|August 25, 2017||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
Rylee Milhorn - 7
EMMANUELLI - 1
COFFEY - 2
|August 26, 2017||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
MOSTROM - 1
KOON - 1
|August 26, 2017||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
Whipple - 13
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Lipscomb volleyball is set to officially open its 2017 season this weekend with the 7th Annual LUV Invite inside Allen Arena.
The Bisons kick off the weekend slate Friday with a 6:30 p.m. match against ETSU. They will then follow the season opener with a pair of matches on Saturday, taking on Wichita State at 12:30 p.m. and No. 24 Arizona at 7:30. It will be the first time in 10 years that the Bisons have opened the regular season at home.
“This is a new feeling because we are typically on the road for the first weekend of the season,” Lipscomb head coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “It will be a fun experience for our team and our fans.
“There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes in order to get this tournament ready, so I want to thank everyone in advance for their hard work.”
Also joining the six-team field will be Belmont and Middle Tennessee, both of whom will play just one game on Sunday.
“The tournament field from top to bottom is probably the best we have ever had in this invite, there is no easy match.” Rosenthal said.
Lipscomb’s meeting with Arizona will be the only televised match of the weekend. It can be seen live on ESPN3 with Justin Seamon and Nashville Predators rinkside reporter, Lyndsay Rowley, on the call.
Live stats will be available for all games and can be found HERE.
- Lipscomb leads the all-time series with ETSU 13-8. The last time the two programs met was in 2014 at the LUV Invite when the Bisons took a 3-1 decision.
- The Bisons and Shockers have met just once before. In 2006 Lipscomb dropped a 3-1 match with Wichita State in a tournament at Kansas State.
- Lipscomb and Arizona have met twice, with the Wildcats winning both matchups. Arizona won 3-1 in 2007 at Malibu, California before sweeping a 3-0 decision in the Wildcat Classic in 2012.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
ETSU -- 2016 Record: 22-8, 13-3 SoCon
The Bucs return an experienced roster from a squad that won the SoCon regular season championship in 2016. With five of the top six in kills returning, the Bucs were voted to repeat at league champs in the preseason poll. Senior Rylee Milhorn will lead the ETSU offense going into her final collegiate season after concluding the 2016 campaign with 325 kills, 3.04 kills per set and a SoCon All-Tournament selection.
“ETSU is a formidable opponent, and they are very scrappy,” Rosenthal said. “You have to earn every point because they won’t give you anything for free. We have to be dialed in and focused because that pressure will lead to mistakes.
“One of their top players is right side hitter AJ Lux, who has a pretty live arm. Their defensive play is strong with Hailey Aguilar at libero. It should be an interesting match for sure.”
Wichita State -- 2016 Record: 24-8, 15-3 American
The Shockers return eight letterwinners and four starters from a team that won the Missouri Valley Conference tournament title and advanced to the NCAA tournament. After switching conferences in the offseason, Wichita State joined the American Athletic Conference was chosen as the league favorite, garnering seven first place votes.
Senior middle blocker Abbie Lehman and senior setter Emily Hiebert were named to the preseason all-conference team. Lehman earned honorable mention All-America and first team all-Valley honors in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and averaged 2.68 kills and 1.27 blocks per set, while hitting .384 last season. Hiebert was named 2016 MVC Setter of the Year and also earned first team all-Valley honors in 2015 and 2016 and averaged 10.64 assists, 0.59 blocks and 2.81 digs per set.
“Wichita State, in the landscape of college volleyball, is always in the NCAA tournament and doing damage,” Rosenthal said. “They are a very well coached team and are known for their height. They will make us work tirelessly.”
No. 24 Arizona -- 2016 Record: 20-15, 10-10 Pac-12
The Wildcats enter the invite ranked 24th in the AVCA Preseason Top 25 poll and was selected eighth in the preseason Pac-12 Coaches Poll. They return four of their top six scorers from a team that went 20-15 in 2016, including junior outside hitter Kendra Dahlke, who averaged 3.97 kills per set and 2.22 digs per set.
Arizona advanced to its eighth Sweet 16 in program history a season ago, defeating No. 9 national seed Michigan State on its home court. It was the first run into the final 16 since 2005. UA will look to replace a pair of All-Americans in setter Penina Snuka and outside hitter Kalei Mau.
“Arizona is ranked 24th in the country and plays in one of arguably the best conferences in the nation,” Rosenthal said. “They made a deep run into the Sweet 16 last season, but lost a few players. Anytime you make a run though, it gives your team a lot of valuable experience for years down the road. We will see a lot of height with them. We definitely know what we are getting ourselves into.”
ROSENTHAL READIES FOR 15TH SEASON
Head coach Brandon Rosenthal enters his 15th season as head coach of the Lipscomb volleyball program. Since taking over in the Music City, Rosenthal has led the Purple and Gold to seven NCAA berths, six ASUN Conference titles and a 256-148 record as a Division I member. He is joined on the sidelines for the fifth consecutive season by associate head coach Billy Ebel, while assistant coach Todd Garvey and volunteer assistant Lauryn Hyman enter their first season as part of the staff.
Lipscomb returns 10 players from last year's squad, including three starters and the libero. That includes junior outside hitter Carlyle Nusbaum, who is the reigning ASUN Player of the Year after leading the conference and ranking 15th in the nation averaging 4.50 kills per set. She is joined by a couple of All-ASUN second teamers – senior libero Brittany Thomas and junior outside hitter Lauren Anderson - as well as All-Freshman selections, middle blocker Maddie Phillips and setter Morgan Elmore.
Adding to the wealth of experience with expanded roles in 2017 will be seniors Chloe Rogers and Jenny Phelan, juniors Carli Anderson, Marcella Emmanuelli and Ca’Layci Coffey.
NEW YEAR, NEW FACES
Made up of three defensive specialists, one middle blocker and one outside hitter, Lipscomb will rely on its class of newcomers to add depth.
Freshmen – Alyssa Zwolensky, Ashley Maher, Samantha Rubal, Megan Kuper
Sophomore – Megan Sullivan, transfer from Houston.
The NCAA has implemented a Challenge Review System (CRS) for college volleyball, allowing teams to use video review to confirm, reverse, or replay specific decisions made by the officials.
The second referee may reverse a ruling only if the video review reveals indisputable evidence the initial ruling was incorrect. If the review is deemed inconclusive, the original decision stands.
A team is limited to three challenges per match when CRS is available. Protocol for the rule change is as follows:
- Each team will have three challenges per match. Challenges are not tied to timeouts.
- Only the team that lost the rally will be able to challenge. If the call is reversed, the team that lost the review will be able to challenge another aspect of the point. Each team will be limited to one challenge per rally.
- A coach will need to make the challenge before the referee extends his arm for service to begin the next point.
- There must be indisputable video evidence for the official to change the original call. Coaches will be allowed to challenge the following plays:
- Net faults: players contacting the net/antenna.
- Player touching the ball: four hits/blocker/defensive player.
- Whether a ball was in or out (this includes pancakes and whether the ball touched the antenna).
- Service foot faults.
Following the LUV Invite, the Bisons will hit the road for three straight weekend trips. On September 1-2, Lipscomb will travel to Columbus, Ohio where it will face Oakland, Missouri State and host Ohio State.