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Lady Bisons will play Ohio State in NCAA first round

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Lipscomb Lady Bisons are heading to Dayton, Ohio to face Ohio State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday.

This is the third time the Lady Bisons have played in the NCAA Tournament in Ohio and the second time they have played a tournament match in Dayton. Last season they played at Ohio State in Columbus against California.

It is the first time the Lady Bisons have been scheduled to play a first round game against a non-seeded opponent.

The winner of the match will advance to play the winner of the match between Butler and No. 14-seeded Dayton.

The Lady Bisons and Ohio State will play at 5 p.m. CT. Butler and Dayton will play at 7. Matches will be played at the Frericks Center at Dayton.

Lipscomb fans filled the Shamblin Theater for the announcement on ESPN News Sunday afternoon.

“I’m excited about playing Ohio State,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “It’s a nice change not to have to play a seeded team.”

Earlier this season Ohio State, 22-11, played host Kennesaw State in the Owl Invitational, winning 3-0 (25-16, 25-14, 25-18). That is the only Atlantic Sun opponent Ohio State has faced this season.

The Lady Bisons are 24-6. They have not advanced past the first round in their previous two NCAA Tournaments, but Rosenthal thinks the third time could be the charm.

“With the way these girls work there is no doubt in my mind that this program can advance,” Rosenthal said. “We knew coming in that we were going to be facing a good team no matter what the draw was.

“I know Ohio State’s coaches. We have a pretty good idea of their style of play. All our hard work has paid off. The committee gave us a very fair draw.”

The Lady Bisons will stay with their regular routine. They played Xavier Saturday, a 3-2 match win. They will be off Monday before practicing at Allen Arena Tuesday and Wednesday. They will drive to Dayton later in the day Wednesday.

“Last year we practiced after the selection show and we practiced on Monday,” Rosenthal said. “But last year we didn’t play a five-set match the day before the selection show.

“I’ve learned a lot and the players have learned a lot since last year. I was concerned too much last year with who we were going to draw. We decided that we would just wait and see who came up on the screen. It was good to make some adjustments to our approach.”

Before the selection show began Philip Hutcheson, Lipscomb’s athletic director, praised the team for the quality of its representation of Lipscomb both on and off of the court.

Rosenthal remembers when his journey with the program began eight years ago.

“It is amazing to see where we are now,” Rosenthal said. “We have become a legitimate top 50 program.

“I don’t think a lot of people thought that was possible at the beginning. But it was not only possible, it is a reality.”

Rosenthal praised the work of Sullivan and trainer Regina Hash. He also praised the hard work of his players.

“We ask a lot of our girls both on the court and in the classroom,” Rosenthal said. “They have bought into something that will pay off for them throughout their lives.

“This is their team. It is not my team. I give them the reins and and they have run with it.”

Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.