Rosenthal using all of his team's options offensively
Monday, October 12, 2015
By Mark McGee
Rosenthal using all of his team's options offensively

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When it comes to scoring points the Lipscomb volleyball team has more options than a Cadillac.

Having six players with more than 100 kills this season has not proven to be a problem for coach Brandon Rosenthal or setter Kayla Ostrom as they both try to share the wealth.

Middle blocker Jewell Dobson leads the way with 233 kills overall followed by right side Brittnay Estes with 211, middle blocker Molly Spitznagle with 154, outside hitter Lauren Anderson with 135, outside hitter Chloe Rogers with 117 and outside hitter Carly Nusbaum with 106.

“I can see where it could be difficult, but with this team it has not been,” Rosenthal said. “Everyone has been fine with the equal share kind of thing. We haven’t had any issues whatsoever.

“There are matchups we want to exploit and each match can be different. Against Jacksonville we knew we had matchups with Brittnay (32 kills) and Jewell (21 kills) and we went for them. Kayla recognized it pretty early and as a good game manager she kept going with it.”

Through the early part of the season the Bisons struggled because there were often too many choices to be made.

“We had so many options that instead of just being patient with one we moved to the next one and the next one and didn’t come back to the first one until the very end,” Rosenthal said. “And then it was too late.

“It is a pretty unique situation. I don’t know many teams that have this much scoring going on at the pace it has been whether it is hitting percentage or kills per set.”

In conference matches only Lipscomb leads in hitting percentage (.375), kills (279, 16.41 per set) and assists (15.18). They also lead in opponent hitting percentage (.155).

“We are hitting almost .400 as a team and that is pretty remarkable,” Rosenthal said. “The next closest team (FGCU) is at .222.

“Then you look at kills per set. When you are making 16 kills per set you are going to win a lot of matches. It is pretty neat to see that.”

In conference matches only five Bisons are in the top seven in hitting percentage. Dobson leads the way (.557), Spitznagle is third (.406), Estes is fifth (.366), outside hitter Chloe Rogers is sixth (.333) and Lauren Anderson is seventh (.300).

“Our work in transition is probably the biggest part of it in terms of hitting percentage,” Rosenthal said. When we are receiving the ball on serves that ball is really valuable.

“Over the past year we have talked about first ball kills and putting an emphasis on scoring right away and not giving teams extra chances.”

There are four Bisons with more than 100 digs. Libero Brittany Thomas leads with 292. Estes has 177 followed by Lauren Anderson with 168 and Ostrom with 142. Defensive specialist Jenny Phelan is two away with 98.

RPI rise: Lipscomb took a big leap in the NCAA Division I RPI. The Bisons are ranked 77th in the second week of reporting, up from 102 the first week.

The only other A-Sun team in the top 100 is Florida Gulf Coast at 93.

The Bisons are 12-7, 5-0 in the A-Sun and have won their last four matches.

National rankings: Ostrom is sixth in the nation is assists per set (11.68) and ninth in total assists with 841.

Estes is one of nine players ranked in triple doubles with one. She had a career-high 32 kills and added 10 assists and 15 digs in the 3-2 win at Jacksonville. She hit .417 for the match.

As a team Lipscomb is 14th in assists per set with 13.40. The Bisons are 21st in team assists with 965.

They are 27th in team kills with 1,016 and 28th in kills per set with 14.11.

Conference rankings: Overall in the conference Dobson is third in kills per set with 3.33. Nusbaum is eighth (2.94) followed by Estes in ninth (2.93).

Ostrom leads the conference in assists overall and leads in assists per set (11.71) in conference matches only.

Overall in the conference Thomas is fifth in digs per set with 4.06 and fourth in total digs.

Spitznagle is second in hitting percentage (.357) and Dobson is third (.341) overall in the A-Sun.