NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Lipscomb volleyball coach Brandon Rosenthal has prepared his share of championship caliber teams.
But after the first week of preseason practices Rosenthal, entering his 13th season as head coach, is not shy about ranking this year’s team has the potential to equal or surpass his previous teams.
“I believe this is the deepest and most balanced team we have ever had,” Rosenthal said. “Over the next couple of weeks it is important to not only continue to work on skill work, but we also have to continue to move forward with our team identity.”
They have been selected to repeat as the Atlantic Sun regular season champion by the conference coaches. They are also in the Prepvolleyball.com Preseason 50.
Lipscomb won the 2014 regular season Atlantic Sun title with a 13-1 record. They finished 21-9 overall and ranked 39th in the final NCAA Division I RPI.
The Lady Bisons lost six players from that team including First Team All-Conference outside hitter Lauren Ford, one of the top players in the history of the program. She was also a member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-South Region Team. Also gone is Sophie Kellerman, a Second Team All-Conference pick.
Six new players join the team – right side Carli Anderson, outside hitter Lauren Anderson, middle blocker Calayci Coffey, setter Marcella Emmanuelli, middle blocker-right side Hannah Hutcheson and outside hitter Carlyle Nusbaum.
“Bringing in the largest, and one of the most talented classes of freshmen, poses certain challenges as we have to bring everyone up to speed and familiar with the style of practice,” Rosenthal said. “No doubt this program has benefited from being together this summer during July term as the familiarity with each other is impressive.”
Three returning players have received preseason honors. Senior outside hitter-opposite Brittnay Este earned A-Sun Preseason Player of the Year and a spot on A-Sun Preseason Team. She was also the fan favorite as preseason player of the year. Junior Kayla Ostrom was selected as Preseason Setter of the Year. Senior middle blocker Molly Spitznagle was also a Preseason All-Conference choice.
Redshirt senior middle blocker Jewell Dobson is back and healthy after playing only four matches last season. Also returning are middle blocker Katie Bradley, defensive specialist-libero Brittany Thomas, outside hitter Kaitlyn Teeter, defensive specialist-libero Jenny Phelan and outside hitter Chloe Rogers.
“It's an exciting time here with Lipscomb Volleyball,” Rosenthal said. “The practices have been intense and the competition has been impressive.
“No doubt we will harness a lot of elements from our past teams as they are staples of the program, but this team continues to set new marks. To this point I love their effort and their focus in each practice. This is a very experienced team and the leadership continues to shine.”