MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – In a match where seemingly every point was hotly contested, the Georgia College volleyball team (6-7, 1-5 PBC) picked up its first Peach Belt Conference (PBC) win of the 2014 season Tuesday, beating rival Columbus State University (3-9, 0-4 PBC) in four sets at the Centennial Center.
The Bobcats rebounded from dropping the marathon first set 33-31, taking the final three 25-18, 25-22 and 27-25. The win gives Georgia College a 1-0 lead in the "Battle for the Pickle Barrel" the three-year old rivalry competition between the two schools.
Freshman Maggie Roper (Buford) led the offense with a match-high 20 kills, hitting .283, the freshman's best percentage of matches with 25 attempts or more. The 20 kills is a personal best for Roper and ties the season-high set by Miller Howard (Suwanee) against Slippery Rock University Sept. 5. Howard had eight kills, good for fourth on the team tonight.
Sophomore Blake Willoughby (Savannah) put down nine kills in the match, adding two blocks to the scoring line. Classmate Caroline Long (Roswell) also tallied nine kills with three blocks. Long hit .368 and Willoughby .333.
Running the offense was freshman Mollie Michel (Peachtree City) to the tune of a career-high 47 assists, narrowly missing a double-double at nine digs. Her assist total ranks fifth in school history.
The defensive line was outstanding, holding the Cougars to just .199 hitting for the match. Leading the way was junior Ella Anastasiades (Atlanta) with 31 digs, flanked by 11 from Lindsay Holmes (Norcross) and 10 from Roper, her fourth double-double of the year. Anastasiades ties the school record for digs in a match with her 31, matching Caroline Ham's (Marietta) effort in a five-set match with the University of Montevallo last season.
The Bobcats also recorded eight team blocks, led by six from freshman Bailey Freeman (Hillsborough, North Carolina). Freeman added five kills, making the most of her first home start.
The win matches last season's victory total, with the Bobcats nearly at the halfway point of this year's regular season.
Columbus State put four attackers in double-digit kills, led by 18 from Kylie Beaubien. Ivana Kazic had 56 assists, while Caytlin Merrit led her team with 30 digs.
The Bobcats are back in action Friday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m., playing host to UNC Pembroke.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 11 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at @GCBobcats on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.