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8/30/2013 | Athens, Ga. | Attendance: 1080
8/31/2013 | Athens, Ga. | Attendance: 102
Friday, August 30, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. – A goal for the Lipscomb Lady Bisons volleyball team is to do whatever it takes to make middle blocker Jewell Dobson a bigger part of the offensive production this season.
She got off to a solid start Friday night in the season opener against host Georgia in the Bulldog Invitational with 17 kills in three sets. She led the match in kills. No one else on either team posted double figures in kills.
Dobson was credited with a team high .565 hitting percentage. She was second in the match in that category to Georgia’s Lauren Teknipp with a .583 hitting percentage.
But Rosenthal stressed that the middle blockers, especially Dobson, have to be an even more important part of the offense.
“If we can pass the ball a little bit better we can get her the ball more times,” Rosenthal said. “She had 23 attempts and, in all honesty, we need her to have 30 attempts.”
In order to do that there will need to be a change in the overall thought process of the team.
“It is a little bit different mindset which is tough for setters to overcome,” Rosenthal said. “When an outside hitter gets blocked a setter has no problem going back to the outside.
“When a middle gets blocked almost always the mental side for a setter says we have to go away from her because she got blocked. In reality, we want our setters to go right back to the middle.”
The Lady Bisons weren’t able to win a set in their first match ever with Georgia, a Southeastern Conference team. Lipscomb fell 3-0 by scores of 25-20, 25-22 and 25-15. It was the season opener for both teams.
“We didn’t do an exceptional job of passing,” Rosenthal said. “That kind of caught up with us. Georgia was a bigger team. Against bigger teams we have to be able to pass well.
“We did it in spurts. But at crucial times we let down in our passing.”
Setter Caitlin Dotson made a match-high 32 assists. Outside hitter Sophie Kellerman tied for the match high in digs with nine.
The Lady Bisons held a 106-89 advantage in total attacks.
“I thought our energy and the way we went about things was good,” Rosenthal said. “I think it was just a matter of cleaning up some mental mistakes late in each set.
“The way we went about our offense we put them on their heels a little bit. We didn’t do a great job in serve-receive all night. That made it a little tough. We were forced to do some things we didn’t want to do. We have to be able to find ways to win. “
The Lady Bisons committed 20 attack errors to 11 by Georgia.
“That was a little bit of first game jitters, a little bit of playing a bigger team and a little bit of us not passing well,” Rosenthal said. “Georgia did a nice job and schemed well against us. They served us tough.
“The margin of error gets smaller and smaller against better teams. I have confidence in our passing. I know we will pass better Saturday.”
The Lady Bisons play twice Saturday as the Bulldog Invitational continues. They face Furman at 9 a.m. and close out with Texas Christian at 4:30.
Furman fell to Texas Christian 3-0 by scores of 25-21, 26-24, 25-20 Friday afternoon to open the invitational.
Furman and Texas Christian have each faced the Lady Bisons one time in the past. Last season the Lady Bisons dropped a 3-0 match to Texas Christian in the Wildcat Classic in Tucson, Ariz. The Lady Bisons swept Furman 3-0 in a 2010 meeting.
Rosenthal is expecting the Lady Bisons to rebound.
“We did a real nice job against Georgia,” Rosenthal said. “I was proud of the girls. We definitely announced our presence. I like this team. I like what we’ve got going.
“We have to take care of our side of the net. We can play with whoever we want to when we play our brand. We just have to do that over longer periods of time.”