NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The first official RPI of the 2014 volleyball season has been released by the NCAA and the Lipscomb Lady Bisons are ranked 45th.
“It is great, but I don’t expect us to talk with the team about it,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “It is probably more of a measuring stick for the coaching staff.
“We have felt like for year we are a top 50 team. We went out and scheduled like that this year.”
Lipscomb is the highest rated Atlantic Sun team.
The Lady Bisons lost to then No. 23-ranked Creighton to open the season, but beat then No.22-rated Kansas the next day. They have a win over Missouri from the Southeastern Conference and a loss to then No. 15 Kentucky.
The Lady Bisons, 9-6, played one of the toughest preconference seasons in the country. They have won all three of their Atlantic Sun Conference matches so far.
“One of the pleasant surprises was what we did preconference and have done in the early part of the conference,” Rosenthal said. “It is nice to see the numbers.
“You can estimate and prognosticate all you want in looking at the schedule. The RPI is a math formula. There are tools that we can use to guesstimate, but you don’t know the results until you see the numbers.”
The Lady Bisons want to win the A-Sun regular season as well as the tournament and earn the automatic NCAA bid. But if they have to try to become eligible for the NCAA Tournament with an at-large bid the RPI ranking is a big component.
Rosenthal really got interested in the RPI in 2009 when the Lady Bisons finished 36th.
“We have an idea of where we need to be,” Rosenthal said. “We know where teams in the past that have made the tournament have been.
“It is important for us to move into the 30s. Once you get into the 40s you can go either way. We need to hold our own cards.”
Rosenthal met with the team captains – Lauren Ford, Jewell Dobson and Sophie Kellerman – Monday afternoon to talk about the importance for focus for the team.
“I used a quote the other day that says, `a car goes where the eyes go’,” Rosenthal said. “We have set goals. We know what we want. We have to stay focused.
“We don’t want to stray and get caught up in the RPI and the other stuff. Right now, we have to stay in that tunnel vision with it and keep things moving forward.”
The Lady Bisons return to Allen Arena this weekend facing Jacksonville Friday at 6:30 and North Florida Saturday at 2.