Volleyball team relies on resilience after COVID pushes ASUN fall sports to spring

Volleyball team relies on resilience after COVID pushes ASUN fall sports to spring

Lipscomb volleyball head coach Brandon Rosenthal was being hopeful that a season on the brink of COVID extinction would be rescued when he was interviewed recently. Now that the season has been postponed —  the ASUN on Friday announced it was halting all fall sports because of the COVID epidemic and hoping to reschedule them for the spring — his and his players’ hopes have been dashed.  Or at least delayed. In the interview prior to Friday’s news, Rosenthal said being “resilient” is a key factor for the team because the pandemic already had thrown the games and even practice into an uproar. At the time, possibilities being tossed around included playing only in-conference or moving the season into the spring. In making Friday’s announcement, ASUN Commissioner Ted Gumbart, called it “a huge disappointment.” “Anyone who follows college sports understands the dynamics that brought us to this decision, but that doesn’t mean we like it. My feelings right now? COVID stinks. If you weren’t putting my words into a public release, I might put it another way.” The postponement of competition in conference-sponsored fall semester sports includes men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball. So far, the basketball seasons for men and women remain unaffected, at least in terms of scheduling games. Scheduling will be a big issue for the fall sports, though, now that they have to wait until spring, if the disease allows for play then. “We will make every effort to provide a quality competitive experience for our fall student-athletes during the spring semester,” Gumbart said in the conference press release. “We’re...
Men’s basketball team discovers new ways to connect during COVID-altered summer

Men’s basketball team discovers new ways to connect during COVID-altered summer

Staying in touch with his basketball team during this COVID summer has been so unpredictable and new that it’s been like “building the bridge as we go,” said coach Lennie Acuff, describing the frustrations and adaptations that have been necessary to try to get the team ready from a distance rather than the sidelines. “It’s just really been like nothing we’ve ever encountered,” said Acuff. “We work really hard to stay in contact with our guys. We do Zoom calls once a week with them, and then we are also trying to recruit, which has been really hard.” By this point in the summer, the upcoming year’s team has typically been together for over a month, living on campus in the month of June for summer classes, practices and basketball camp. But this year,  Acuff has not even been allowed to enter his office for almost four months. “Tomorrow’s going to be the first day we’re going to be allowed to go back to the office,” said Acuff on Tuesday, July 30. “So we’ve been doing everything remotely. It is for sure something we’ve never experienced, and I hope and pray we never have to again.” Coaches and staff already face challenges to stay connected virtually with the returning players. It is a more difficult task when it comes to the incoming players, according to Acuff. “It’s hard — really, really, really hard. I think that there’s only so much you can do on the phone,” said Acuff. “We signed two kids early in November that we know really well: Tommy Murr and Will Pruitt. “We know them well...
Lipscomb College of Engineering creating hundreds of face shields to protect Middle Tennessee medical personnel battling COVID-19 pandemic

Lipscomb College of Engineering creating hundreds of face shields to protect Middle Tennessee medical personnel battling COVID-19 pandemic

Lipscomb’s College of Engineering is busy protecting essential personnel who are participating in the mortal battle against COVID-19. The Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering has created and donated over 400 plastic face shields to medical personnel in the Middle Tennessee Area, and there are nearly 200 more currently in production. Leading this operation is Lipscomb’s Peugeot Center for Engineering Service headed by Steve Sherman, executive director, and Caleb Meeks, director of operations, along with Samuel Wright, the college’s engineering laboratory manager. “Connecting engineering capabilities with those in greatest need has been at the core of our engineering college and of the Peugeot Center,” said David Elrod, dean of the College of Engineering. “In this season, we are excited to find both virtual ways of staying connected with many of our international mission partners and to find new ways of serving our local communities.” These shields serve to help protect medical workers in the line of duty by placing a plastic mask in between practitioner and patient, protecting the eyes, nose and mouth from direct oral transmission from a patient.  The design utilized by the engineers is an open source design originally created by Georgia Institute of Technology.  “We’re using a high power, automated, laser system in our innovation lab to cut out the components,” said Elrod. “Having the tools in the innovation lab lets us readily produce face shields to help local providers.” As safety of the medical personnel is of top priority to the engineers, during construction of the shields, staff is adhering to strict CDC guidelines, wearing gloves and masks as well as limiting the number...
Lipscomb cancels all in-person classes for remainder of semester and commencement

Lipscomb cancels all in-person classes for remainder of semester and commencement

Following the White House’s recommendation that gatherings of 10 or more people be canceled or postponed, Lipscomb University officials made the decision to extend online instruction for the rest of the spring semester in the wake of growing concern over the coronavirus.  “This difficult and unprecedented decision – one being faced by colleges and universities throughout the country – was made with the health, wellbeing and safety of our students, faculty and staff in mind,” said President Lowry in an email sent Wednesday afternoon. In addition to the extension in remote learning, on-campus residence halls will no longer be available to students unless they have no other option for housing. Not only will on-campus residences be closed, but students will also not be able to return to Lipscomb to move out their remaining belongings until the university puts together a procedure to streamline this process. For those students whose only choice is to return to campus, life will be much different as a mandatory curfew will be put into place and many on-campus locations will be closed. “Dining options on campus will be significantly limited, primarily to grab-and-go options at one location, and recreational opportunities will be unavailable, including those in the Student Activities Center,” said Dr. Lowry. While Lipscomb had already announced the cancellation of all university events through April 30th, adding to the list of cancellations is that of spring commencement, which was set to take place on May 2nd in Allen Arena. Degrees will still be conferred, but graduates will be unable to walk across the stage to reduce the number at gatherings of 50 or...
Lipscomb baseball defeats Austin Peay in midweek matchup

Lipscomb baseball defeats Austin Peay in midweek matchup

Lipscomb rebounded in their first mid-week matchup of this week, defeating Austin Peay 9-7 Tuesday afternoon. The Bisons trailed 7-4 in the seventh inning, but sophomore outfielder Ty Jones singled to bring home junior infielder Malik Williams before senior infielder Haddon Adams hammered a grand slam and gave the Bisons the win. Freshman pitcher Patrick Williams started the game. He was later relieved by sophomore right hander JT Caver, but junior transfer Wyatt Folsom was credited with the win after coming in during the seventh inning. Sophomore reliever Tyler Guilfoil got the save, his fifth of the season. The Bisons’ action continues Wednesday afternoon as they travel to Cookeville to take on the Tennessee Tech Eagles before returning home for a weekend series with...