NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It was news that was expected, but it still had to be delivered.
Lipscomb volleyball coach Brandon Rosenthal decided to let Jewell Dobson, one of the three captains for the Lady Bisons, address her teammates about her future with the team. Dobson, the preseason selection to repeat as Atlantic Sun Player of the Year, is expected to miss the rest of the season after suffering a lower extremity injury Friday in a match with Missouri.
Rosenthal did not address the team about the situation and was not in the room when Dobson talked with the players. Prior to meeting with the players Dobson talked with fellow captains Lauren Ford and Sophie Kellerman. She also had a private conversation with Rosenthal.
“They are very intelligent,” Rosenthal said. “This team right now gets it. To have them talk and work through this on their own is more important than me holding their hands.
“They are able to make some of these decisions on their own. She said, `hey, I’ve got this. I know what I need to do’.”
The quote for Monday’s practice, from William Shakespeare, summed up the mood of the team. Shakespeare wrote, `let me embrace the sour adversity for wise men say it is the wisest course’.
“We talked about embracing the opportunities and embracing the fact that, `hey, we do have to step up’, “Rosenthal said. “I am really impressed with how they have done that with the level of competition they have faced.
“We haven’t missed a beat. We are having to redistribute some. We know the level of competition we are playing and we are still among the leaders in the conference statistically. It is fun to see our girls step up and carry themselves in an unbelievable way.”
The Lady Bisons, 5-1, play for the first time on their home court Tuesday night at 6:30 when Western Kentucky, 6-2, visits Allen Arena.
“This is one of those weeks that is a bit of an anomaly,” Rosenthal said. “We are coming back off of the road and playing at home Tuesday and then three matches this weekend.
“I talked with the captains and they said they felt better than they did after the first week. They have their legs going. It is a non-issue.”
Lipscomb and Western Kentucky keep close tabs on each other even though they did not play in a match together last season.
“This is another opportunity for us to get better,” Rosenthal said. “Our girls are really focused on that idea. They get what we have been teaching for years.
“I continue to be more and more impressed with this team and its sense of maturity. We had a good conversation with the captains and they are well-aware of what is at stake and how the team is feeling in regards to Jewell. “
The Lady Bisons received 35 votes in the American Volleyball Association (AVCA) Top 25 poll this week.
“It is awesome to be up there,” Rosenthal said. “It is not whether we get in there or not. It is the idea that we belong in the conversation.
“The polls change. People drop in and drop out. At the end of the year if we are still part of the conversation then that is where we need to be. These girls work their tails off. It is great to see them playing at a level where people are taking notice.”