 21 against Seattle, a 3-1 loss.
“I think our girls are ready,” Rosenthal said.
For fans of the Lady Bisons this weekend offers two times to see the seniors _ setter Stefine “Jake” Pease, middle blocker Alex Kelly, outside hitter Meghan Hinemeyer, defensive specialist Elly Kaiser and defensive specialist/setter Tory Ashcraft _ play. The final home match for the Lady Bisons is Nov. 9 against Belmont.
“There are not a lot of chances left to see this group,” Rosenthal said. “This is the most prolific group of seniors ever assembled here for volleyball.
“I think it is important that these girls get recognized. They have brought so much success to the volleyball program and to the school.”
The Lady Bisons enter the week rated 30th in aces per set (1.62), 34th in kills per set (13.91), 38th in assists per set (12.93) and 40th in hitting percentage (.247) in NCAA Division I.
Pease is 16th in assists per set (11.42). Kelly is 16th in points per set (5.01) and 22nds in kills per set (4.26).
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.