NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb volleyball team has a first round bye in the Atlantic Sun Tournament and a share of the regular season championship, but coach Brandon Rosenthal is stressing to his players they aren’t done yet.
This weekend they travel to Florida to close out the regular season. They play Florida Gulf Coast Friday night at 6 p.m. in Fort Myers. Saturday they travel to Stetson for a 1 p.m. match.
“We want to enjoy the trip, but we have to remember it is a business trip,” Rosenthal said. “We have to keep focused.”
The A-Sun Tournament will be held Nov. 19-21 at Allen Arena at Lipscomb. The Bisons enter the weekend 19-8 overall, 11-1 in the conference.
This is the fifth regular season title for the Bisons. One victory this weekend clinches sole possession of the regular season title. It would also give the Bisons at least 20 victories, the eighth time they have reached that level or surpassed it.
“Every day we are pushing harder and harder,” Rosenthal said. “We really can’t rest. When we talk over the summer, during our coaches meetings and retreats we realize that playing with this team is going to take great sacrifices.
“But the saying goes there is no great achievement without great sacrifice. From day one that is the expectation. They start to learn this about the program during the recruiting process.”
Rosenthal knows that mentally it is difficult to push people, especially college-age players.
“They have pressures in life whether it is school or volleyball or social situations,” Rosenthal said. “We have learned a lot over the years about how to deal with the mental side of things as we try to get better and better.”
RPI on the move: The Bisons continue to move higher in the NCAA Division I RPI ratings. This week they are 59th after being rated 67th last week. Two weeks ago they were 74th.
Florida Gulf Coast is 85th, the only other team in the A-Sun in the top 100.
National rankings: As a team Lipscomb is eighth in both assists (1,402) and assists per set (13.75).
The Bisons are 12th in kills per set (14.43) and 16th in total kills (1,472).
Setter Kayla Ostrom is fourth in assists per set (12.09) and sixth in total assists (1,233).
Right side Brittnay Estes is 11th in triple doubles with one.
Atlantic Sun numbers: The Bisons lead several categories in the conference.
They are first in kills overall and second in kills in conference matches (671).
They are first in kills per set both overall and in conference matches (15.98).
They are also first in hitting percentage both overall (.246) and in the conference (.298).
They lead is assists overall and in conference matches (633) and are also first in assists per set overall and in conference matches (15.07).
They are first overall in solo blocks (51) and second in conference matches (24).
They also lead the conference overall in points per set (17.0) and A-Sun matches only (18.5).
Ostrom leads the conference overall in assists and in conference matches only (536).
Ostrom also leads the conference overall in assists per set and in conference matches only (12.76).
Middle blocker Jewell Dobson is second overall in hitting percentage (.333) and first in conference matches only (.428).
Dobson is fifth overall in kills (312) and seventh in conference matches only (131). She is fifth in kills per set overall (3.18) and fifth in conference matches (3.28).
Outside hitter Carly Nusbaum is second in kills per set overall (3.75) and first in conference matches (4.92).
Middle blocker Molly Spitznagle is first overall in hitting percentage (.337) and fifth in conference matches (.316).
Spitznagle is first overall in solo blocks (22) and in conference matches only (12).
Libero Brittany Thomas is third overall in the conference in digs (439) and third in conference matches only (194).
Thomas is third overall in digs per set (4.30) and in conference matches (4.62).
Right side Brittnay Estes is fourth overall in kills (321) and second in conference matches (161),
Estes is sixth in kills per set overall (3.15) and third in conference matches (3.83).
Estes is eighth in total attacks overall (782). She is 10th in hitting percentage overall (.283) and fourth in conference matches (.331).