Wednesday, September 07, 2011
When Lipscomb volleyball coach Brandon Rosenthal recruited Katie Rose he liked her versatility on the court.
The senior from Lexington, Ky., is starting at middle blocker this season, a position she is filling for the second season in a row. Recruited to play in the middle Rose was moved to outside hitter as a freshman. Her sophomore year she filled the libero role.
“Katie is a force defensively,” Rosenthal said. “Offensively, she is getting more opportunities this year. It is fun to watch her game develop.
“She has so much flexibility on the court. She can move from one area to the next seamlessly. One of the biggest transitions between high school and club volleyball is to recognize the court is theirs. You don’t play just one position. Katie has been able to adapt to that very successfully.”
Rose, who earned her first Atlantic Sun Player of the Week award for her performances in the Lipscomb Invitational this past weekend, is not a complainer. She has accepted all of the changes without uttering a discouraging word.
“I think it has really given me a different perspective and an ability to understand that game,” Rose said. “I can sometimes predict what is going to happen just because I know the different positions.”
It appeared that Rose made the transitions seamlessly. The emphasis should be placed on “appeared”.
“I’m glad it appeared that way, but there was a lot of tough, hard work in practice,” Rose said. “It was a lot to deal with, but I just wanted to play no matter what I had to do.”
Weighing the options
Weight is seldom mentioned in reference to female athletes but it is obvious that Rose is much leaner than in previous seasons. Rose credits her interest in nutrition for the changes.
Rosenthal stresses he did not instruct Rose to lose any weight but he thinks it has been a positive in the way she has performed so far this season.
“Her strength and her vertical jump are the highest they have ever been,” Rosenthal said. “I think for her it is a matter of understanding what is best for her body and really getting into the right place. I feel great about where she is.”
Rose admits the weight loss was not a conscious effort on her part at the beginning, but simply the result of hard work both inside and outside the weight room.
“I wanted to take care of my body and watch my nutrition so I could be in the best physical shape to help my team and help myself,” Rose said. “It was not a conscious effort at first but I noticed changes that were helping me. I had better endurance and was able to play harder.”
No time to rest
In addition to her workouts Rose also found time to work as a volunteer at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Lexington. Rose did everything from change bed linens to picking up food trays. She would work as many hours a week as possible.
“The nurses were shorthanded so it was good to be able to help,” Rose said. “I started doing this in high school because I thought I wanted to be in medicine, but I changed fields and I am majoring in education now.
“I just like interacting with people. I have family members who work in hospitals so I see how much help they do need.”
The pressure factor
Rose was selected to the A-Sun Preseason All-Conference team. She is one of three captains joining fellow seniors Abby Fay and Charlyn Ursell. With the departures of middle blocker Alex Kelly and outside hitter Megan Hinemeyer, two of the top statistical leaders, Rosenthal knows that Rose is feeling some extra pressure this season.”
Rose leads the A-Sun with a .371 hitting percentage. She is fifth in points with 3.84 per set, ninth in service aces with 0.41 per set and 10th in kills with 2.82 per set.
“There is not any doubt she has pressure to fill Alex’s role,” Rosenthal said. “I think Katie understands her role enough to know that she doesn’t have to be Alex. She doesn’t have to do it all.
“I want the best Katie Rose. I don’t need the best Katie Rose playing like Alex Kelly.”