NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Lipscomb sophomore libero Bri McCombs has been named Atlantic Sun Defensive Player of the Week by the conference office.
It is the first A-Sun weekly award for McCombs, a law, justice and society major from Franklin, Tenn.
McCombs posted a match-high 19 digs in a 3-0 win at North Florida Saturday. She made 14 digs Friday in a 3-1 loss to Jacksonville.
“Bri is gaining confidence, but there still is a little bit of hesitation that I would like to see her overcome,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “When she is at her best is when she is completely free.
“She is an aggressive player, but she is also very calm on the court. We are really pushing to see more of her voice on the court. We want her to take ownership and control of the back row.”
McCombs is a transfer from Middle Tennessee. She is still adjusting to the Lady Bisons on several levels.
“She is still trying to figure out the defensive style of our team and also the coaching style,” Rosenthal said. “I give her a lot of credit for working through some of that.
“Sometimes players can basically play to what they think the coach wants instead of just playing. That’s one thing we have worked on with her.”
She averaged 4.71 digs per set. She also added a pair of service aces. Rosenthal stresses that McComb’s importance to the team goes beyond her defensive play.
“Bri has done a nice job of passing,” Rosenthal said. “She is getting a feel for the team. But I think she is still holding back a little bit.”
McCombs and defensive specialist Stephanie Rex are forming a strong duo on the back row.
“McCombs and Rex have done a nice job of teaming up and starting the process of making it theirs,” Rosenthal said. “As the season goes on it will continue to be fun to watch those two really control the back row.
“We play such an aggressive defense. But at the same time we preach discipline and execution. Those lines get blurred or can get blurred. Sometimes when you talk about aggressiveness then execution and discipline go completely out the window. We are trying to preach both sides of it.”
The Lady Bisons are back in action at Allen Arena Friday at 6:30 when USC Upstate visits for an A-Sun match. The game is scheduled to be televised by ESPN3.