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Dobson, Ford earn AVCA South Region honors

Tuesday, December 10, 2013
by Mark McGee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Middle blocker Jewell Dobson and outside hitter Lauren Ford have both been named to the All-South Region Division I Team by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA).

Dobson and Ford are the first Lipscomb Lady Bisons to earn spots on the team since outside hitter Alex Kelly and setter Stefine “Jake” Pease were named to the team in both 2009 and 2010.

“It is a great honor for both of them,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “It is not like we have had thousands of these.

“It is a pretty special thing to have another two players named. And not only that, but they are both juniors who have had fantastic years. You start to realize what we are doing on a national scale with awards like this.”

Dobson and Ford both broke the 1,000 career kills barrier this season.

Dobson was named Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year and was also a member of the All-Conference First Team and the A-Sun All-Tournament team.

Ford was also picked as a member of the A-Sun All-Conference First Team and the All-Tournament Team.

Dobson was ranked in the top 10 in NCAA Division I for most of the season in both kills and points per set. Dobson led the conference overall in hitting percentage (.378) and kills per set (4.53). Her 507 kills are the second most ever by a Lipscomb player in a single season.

In conference matches Dobson was second with a .386 hitting percentage, trailing teammate Molly Spitznagle who led with a .420. Dobson was first in kills per set in conference matches with 4.56. 

Ford was third overall in kills per set (3.77) and finished with 422 kills. Ford was ninth in conference matches only with a .280 hitting percentage and fourth with 3.98 kills per set.

“Jewell had a phenomenal year, not just within the conference or within the region, but nationally,” Rosenthal said. “It is a lot of fun to see Lauren in that mix because with Jewell and Dot (Caitlin Dotson) she was probably overshadowed a bit.”

Only four of the 14 South Region team members did not play for a Southeastern Conference team. Members of AVCA select the teams.

“They have been recognized not just by people in our conference, but people outside of our conference,” Rosenthal said. “We had no idea that Jewell and Lauren would be connected with each other like this volleyball-wise. They were given opportunities and they both took them and ran with them.”

Dobson and Ford both started for the Lady Bisons as freshmen and were members of the 2011 A-Sun Championship team. Like Kelly and Pease, the names Dobson and Ford are always going to be spoken of often in the same breath when discussing Lipscomb volleyball.

“They both continue to get better,” Rosenthal said. “Players who get a chance to play their freshman year don’t necessarily always get better. That is one of my favorite things about both of them. They have continued to get better. They are two of the top players in the conference.

“On a side note, I was just talking to the girls and it is neat to see complete strangers become best friends and know that you had a part in that. They are going to be friends for life.”