NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For the first time in the history of the program the Lipscomb Lady Bisons have received votes in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Top 25 poll.
The Lady Bisons grabbed the attention of voters with a 3-2 victory over then No. 22-ranked Kansas which fell out of the Top 25 this week.
“This is a first and I am proud of this accomplishment for the program's sake,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “While it is a nice acknowledgement there is more out there that this team wants.
“I have continued to tell people that this is where the program is heading and not to be surprised when we get there. Receiving votes is very nice and now we want to work our way into the Top 25.”
The Lady Bisons played in the Kansas Invitational to open the season. In addition to the win over Kansas they also beat Utah Valley 3-1. They lost to Creighton, then ranked No. 23, 3-1 to open the season. All three games were in the Kansas Invitational. Creighton also dropped out of the top 25.
The 2-1 start for the Lady Bisons is their best since 2010.
“I am thrilled to be recognized in this group,” Rosenthal said. “For my entire coaching career I have looked at this list as somewhere I wanted this program to be at one day.
“I am excited for the girls because they are the ones that put in the time and effort to get better every day. For us to be recognized is exactly the reflection of the belief of this team...in one another and the team as a whole.”
Rosenthal points to the votes as another milestone for the team, He compares it to 2005 when they made their first trip to the Atlantic Sun Tournament, 2007 when they went to the NCAA Tournament for the first time and 2009 when they broke into the top 50.
“This is not going to define us,” Rosenthal said. “It is only going to thrust us into believing more in our crazy idea.”
The Lady Bisons are the preseason favorites to win the A-Sun Conference. The team goal is to return to the NCAA Tournament after a two-year absence.
Rosenthal is enjoying the fact his team is part of the early conversation with so many volleyball powerhouses.
“It is a great feeling to see Lipscomb amongst the teams that are considered the best in the country,” Rosenthal said. “This being the first poll is awesome but more importantly we want to be there for the last poll.
“I am proud of our girls and this is tremendous recognition for a program of our size and young history. The girls will push harder now knowing that it is not just a possibility but a reality.”