That doesn’t mean that Lady Bisons coach Brandon Rosenthal and assistant coach Samantha Sullivan won’t be burning the midnight oil watching game film and poring over scouting reports in preparation for Saturday’s Atlantic Sun Conference Championship with ETSU.
The match will start at 2 p.m. at Alico Arena on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast. The match can be viewed free of charge on A-Sun TV. Live stats will be available at atlanticsun.org.
The Lady Bisons, 23-5, the No. 1 seed in the tournament, swept Belmont in the semifinals Friday night by a 3-0 match score. ETSU, the No. 3 seed, 26-8, upset No. 2 seed Kennesaw State 3-1 to advance. ETSU did not have an easy path winning 25-21 in the first set and 25-23 in the second. In the third set Kennesaw State won 30-28 before ETSU bounced back for a 25-22 win in set four.
ETSU advanced to the semifinals by beating No.6-seed North Florida in the quarterfinals Thursday night.
“This is exactly what our team has wanted,” Rosenthal said. “Our girls are ready to go. This is what they expected.
“It didn’t matter who we were going to be playing. We just wanted to get to this point and then play whoever is across the net. That is how we have approached each match this season. We just have to go out and do our thing.”
Rosenthal is concerned about Megan Devine, the A-Sun Freshman of the Year and Alyssa Long in the middle. Devine had 15 kills against Kennesaw State and Long added 10.
But right side Lauren Baufield, who had a double-double with a team-leading 17 kills and 12 digs, also caught his attention.
“ETSU has had a good season,” Rosenthal said. “They have been playing well as of late. There are definitely some things we will be looking to do.
“The key for them right now is Baufield. I have been a big fan of hers and what she does. I knew she would make a difference for ETSU and she has. We saw that difference in the Kennesaw State match.”
While ETSU is making its first trip to the championship match this will be the fourth year in a row for the Lady Bisons. They won in 2007 and 2009 and lost to Belmont in 2008.
The Lady Bisons are led by senior setter Stefine “Jake” Pease, the A-Sun Player of the Year; and senior middle blocker Alex Kelly, the A-Sun Player of the Year in 2008 and 2009.
The Lady Bisons beat ETSU 3-0 on Oct. 8 in Johnson City.
“I like what we are doing,” Rosenthal said. “The tournament is a five-against-one thing for us.
“We have a history with every one of the teams in the tournament. It is a matter of executing for us. We are of the mindset that we are going to attack. We aren’t going to let our guard down. If we lose attacking then so be it.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.