|August 19, 2017||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th||Final|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With one week until first serve, the Lipscomb volleyball team will hold its only tune-up of the preseason when the Tennessee Volunteers visit Allen Arena for a Saturday exhibition.
First serve is set for 3 p.m. with free admission for all fans. The Bisons and Volunteers will play a full five-set match with in-game reaction from both coaching staffs.
This season is a first for college volleyball. The NCAA allowed teams to schedule a true exhibition match for the first time in the association’s history and both coaching staffs are taking full advantage.
Lipscomb head coach Brandon Rosenthal and Tennessee head man Rob Patrick will engage with fans between sets, giving insights on different areas of the game.
“This is the first time ever that we have been able to have an exhibition match with an outside team,” Rosenthal said. “So when we got together with Tennessee we wanted to come up with a way we could make this a big deal, especially for the fans.
“We wanted to be able to give some inside information between sets. We want to talk about things we liked and didn’t like in those sets and also let fans in on what we are telling our teams during the break. I think this is going to be a fun opportunity to let everyone see what our two programs are about.”
Lipscomb is coming off a third-straight ASUN Championship and was selected to repeat as the top seed in the ASUN Preseason Coaches Poll. The Bisons return nearly 71 percent of its leading kill production, including the reigning ASUN Player of the Year, Carlyle Nusbaum who posted 491. The junior outside hitter was a unanimous selection to defend her top honor in 2017.
Along with a wealth of experience, the Bisons will welcome freshmen Megan Kuper, Alyssa Zwolensky, Ashley Maher and Samantha Rubal, while also adding sophomore transfer Megan Sullivan from the University of Houston.
Tennessee was picked to finish sixth in the SEC Preseason Poll by the league’s coaches earlier this summer. The Vols finished last season 17-14 overall and 7-11 in SEC action.
Outside hitter Tessa Grubbs is the team’s returning attacker after posting 290 kills as a freshman in 2016.
“Tennessee is coming off a really good season last year and they continue to be in the spot of competing as one of the top teams in the SEC,” Rosenthal said. “It will be great competition and we will walk away from the match knowing a lot more about ourselves as a team.”
Fans are encouraged to come out in full force to get a first glance at what is to come this fall. Doors will open an hour before and all admission is free.
“It’s a great opportunity for the community to see the top two women’s volleyball teams in the state of Tennessee,” Rosenthal said. “The game continues to grow, and it actually overtook women’s basketball as the highest participation amongst females in the country.
“It is going to be a fun day on Saturday and we encourage all fans to come out and support the Lipscomb Bisons and the game of volleyball.”
The Bisons will officially open the season next Friday on August 25 with the LUV Invitational. First serve is 6:30 p.m. against former ASUN rival ETSU. The tournament will also welcome No. 24 Arizona, Wichita State, Middle Tennessee and Belmont for a full slate of games.